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Chillerama – 8

Director – Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch

Cast – Adam Rifkin, Sara Much, Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Sean Paul Lockhart, Anton Troy, Gabby West, Adam Robitel, Thomas Colby, Joel David Moore, Kristina Klebe, Kane Hodder, Florian Klein, Matthew Temple, Laura Ortiz, Jim Ward, Silvia Moore, Melinda Y. Cohen, Richard Riehle, Corey Jones, Kaili Thorne, Brendan McReary, Ward Roberts, AJ Bowen, Sunny Lane

Release Year – 2011

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Horror anthologies are nothing new to the genre, and my love for them has left me unsatisfied at the numerous anthologies of recent day that just downright suck. Thankfully, recent horror veteran Adam Green gathered a few other horror buds and gave us one of the most fun horror films of the year in Chillerama. While pretty much every other major horror reviewer has bashed this piece I still went in hoping for a good time despite everything I had read, and I applaud Adam Green & co. for giving me a much better experience than I expected. Full of laughs, gore, and zany horror that left me laughing aloud on numerous occasions, Chillerama is a damn fun film that has received ridiculous criticism for simply giving us horror fans what we want to see.

On the closing night of the last drive-in theater in America, theater owner Cecil B. Kaufman puts forth the greatest drive-in experience of all time: a marathon of four lost prints spanning fourth decades of horror that have never before been shown to the public. As his faithful cinephiles show up en masse the films deliver the goods on the silver screen, however this will not only be the final night for the theater but for all of its moviegoers as well.

One reason why I love horror anthologies so much is that the good ones usually provide great shout-outs for horror fans to enjoy. Creepshow did it, paying homage to horror comics of the 50s and 60s, and Adam Green’s Chillerama does the same for the drive-in horror schlock-fests that used to adorn our country. One sweet thing about this piece is that each segment comes written and directed by a different person, all of whom have had something to do with the horror genre in the past. The prologue begins with a group of friends catching their last set of flicks at Kaufman’s theater, which unbeknowing to them will be serving popcorn with an additive “ingredient” supplied by a theater-worker(Ray Wise) after suffering an unfortunate accident. I really enjoyed how heavily used the prologue was, coming in for a few minutes at a time after every film shown on screen and then fully developing into a storyline of its own to close out Chillerama in epic fashion.

The first showing is “Wadzilla”, which comes from Detroit Rock City director Adam Rifkin and centers on a dorky and recently single man named Miles Munson. Miles has a problem; a recent trip to a sperm bank exposed him to the fact that he not only has a low sperm count but…he only has ONE sperm. His urologist suggests he be a test subject for a new drug not yet submitted for FDA approval that will not increase his sperm count but instead increase the strength of the sperm he has. The lonely Miles bites and takes the doctor’s offer, unknowingly setting himself up to deliver one massive “load” he never saw coming.

If you don’t get it by now, the drug Miles takes forces his one sperm to ejaculate itself from his body and grow up to gargantuan size and take over New York City. Yeah, Chillerama is about as tongue-in-cheek as it gets. This was a great way to start off the segments and throw us into the zany atmosphere that these four directors would provide, plus who has really seen a film where a giant sperm devours damn Yankees and copulates with the Statue of Liberty? Rifkin’s story is fun and his direction makes it even more fun by never taking itself seriously and giving us some laughable FX that I found tasteful despite the obvious absence of technology. This entry is tied for the worst of the film, however that does not matter much given none of the entries were unenjoyable.

Next Up: Tim Sullivan(2001 Maniacs)’s “I Was A Teenage Werebear”. This is the brightest entry in the film, a pseudo-musical about a young high school jock who suffers a bite from a wrestling classmate that turns him into a teenage werebear. Lots of crazy antics ensue as he uses his powers to fight against the clan of werebears that “turned” him and crash a high school dance to deliver pain and gore, which results in some nice anal trauma that I never saw coming but should have expected given the nature of this film. This entry ties with “Wadzilla” for me as one of the lesser entries, maybe because I do not like musicals, but Tim Sullivan managed to make this a fun and enjoyable piece with lots of laugh out scenes that I really dug.

The third entry is my favorite of the four: “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein”. Written and directed by Adam Green (Hatchet, Hatchet II, Frozen, Spiral) and starring Green favorites Joel Moore as Adolf Hitler and Kane Hodder(Friday the 13th Part 7/8/9/X, Hatchet I/II) as the monster, this is one very enjoyable piece shown in black and white as well as in the German language – well, sort of in the German language. Lots of laughs ensue due to Green’s very funny screenplay that employs Hitler fumbling German on numerous occassions as I heard the words “Boba Fet”, “Oshcoskbgosh” and “Salacius Crumb” during the film, which also came with a few good laughs provided by his usage of the other characters as well. Kane Hodder was great as usual as the brooding monster, a Jewish monster who employs a menorah and dradle as his weapons of death when things become awry.

The last entry is “Deathication”, which plays on the term “defication” giving it consists entirely of people taking explosive shits. This segment is almost a joke and plays directly into the prologue, which then itself becomes one of the segments titled “Zom B Movie”. This entry is tied with the previous one as my favorite, taking its course throughout the film then finishing the experience with a final act consisting of non-stop sex-crazed zombie action. The gore is heavy, the laughs are heavy, and the cheese reigns supreme as writer/director Joe Lynch gives us the most exciting entry in the film and the one consisting of the most overall carnage. It was only fitting to end this drive-in homage synonymously with the collapse of Kaufman’s drive-in, making for one of the most enjoyable horror films I have seen this year.

Overall, Chillerama is an awesome horror experience that gives us numerous elements of horror in four well-told and well-directed segments. Who cares what the other critics are saying, there are so many laugh-out-loud sequences and lots of gory goodness to adorn the screen, and complimented with lots of taboo antics (sperm, anal trauma, etc) that this is one experience I recommend to all horror fans who enjoy good cheese.

Rating: 8/10

  1. April 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Thiese were funny! I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt!

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Oh I laughed too. I always appreciate cheesy horror in all of its fine forms.

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