Exclusive Interview and Photos: Tim Sullivan, Adam Rifkin and Anton Troy on the Chillerama Road Tour This Week in Hollywood and Chicago!
This week the balls-out horror anthology Chillerama, which revels in all the things we love about b-grade genre movies, celebrates two big stops on its 2011 Road Tour- on September 15, the filmmakers and cast head to the world famous Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the Los Angeles premiere of the film. Fans in attendance will not only have the chance to see the highly anticipated horror anthology film before its release but will see the film projected on the wall of an actual mausoleum. In addition, attendees can win special Chillerama souvenirs at the event and will have their choice of some of LA’s most renowned food trucks for refreshments as well.
Then, just a few days later on September 17, directors Tim Sullivan and Adam Rifkin will be joined by I Was a Teenage Werebear star Anton Troy at the Midway Drive-In in Sterling, Illinois for the Midwest premiere of the flick as part of Midway's "Dusk to Dawn HorrorFest", which also includes screenings of Sullivan's 2001 Maniacs, Joe Dante's classic The Howling and the 1987 cult classic Blood Diner.
Dread Central recently caught up with Sullivan, Rifkin and Troy to chat about all things Chillerama Road Tour-related and get the skinny from the trio on what kind of madness is in store for fans at both of this week's screenings.
For both Sullivan and Rifkin the idea of taking Chillerama on a world-wide road tour (the flick has screened already in places like San Diego to London over the last few weeks) was pretty much a given from the start. "The whole idea behind Chillerama was to pay tribute to the experience and event of going to the movies, something that I truly believe has been lost in this era where people can download anything and then watch it on their cell phone," said Sullivan. "Going to the movies, especially horror movies, was always a communal event for me. So it’s great to be able to actually take this movie on the road and literally bring it to the fans. Nothing beats a jacked up audience screaming and yelling and talking back to the screen."
Rifkin said, "It's always way more fun to see a movie in a packed house of cheering fans than it is to hear second-hand that they laughed at the jokes. There's a palpable and contagious energy to seeing a movie with a large group. The laughs are always funnier, and the screams are always scarier. To be able to go from concept to script to production to seeing what we shot playing for a group of enthusiastic movie lovers is always a real thrill for me. We made this movie because we are all fans ourselves as much as we are filmmakers. This movie really is for the fans, by the fans," added Rifkin.
Sullivan went on to discuss his excitement over sharing the anthology with eager horror fans at two very distinct venues- the Hollywood Forever cemetery and the Midway Drive-In, which is one of the few remaining drive-ins still running in the country. "This week we are showing Chillerama at both a cemetery and then at a drive-in. I mean, only if Brad Pitt were watching it with me could it get any better than that! I have heard so many amazing things about the Midway Drive-In and Flashback Weekend, and both Mike and Mia (Kerz) are the real deal, keeping it alive for those who remember and those who have yet to experience what it’s like to see blood and guts and tits and ass on an outdoor movie screen. I’m getting 'excited' just thinking about it!"
"What's even cooler is that at the Midway this upcoming weekend we are also showing a super rare 35mm screening of 2001 Maniacs, which to my knowledge is the first time that the movie has ever been shown at a drive-in! How cool is that?" added Sullivan.
"Once you see Chillerama, you'll agree- this movie could never play in a mall multiplex," explained Rifkin. "It's impossible- the film is just too outrageous and too offensive. It would be picketed before the end of the first reel. The plan from the very beginning was always to release the film in a fun and creative way, and the fact that two of our stops on the road tour are the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the Midway Drive-In is just perfect."
"The Hollywood Cemetery is a piece of genuine Hollywood history, which means we're going to be watching Chillerama with Bela Lugosi and Marilyn Monroe when you think about it! And as far as the Midway Drive-In goes, it's one of the last great monuments to showmanship cinema left in the country. These kinds of movies are meant to be played at a retro drive-in, and you just can't find them anymore so thank god for people like Mike and Mia, who fight to keep those kinds of venues alive," added Rifkin.
Troy, who grew up after the "drive-in generation", discussed how the throwback feel of Chillerama lends itself exceptionally well to experiencing the flick under the stars. "After being Chilleramafied by these evil geniuses, I have to keep reminding myself what decade I'm in! I think it sucks that my generation largely missed out on the magic that is the drive-in. I was fortunate enough to go to a drive-in as a kid, and I think it's just a way cooler experience to see movies like that. So I am very excited to head to the Midway Drive-In as some of my best friends are from Chicago, and I have heard all about the infamous Svengoolie, too. But to also see a monster movie like Chillerama at a cemetery? That is just awesome, too!"
So what kind of madness are Rifkin, Sullivan and Troy planning for fans in attendance beyond screening Chillerama? Rifkin offers up what he's planning for his hilarious contribution to the Road Tour experience. "I probably shouldn't reveal this here, but for every Road Tour stop I'm able to attend, I plan on force-feeding myself multiple gallons of spoiled egg salad until my stomach bursts, spraying egg salad all over the screaming crowd (this being an act I perfected when I was performing 'extreme mime' while living on the streets of Vienna in the 90s), all to the accompaniment of Yo-Yo Ma's kid brother Ho-Ho Ma on the Kazoozaphone. But beyond that, I can say no more!"
"Not really sure I can compete with what Rifkin has planned, but for all those still wanting dessert after dinner- I will be singing a couple of newly coined classic doo wop numbers in Chicago that I did in the I Was a Teenage Werebear segment of the film live. Oh, and there may be some groovy signings, too, for fans," added Troy.
With the 12-year-long journey to getting Chillerama made behind them, we asked both Sullivan and Rifkin to reflect on what this entire experience has been like for them.
"When making any movie, you are always faced with a multitude of challenges that all conspire to try and compromise your vision- from budget issues to weather issues to technical issues, making movies is tough even when everything is going right," said Rifkin. "That being said, making Chillerama was by far the most fun any of us has ever had shooting a film. Bringing this insane reality to the screen just had us all giddy with delight and disbelief the whole time- we still can't believe someone let us make it! And I truly believe the best is yet to come."
Sullivan added, "When you have four very distinct personalities, you of course have four very different viewpoints on everything. That can be a bit of a challenge in a democracy, but the good news is, unlike our government, me, Rifkin, Adam Green and Joe Lynch always found a way to work together; and that’s a good thing because by challenging each other, I believe we ultimately brought out the creative best in each of us."
Look for Chillerama and the whole crazy gang behind the flick at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on September 15th. For those of you in the Midwest, look for Sullivan, Rifkin and Troy at the Midway Drive-In on September 17th as part of the "Dusk to Dawn HorrorFest" which runs from 8pm until 5am.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Chill out in the comments section below!