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Dread Central hit the world premiere of the Chillerama anthology film (review here) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, last night and while on the red carpet chatted with the flick’s directors – Adam Green, Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan – and more before taking in the screening with an enthusiastic and boisterous audience of over 3,000. Read on for Part 1 of our coverage and some ocular candy!
For those unfamiliar with Hollywood Forever, the cemetery has in recent years become a mecca for cineastes with summer film screenings taking place on its grounds nearly every weekend (films are projected onto the wall of its massive mausoleum). Hundreds gather for these events, and last night was no exception. Food trucks abounded as the vociferous audience – toting blankets and bottles of wine – set up on the lawn in anticipation. Inside the mausoleum filmmakers and industry folks gathered to chat over cocktails while outside the carpet heated up.
In addition to the directors of Chillerama (the flick is now currently on its ‘Roadshow’ tour of the U.S., and hits Blu-ray, DVD and VOD on November 29th), cast members Kane Hodder, Kristina Klebe, AJ Bowen, Lin Shaye, Gabby West, R.A. Mihailoff, Kaili Thorne, Anton Troy and Joel David Moore were on hand, as were Fright Night director Tom Holland, Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), actress Rileah Vanderbilt, Tyler Mane (RZ’s Halloween), Derek Mears (Friday the 13th (2009), actor Jay Gillespie (Hellraiser: Revelations), The Graves producers Brian and Dean Reynolds, Piranha 3DD director John Gulager, actress Joanna Angel (Breath of Hate), Max (son of John) Landis and more.
Speaking with Sullivan (who previously directed 2001 Maniacs, among others) of the inception of Chillerama (he directed the 60’s beach-movie send-up “I Was A Teenage Werebear” segment – see our set report here), the filmmaker stated, ”You were the only person who was on set! And here we are! Adam Rifkin and I conceived this project when we were working together on Detroit Rock City. Originally the idea was that it was going to be famous monsters of films, and we thought it would have Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Wolfman, and we thought we’d do a movie that had updated versions of those classic monsters, and that the [narrative] arena would be that of a drive-in movie, and it was going to happen until Famous Monsters of Filmland fell apart, but we still kept the concept and hung on to it for a decade. When Adam Green and Joe Lynch arrived, we realized these were the missing members. When Rifkin and I conceptualized this, though, all the way back in the late 90’s, which is what I call the ‘cock-tease’ horror movement, with Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, where instead of a monster on a poster it was some pouty ingénue who was on hiatus from ‘Melrose Place’ that week, and so we wanted to bring back monster movies, and bring back the event of going to see a movie.”
As for the well-attended event and the rather mobbed carpet, “I can’t believe that here we are not only premiering this film but that it’s the first night of the tour. In two days me and Rifkin and Anton Troy are going to be in Chicago, showing it at a drive-in! Every week for the next three months we are going to be on tour bringing back the old-school event of going to a movie, and I really have to thank Rifkin for the screening here because it was his idea. We are here at a cemetery in Hollywood about to show it to the people that inspired it, and this movie is a ‘thank you’ to our inspirations.”
Concerning what genre fans can expect in regard to supplemental material on the eventual disc release of Chillerama, Sullivan stated, “There’s a crazy, twisted, fucked-up commentary from the four of us, and it’s like listening to Monty Python, and each segment has its own mini-documentary. Each film will also have its own trailer and lobby-card and poster that will be something you can only get on the disc.”
Speaking with Frozen and Hatchet director Adam Green (who helmed the outrageously funny Chillerama segment “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein”, which stars Hodder, Klebe and Moore) of the premiere, “It’s nuts, right? [My wife] Rileah and I were here for ‘The Walking Dead’ premiere, and I thought, ‘I hope that happens for one of my things some day,’ and less than a year later, here we are.”
While technically last night was the ‘World Premiere’ of the film, Chillerama has already been making rounds of the festival circuit, and Green said of the audience and critical reaction to his and his cohorts’ decidedly non-PC film, “We screened it in Hamburg and Berlin and London, and it’s great that the film’s sense of humor is very universal because we had no idea what people were going to think because in a way it’s a very selfish movie. It’s what we just felt like making, and it’s so off-the-wall, and it’s great to see that so many people have the same sense of humor. Even when someone is offended and doesn’t like it, they have nothing to stand on because they’ll be like, ‘It’s a bunch of gross-out, poop and fart jokes’, and we’re like, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what it is!’ And it’s actually funny watching people trying to take it seriously because they end up looking like an idiot. Overall, though, I’m shocked by how many people have gotten the sense of humor, and the spirit of it, because we thought we were going to get skewered out of the gate. I’m very happy, though, that it’s over. It was a long haul and a two-year process with all of the pieces that had to come together so I’m excited to celebrate the completion of it tonight and to get it out to everyone.”
Dread asked Green, given the positive reaction to Chillerama, what the future holds for the property, to which he replied, “It seems like it is already right on track to have a Chillerama Vol. 2, and what we’ve always said was that [were that to happen] we would pick the titles [of the segments] and then pick directors and give them those titles because that’s sort of what happened to us. With ‘The Diary of Anne Frankenstein’ I did not come up with that. Rifkin did and was like, ‘That’s the segment you are going to do,’ and I was like, ‘How the fuck do you do that?’ So I want to do that to someone else next time so if we can pick four new directors and have them do it, it would be great. It would be great to see it keep going.”
Of his partial inspiration for Chillerama Green added, “I love [2007’s] Grindhouse. I thought that was one of the best times I’ve had at the movies in the last ten years, but it was a $50 million dollar movie that was supposed to be a low budget movie, and we made a real version of that, that really was low budget and that really embraced that era, and it’s great that so many people have identified that right away and have been like, ‘This is what the shit used to be like!’ It’s so down and dirty, and there’s nothing fancy about it, and I want other filmmakers to get the chance to do what we did because it’s fun! It reminds you of why you got into this [filmmaking] in the first place.”
For more from the carpet, including interviews with Rifkin, Bowen, Shaye, West, Klebe and more, stay tuned for Part 2 of our Chillerama premiere coverage next week, and in the interim visit Chillerama online.
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