Chillerama (The Preview Cut) (2011)
Starring Richard Riehle, Adam Rifkin, Ray Wise, Eric Roberts, Joel David Moore, Kristina Klebe, Kane Hodder, Anton Troy, Brent Corrigan, Lin Shaye, Adam Robitel, Ron Jeremy, Ed Ackerman, AJ Bowen, Remy Lynch, Briana McKay Lynch, Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan, Laura Ortiz, Alice Haig
Directed by Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green
One of my first drive-in theater memories was watching Reform School Girls incognito from the back seat of our car as my mother ogled Tom Cruise in Top Gun in the front seat. It’s a very clear memory. The film had no sound since the screen was for other cars to view, but I distinctly remember boobies, lots of boobies. I was nine years old and learned then and there I flippin’ loved the drive-in theater.
There’s something special about the drive-in experience, and sadly it seems most people nowadays will never know what that is like. One of the great things about my memories of visiting such an establishment as a child was the strange and often bloody movies I caught glimpses of off other screens when I was supposed to be paying attention to the one in front of me.
I had almost completely forgotten how cool and sort of wrong in a really right way those times were. With the upcoming horror anthology Chillerama, I’ve been reminded, and for one magical evening I felt like that nine-year-old kid again. Meaning, giddy with a boner. Okay ... not really. Okay ... really.
Chillerama is already being compared to the likes of Creepshow since it seems that we’ve been quite lacking in the Monstervision-style horror anthology movies I remember growing up watching in the 80s. Regardless of comparisons to movies that came before it, Chillerama is a wildly nasty and fun moviegoing experience on its own.
The film is made up of four individual segments unique to the filmmakers who directed them. Each one is an homage to a different genre that falls under the all-encompassing umbrella of "horror". The movie brings you enough blood, feces, sperm, and laughs to ... well, do whatever you need to do with blood, feces, sperm, and laughs. (Yeesh, you people are sick!)
Adam Rifkin starts it off with Wadzilla, a throwback to Fifties monster movies where the monster in question is a giant sperm and its motive is to literally cum all over the place. The creature animated by the Chiodo Brothers really must be seen to be fully comprehended. Of the four segments, Rifkin’s is the most spot-on in terms of capturing the proposed era and spirit of its time. And it's also the most entertaining. There's just no way to watch it without a grin on your face stretching from ear-to-ear. You'll laugh. You'll cringe! You'll love it!!
Tim Sullivan’s I Was A Teenage Werebear is next, and it tells the story of a gay teenager struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality through a 1960s musical Jon Waters-inspired lens. While enjoyable for the most part, this segment is just too long and feels more padded than provocative. The idea behind this segment is genius, but a few of the musical numbers feel completely unnecessary. Overall it takes itself a bit too seriously and at times comes off more preachy than fun. While still entertaining, it is the least effective of the bunch.
Adam Green’s Diary Of Anne Frankenstein left a smile on my Jewish heart’s face. His is the story of the Frankenstein monster if said monster were a Rabbi. Shot as a classic black-and-white monster movie from the Thirties and Forties, the story here follows Adolf Hitler’s pursuit to bring the dead to life by using parts of cadavers to build a Nazi super-soldier. Joel David Moore’s German gibberish ("Osh Kosh Begosh") supplies steady laughter from the audience, Kristina Klebe is as sexy as she is funny as Eva Braun, and Kane Hodder as the monster, Meshugannuh, is nothing short of priceless. The gags fly at the audience in a fast and furious manner, and there are even a few Jewish jokes that only members of the tribe will appreciate. This tribe member approves wholeheartedly!
Finally, the wrap-around that ties all of this chaos together is Joe Lynch’s Zom-B Movie, which tells the story of the attendees at the Kaufman Drive-In who end up becoming entrenched in a zombie apocalypse of the horny kind. This is the first time I have ever seen a film where zombies thirst for sex and humping over brain eating. Thusly, the outcome is a raunchy, gooey fun time and the perfect storyline to bring this roller coaster ride of a movie together. Special shout-out to the great Richard Riehle as Cecil Kaufman, who steals the whole damned show in a heartwarming, yet badass manner.
Let me stress ... the cut of the film shown at Comic-Con is still a work in progress. The rating below reflects that and is subject to change once the final cut is released. Despite any shortcomings as a result of this being an early version, Chillerama still delivers the most offensively nostalgic fun time I’ve personally experienced in theaters in I don’t know how long.
The film is set to go on tour later this year to theaters and drive-ins around the country, settling down on DVD and On Demand afterward. Chillerama is meant to be peeped in a theater with other like-minded deviants and perverts so I’d see it in that environment if I were you.
3 1/2 out of 5