The film was shot on an extremely low budget of $300,000, but it is still entertaining to see what can be done on this amount of money. The plan is to make more anthologies like this with other directors in years to come. Chillerama is one of those movies that you have to be prepared to switch your brain off from the beginning and just have fun. If you are a fan of anthology horror films like Creeepshow or more recently Grindhouse, you will love this new take on that classic genre. The anthology is comprised of Wadzilla by Rifkin, I Was A Teenage Werebear by Sullivan, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein by Green and Zom-B-Movie, which is the bookend storyline directed by Lynch.
Wadzilla is a send up to the 50s-style monster movies, and it reminded me of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Rifkin stars as Miles Munson, a guy suffering from low sperm count, so low that when he ejaculates he produces only one sperm. He visits his doctor, Dr. Weems, played by veteran character actor Ray Wise (Twin Peaks), Dr Weems puts Munson on an experimental drug to strengthen his sperm. Unfortunately his sperm becomes uncontrollable in a very amusing way. To find out what happens you will just have to watch the movie. Wadzilla is by far one of the best pieces of Chillerama. I think that the costuming and the sound quality were wonderful. Rifkin did a great job with the money he had to pull off a fun and entertaining piece of film unlike any you have seen before.
Sullivan’s I Was a Teenage Werebear, takes audiences back to the days of films like Beach Blanket Bingo. Imaigine Rebel Without A Cause set on the beach with a heavy dose of musical numbers and homosexuality thrown in and you have an idea of what this film is like. It is actually one of the most unique cinema experiences I have ever seen. Ricky (Lockhart) is your typical high schooler, except he has homosexual urges that go into overdrive when leather jacket-wearing Talon (Troy) arrives. Talon inexplicably bits Ricky on the butt during a P.E. wrestling match, which turns him into a Werebear. This segment is almost too difficult to put into words. I like the use of the musical numbers, but there was a bit too many of them for my tastes. I would have rather seen more story development.
Up next is The Diary of Anne Frankenstein by Green. I found myself shaking my head with a mixture of laughter and disbelief at what I was watching. If Green was going for one of the most unique segment of the bunch, he succeeded. The segment does a play on the Anne Frank story, but with Frankenstein. Adolf Hitler (Joel David Moore) find and kill Anne Frankenstein and her family. Hitler finds the diary of their grandfather, Victor Frankenstein, and assembles his own creature with body parts called the Meshugganuh (Hodder). As you can imagine things go horribly wrong, but you will have to watch to find out what happens. The black and white and grainy film along with the jumpy camera were nice touches, but overused at times. I would have rather the segment not been in German, it seemed a bit much to me.
I was surprised and disgusted to the point of literal illness with the quick short Deathecation. The short is introduced by Fernando Phagabeefy, who calls it the “most horrifying piece of film making ever conceived, Deathecation is guaranteed to harness the power of brown noise and, quite literally, scare the shit out of you.” This short was too much for me, I had to skip through it. I am all for gross-out humor, but never want to feel physically ill.
The final segment Zom -B- Movie from Lynch. The people we have seen throughout the films segments are now seen trying to survive during the zombie outbreak. Zombies usually want to eat brains, but in Zom-B-Movie they want to rape you to death. Lynch does a phenomenal job of turning the zombie genre on it’s head and has great use of classic lines from some of my favorite films interlaced within the dialogue. The sense of zombie danger was not the same as it is in something like The Walking Dead, which was a let down.
If you buy Chillerama on DVD don’t expect to see much in the way amazing bonus features. What they do not have in breadth of content, the disc does make up in value. The video commentary was my personal favorite. I am always fond of deleted scenes, and these are so so. I highly recommend that you take a look at the featurette on the The Diary of Anne Frankenstein to learn about what went into that segment and to get a closer look at the style. Before you watch the feature, I recommend that you check out all of the trailers to help get you in the mood for the film as a whole.
I would have had a lot more fun watching this film if I was intoxicated and with a group of friends. This is the kind of movie I would have loved as a teen. I remember nights hanging with friends as a kid where we watched Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste and this is the same type of gross-out film. Chillerama takes blood, gore and gook to the farthest levels of human sanity and far surpasses politically correctness.