Review: Chillerama / Directors: Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan / Screenplay: Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan / Starring: Adam Rifkin, Sarah Mutch, Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Tania Raymonde, Eric Roberts, Miles Dougal / Release date: (USA) out now, (UK) TBC
It's the last night of the old Kaufman drive in, and as a final bow, they are putting on a bill of rare and unseen horror films. A great set up for the three mini films Chillerama has to offer.
The linking story, “Zom B- Movie” (directed by Joe Lynch) begins with Floyd (Miles Dougal) digging up his ex-wife for a bit of necro fun, only for her to wake from her eternal slumber and give him a nasty bite on the scotum, "You bitch! You bit off my bean bag!!" Left ball-less and oozing a neon goo, Floyd heads to his job at the drive in. Trouble is, everywhere he goes, and everything he touches gets infected with the goo. But, enough of that for now, as Cecil B. Kaufman (Richard Riehle) is ready to roll our first feature...
"Wadzilla" Directed by Adam (Detroit Rock City) Rifkin, this 50s atomic monster spoof stars Ray (Twin Peaks) Wise as Doctor Weems who has a revolutionary cure for a low sperm count. His test subject, Miles (Rifkin) takes the drug which is meant to increase the potency of his solitary sperm, but the outcome is not what they had hoped for. Miles now produces one enormous sperm, which is growing out of control and on the loose. This section sets the tone perfectly, a lot of fun with lots of gross out jokes and retro style bad SFX. Part Godzilla, part Fiend Without A Face and part American Pie. Plus throw in Eric Roberts as General Bukkake, you just know you're gonna love it.
"I Was A Teenage Werebear", by Tim Sullivan follows, and is a throwback to the 60s beach movies. It's even a musical, dammit! Ricky (Sean Paul Lockhart, infamous for being the male equivalent of Tracy Lords when he started in gay porn films) is a clean cut college kid who is distracted by the leather clad bad boys, led by Talon (Anton Troy). Turns out Talon and his gang are Werebears, homosexual predators who are out to pay back those who haven't accepted them. The wonderful Lin Shaye pops up for a second time (she also plays a hobo in Wadzilla) as the gypsy Nurse Maleva, who gives Ricky advice and recites an old saying that might be oddly familiar..
"Even a boy who thinks he's straight, yet shaves his balls by night, may become a werebear when the hormones age, and the latent urge takes flight"
This section doesn't resort to ridicule and playing it camp, despite the gay characters being depicted as the 'monsters', (although there has always been a subtle connection between the horror film monster and the fear of homosexuals) and it actually handles the whole 'coming to terms with your sexuality' bit well. Sullivan's section is the weakest of the bunch, but still entertaining with some fun moments. It did remind me, however that I must watch "Curse Of The Queerwolf" sometime soon...
Next up, after another linking thread with the neon goo spreading like wild fire and seemingly turning everyone into mindless sex mad zombies (or your average teen)... "The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein". Adam (Hatchet) Green's contribution is a black and white, German language historical piece *ahem* Young Anne is in hiding with her family, but has found a book that belong to her Grandfather, who just so happened to be the mad scientist Frankenstein! "That is why we had to shorten our name".
Hitler (Joel David Moore) finds the family, and the book and sets about creating a creature that will help him in his conquest. The monster (Kane Hodder) has a very Hasidic look, however, and refuses to kill for the Fuhrer. Taking a leaf from the Mel Brooks school of offensive filmmaking, Green manages to make a hilarious section, even if we've seen most of the gags done before (stunt men change colour, subtitles don't match the dialogue, the monster even passes around the side of the sets like they used to do in It's Garry Shandling's Show).
Just as we are about to be 'treated' to our next feature, “Deathecation”, directed and introduced by the mysterious Fernando Phagabeefy (which may be for the best, since this movie is said to make the audience simultaneously open their bowels), the theatre is overrun with zombies, all frantically copulating with what ever they can find. Can our heroes escape?
Chillerama is a film I've been looking forward to for a while, being a fan of Creepshow and the Amicus films, and fortunately it didn't disappoint. Much more of a comedy than horror (we don't really care if our heroes escape) and full of OTT splatter effects, it's kind of like The Kentucky Fried Creepshow, if you like. Packed full of in-jokes ("what would Simon Pegg do?") and quick, throw away gags that will make you want to watch it all over again. So a success, then? Well, partly. This is a perfect flick to watch with your buddies on a boozy night in, but if you're a lone viewer, you may fast forward to your favourite bits after you've seen it a few times. That said, it is very funny and is full of the kind of loving pastiches that horror geeks will love.
Hopefully Chillerama will be unleashed in the UK soon, until then, import the DVD/Blu-ray - If you don't mind getting dirty and sticky - you won't regret it!