DVD Review of tasteless, gross-out horror/comedy anthology film Chillerama
Image courtesy of eOne Films
Dir: Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch
Cast: Richard Riehle, Adam Rifkin, Ray Wise, Joel David Moore, Lin Shaye
USA, 2011 (DVD release)
Reason to see: Recent resurgence of love for B-Movies
It's odd how sometimes you think you are prepared for something going in, and then it turns out that you aren't anywhere close to prepared and with Chillerama I wonder if it's possible for anyone to be prepared. Usually I'm all for going in blind or just having a general sense of a film (hence the spoiler-free reviews, walk the walk!), and I thought I knew enough with the description of 'tasteless' film especially as this year I quite re-kindled a love for B-Movies, but nothing, and I really mean nothing, could have prepared me for the awfulness of this anthology. I can take the bad jokes and even roll-my-eyes at the gratuitous nudity, but the ridiculous number of male-centric crotch jokes, inferences, explosion, expectation of interest/activity, what-have-you was so rampant I became disinterested very quickly and that's just from the first short Wadzilla and the folks-at-a-drive-in connecting piece Zom-B-Movie. That focus certainly comes up (har, har) again and again and with it alone I'm still at the disinterested/not the audience phase but don't really begrudge it. Until we hit the second short I Was a Teenaged Werebear, the one I was most looking forward to and it actually has a pretty hilarious campy beach-movie tone and 50's feel and bad (on purpose) make up/effects that were all in good fun. But I stop the buck at films that talk about 'curing gayness' as comedy. Yeah. That's not going to fly with me, and to be honest I'm surprized to see it in a film anymore. So because of that I had a really hard time concentrating or caring on the remaining shorts The Diary of Anne Frankenstein (great title, and actually an interesting concept but way too long and pretty stale) as well as the final non-short that tries to push probably the biggest gross out of them all, and I did have a hard time watching it which is unusual for me to say.
I think I'm kind of over the nostalgia of things gone by that they pull together with the drive-in theme and setting, and although creative takes and interesting ideas are the start of many of the shorts, it does feel like a lot of re-hashing of just excuses to gross people out or maybe turn them on? Neither worked for me!
Overall, it's a lot of gross-out for grown-ups, or at least young grown-ups. The nicest thing I can say is if you like Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead then you'll like Chillerama.
Directors' Audio Commentary, The Making-of The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, Wadzilla Deleted Scenes, I Was A Teenaged Werebear Behind-the-Scenes & Deleted Scenes, Zom-B-Movie Deleted Scenes, Famous Monsters & Salfen Comic-Con Interview
Chillerama is available on DVD as of November 29, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com
Shannon's Overall View:
I hated it
I won't watch it again
I can't technically recommend it, but will concur that 'tasteless' hits it
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© Shannon Ridler, 2011
Anton Troy in CHILLERAMA Courtesy of eOne Films - I Was a Teenaged Werebear
Sean Paul Lockhart in CHILLERAMA Courtesy of eOne Films - I Was a Teenaged Werebear
A scene from CHILLERAMA Courtesy of eOne Films - Wadzilla
A scene from CHILLERAMA Courtesy of eOne Films - Diary of Anne Frankenstein