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August 24, 2012

Movie Review: Chillerama (2011, Blu-ray)

Growing up in the early 80’s I kind of caught on to the end of the drive-in horror/cult phenomenon that helped so many little independent genre films become slices of film history. I never took in an all-nighter or a triple-bill but I did get to see Friday The 13th III in 3D when I was at the impressionable age of six. I wish I did grow up at least ten years earlier so could enjoy that whole atmosphere that directors Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn II) Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs) put together in anthology form with Image Entertainment's Chillerama.

Buy Chillerama Blu-ray, DVD or Watch It Instantly

Chillerama is bookended by some splatter-heavy segments created by Joe Lynch that take place at a drive-in where the three movies are shown. Unfortunatly, during the triple-feature a zombie outbreak rears its ugly, maggot-covered head following a drive-in employee’s near fatal attempt at getting a sloppy blow job from a rotting corpse. The movies being shown are - Rifkin’s Wadzilla, Sullivan’s I Was a Teenage Werebear and Green’s Diary of Anne Frankenstein.

Rifkin’s Wadzilla is like vintage Zucker brothers fare (as is the majority of Chillerama).  I’d almost like to call Chillerama, Kentucky Fried Horror Movie. Trust me, I love Kentucky Fried Movie and all it's ridiculousness, so it’s a compliment. Miles Munson (Rifkin) has the burdon of a terribly low sperm-count and has enlisted the help of Doctor Weems (Ray Wise) to amp up his goo. Weems does just that, it’s just that, well..instead of making more sperm, Munson creates these monstrous toothy beasts (created by the always amazing, Chiodo brothers,(Critters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space). Wadzilla is pretty damn funny, and tips its hat beautifully to 50's and 60's monster flicks. Add a surprisingly humorous performance by Adam Rifikin and you get a really solid parody.

After all that goofiness in Wadzilla, Chillerama hits a snag with the mediocre, I Was a Teenage Werebear. While not awful, Sullivan’s sixty’s beach party/werewolf throwback is less enjoyable as the middle entry in the trio. When Ricky (Sean Paul Lockheart) is bitten on the ass by Talon (Anton Troy) things begin to get very hairy for the young fellow as he becomes a hulking, leather-clad werebear. Lot's of shaved male flesh are on display to accompany some bizarre musical numbers and a heaping dose of unfunny. There's a little gore and a few laughs to be had but in the end this one's a misfire.

Following another amusing bookend segment from Joe Lynch’s Zom-B-Movie that furthers the zombie outbreak at the drive-in, we're treated to the true gem of this whole feature, Adam Green's Diary Of Anne Frankenstein.  In Diary Of Anne Frankenstein, Adolf Hitler (Joel David Moore and his main squeeze Eva Braun (Kristina Klebe) create a monster called “Meshuganna” ( Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder). Once the monster get’s loose he uses his super-strength to tear folks pieces. All this is presented in black and white, in German language and with English subtitles.

Image has added some extras for Chillermania in the form of deleted scenes for the segments, an entertaining Directors video commentary, some behind-the-scenes and interviews. All the gentleman seem to agree on one thing, they love the work of the late-great Forrest J. Ackerman of Famous Monsters.

Chillermania is a very enjoyable piece of nostalgia. It should definitely appeal to a wide range of genre fans with its rampant humor and gory goodness. Recommended!

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