Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
Adam Green, Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan
What's it about
An anthology of horror shorts plays at a drive-in during a sex-crazed-zombie invasion. Itís actually less classy than it sounds
Is it good movie?
Chillerama is ostensibly designed to pay homage to various exploitative horror sub-genres from days of yore. In it, a group of disparate people are tracked during the last hurrah of an old school drive-in. The owner, Cecil Kaufman, has collected a series of horror shorts thought to have been lost, and screens them while unbeknownst to the patrons, but knownst to us, a man who has just had his sac bitten off by a female zombie has transferred his infection to the butter poured liberally onto everyoneís popcorn. And naturally, these zombies want to eff the ess out of everything they see.
Chillerama is mostly, for me, a failure. Adam Riffkinís Wadzilla is pretty funny, and is about exactly what the title implies: after taking an experimental drug, and subsequently rubbing one out, a manís sperm becomes a giant monster stalking NYC. Itís got Ray Wise and Eric Roberts and not a hint of taste or subtlety. Adam Greenís The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is similarly amusing, with an effeminate Hitler creating a Jewish golem that turns on him. That one may offend a few people, but itís actually reasonable harmless. But I Was a Teenage Werebear is just plain awful. Sorry. You get the gas face, Tim Sullivan. It is meant to be a mash-up of a swinging 60ís beach musical and The Lost Boys, with a heaping helping of BDSM and homosexuality thrown in. It succeeds in being completely offensive and entirely unwatchable.
The bookending segment, Zom-B-Movie, is just as much of a mixed bag. Some of the actors are good, some hammy, and some of the jokes are funny while others are tasteless in the bad way. I guess my main problem is that the filmmakers decided to just be vulgar, and figured if they threw as many dick and fart jokes at the wall as possible, some of them would stick (if youíll excuse the on the nose vernacular). It felt manipulative. Even the references to other films become tedious. There were a few nice lines thrown in, but then they decided to make a joke about referencing other films, and started throwing out lines that were not from horror films, and did not fit the action at all.
And thatís where Iíll leave it: I know that the filmmakers were attempting to have fun, and be crass and have a good time, but I think this one is a misfire. I did not have a jovial good time with some politically incorrect humor: I was saddened that this collection of pee-pee and doo-doo jokes is whatís supposed to pass for a horror homage.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, Widescreen, 1.78:1. Most of the film is specifically designed to look old and weathered, but the present-day stuff is garden-variety shot on video quality. But the transfer in general is solid.
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, with optional English and Spanish subtitles.
Video Commentary: This is a commentary featuring all four directors, done as a video inset in the upper left hand corner of the screen. The guys are affable and entertaining, and are fully behind their movie. More power to them, even if I donít agree. I will say that I donít see the benefit of the video portion. They donít do interpretive dance or anything. They just sit there and block a portion of the screen. Which I guess I should thank them for.
The Making of The Diary of Anne Frankenstein: This is a pretty comprehensive making of piece, clocking in at 23-minutes. Longer than the short itself, I think. The funniest thing is that the title was already in place when Adam Green was hired on to the project, and he put the very funny Joel Moore in as Hitler so that no one could possibly take the material seriously. And as I said in the review proper, this is one of the higher points of the film. The best part is that all the other actors than Moore spoke German, while he just made it all up as he went along.
Wadzilla Deleted Scenes: These are mostly early FX scenes, before the graphics were finalized. The most important one is Kelly Divine, as the Statue of Liberty, booty popping.
I Was A Teenage Werebear: Inside this link are actually two features: both a making of doc and a selection of deleted scenes. The making of is mostly interviews cut over scenes from the short with a sprinkling of behind the scenes footage. The collection of deleted scenes clocks in at a whopping 14-minutes and are mostly trimmed fat.
Zom-B-Movie Deleted Scenes: Only four minutes of pesky character development here. Good thing they chopped that out.
Famous Monsters: A quickie interview with the four directors at Comic-Con done by the titular magazine.
Salfen Comic-Con Interview: Pretty similar to the above interview, except two minutes longer and heavily artifacted.
Trailers: Three trailers, here: One for Chillerama proper, and one each for the shorts I Was A Teenage Werebear and Wadzilla.
Even though there are a few bright spots in Chillerama, I canít really recommend it. Too much of it is either boring or just depressingly sophomoric. Any film by each of the individual directors would be a better bet than watching this collection of puerile nonsense.