Chillerama (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, and Tim Sullivan
MPAA Rating: NR
Approx. 120 min.
Z-rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Cheese Factor: 4 stars out of 5
Ever since Grindhouse popularized throwbacks to exploitation films of yesteryear, we've had plenty of filmmakers jump on the bandwagon. Purposely "degrading" the quality of their film (by adding effects to make the film look damaged) or resurrecting a forgotten genre of film. This film tries to do the same with "Drive In" movies but is only partially successful. Done anthology style, each segment is handled by a different director and is devoted to a different genre of "B-movies."
The first is a throwback to 1950's monster movies, titled "Wadzilla", and is easily my favorite of all the segments. A guy is taking an experimental drug that is supposed to raise his sperm count but just enlarges his sperm to monstrous proportions instead. I've been a fan of monster movies since I was a kid and seeing a giant mutant sperm monster terrorize a city made me giggle like I was in middle school. The stop motion effects really make this segment a lot of fun.
The second segment is called "I Was A Teenage Werebear" and is probably my least favorite segment of this entire film. A lot of people have a problem with the homosexual aspect of this segment (the term "bear" is used in the gay community to describe big, burly men with lots of body hair) but that's not what bothered me. Some of the gay jokes were actually pretty funny to me but the decision to go with a musical segment in the middle of this movie seemed... out of place. Not being a huge fan of musicals myself, this was more a problem of personal preference. I thought it was funny to see Elise (the spiritual lady from Insidious) warning of werebears though
"The Diary of Anne Frankenstein" is absolutely hilarious! This black & white segment spoofs old monster movies and features Joel David Moore as Hitler spouting a bunch of fake German at his troops. If you aren't easily offended, this segment was probably the funniest. With a title like that, how can you take this segment seriously at all?
Finally, there's "Zom-B-Movie", which spoof the zombie genre and also serves as the wraparound story to the entire film. This one gives new meaning to the phrase "Shoot 'em in the head!" I absolutely LOVED the idea of going with a bright blue goo for this segment. I really love movies with green, blue, or multi-colored ooze and this segment reminded me of Street Trash or some Troma film. The teenage couple is pretty cute, quoting movies as they run around killing zombies.
Nudity: Some guy gets his penis chewed off and his balls gnawed on within the first 5 minutes of the film! Other than that, most of the nudity is found in the final segment, Zom-B-Movie. A lot of fake penises are shown in that segment too. Saving the best for last maybe?
Gore: There are some silly gore effects like a coach that gets his head crushed and exploding all over a high school student. Most of the gore is humorous though with some of it being replaced by the blue goo in the final segment. I really can't stress enough how much I adore the splattering of bright, glowing ooze... like in the picture above where some poor bastard takes it to the face!
Awesome: Pretty awesome. The movie overall was a ton of fun to watch but just falls short of earning the title of "The Ultimate Midnight Movie." Although most segments were pretty fun to watch individually, the movie as a whole just needed something to make it more memorable. I always reference Trick 'r Treat because it is still one of my favorite anthology films to date (and probably the best one to come out in recent years), but it was probably easier to have an interweaving story with just a single director working on it. Whatever the case may be, Chillerama is a fun piece of entertainment for hardcore horror fans but ultimate ends up becoming what it tried so hard to spoof, a B-movie. I still loved it though, I would play this one closer to the end of a Halloween party for the movie lovers who stick around.