Friday, March 9, 2012


I’ll be doing a number of single movie reviews for a little while, to get caught up with all the stuff I have watched but didn’t write about.  But, once I get caught up, I think I’m going to try to start another series like I did with Friday the 13th.  There has been a call for Nightmare on Elm Street, so I may go that route.  I was thinking of possibly doing something a bit more recent (the Cold Prey series has come to mind), but I’m not sure I want to do something that recent.  I don’t feel bad for throwing around spoilers for 80s movies, but I would probably feel a little bad about throwing around spoilers for a more recent series.  I’m undecided.  I would appreciate any thoughts in the comments.

And now…to Chillerama!

This is a movie-within-a-movie (within-a-movie?) horror-comedy anthology. 
The set-up: there is an old drive-in theater that is getting ready to close.  On the final night of operation, the owner (Cecil B. Kaufman, played by Richard Riehle) shows four old, extremely hard-to-find horror movies: Wadzilla, I Was a Teenage Werebear, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, and Deathication.  Of course, we are also watching the movie of the teens watching the movies (which is titled Zom B Movie), who are caught up in some problems of their own: mainly, an employee has been turned into a zombie, and dripped some of his zombie goo in the popcorn butter.  So, between the movies, we see the patrons of the theater slowly turning into zombies.

It should be noted that we see very little of Deathication, which is good news, because it’s just a lot of images of poop.

I’ll give a brief review of each of the movies.

Wadzilla is a spoof of 50s monster movies.  Basically, a guy with a low sperm count wants to raise that count, so he takes an experimental drug.  But, instead of raising his sperm count, it just makes him produce a very large sperm.  With teeth.  It terrorizes the city, eating animals and people.  Eventually it grows to be larger than a building and the army is called in.

It’s…unnerving.  I know that it’s supposed to be funny, but it wasn’t.  At all.  I don’t remember laughing once.

Notable actors: Ray Wise, Eric Roberts

I Was a Teenage Werebear is a musical.  It follows Ricky, a boy with a nice girlfriend, but who is remarkably gay.  He gets caught up with a leather-clad gang, who are all gay.  They are also werebears.  They turn Ricky into a werebear, but he fights against it.

There are a number of terrible songs scattered throughout this movie.  It got to be a bit long and boring, so I ended up fast-forwarding to the end.  I should have just fast-forwarded through the rest of this movie.
I did like Ricky’s girlfriend, Peggy Lou.  Early on, she gets hit by a van, and spends the rest of the movie with a massive head wound, saying random bits of nonsense.  She made me laugh.  But that’s the absolute best thing I can say about this movie: the girl with the head wound who blabbered on about nothing was the best part of the movie. 

Notable actors: Ron Jeremy

The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is also a musical.  But this one follows Hitler.  He finds Anne Frank and her family at the beginning of the movie and kills her.  She has a notebook that he takes, which has instructions on how to build a Frankenstein-type monster.  So, in an attempt to build “the perfect killing machine to win the war”, he makes the monster.  But the monster ends up being Jewish. 

To top things off, Eva Braun is a massive whore.

I actually kind of enjoyed this one.  Not the entire thing, but there were enough funny moments to keep me interested in it throughout.  It was worth watching to see Joel David Moore’s portrayal of Hitler.  He was fantastic.

Directed by Adam Green (Hatchet)
Notable actors: Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore, Kristina Klebe

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t see much of Deathication.

 Zom B Movie is the movie that is going on while the rest of the movies are being watched.  We follow a handful of main characters as they go to the closing night of the local drive-in.  Between the movies, we see the spread of the zombie virus throughout the people watching the movies, to the point that Deathication is (mercifully) interrupted by the zombies.  We spend the rest of Chillerama watching the chaos at the drive-in.  There is lots of running and screaming and shooting.  There’s a scene where two parents eat their baby.  There’s a scene where the owner dispatches zombies with a wide assortment of weapons and says random movie quotes between each kill.  “Say hello to my little friend.”  BLAM!  “I’m getting to old for this s***.”  BANG!  “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  BIFF!  “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  And so on.

It’s not great, and all the references get a bit old after a while (more on that in a bit), but it had some funny moments.  Not many, but a couple, which makes it better than Wadzilla and I Was a Teenage Werebear.

Notable actors: Richard Riehle

I knew going in that Chillerama would have a terrible script and would be terribly acted.  That’s what they were going for.  Still, I was hoping for a much funnier movie.  If you’re going to make a horror-comedy, you have to make sure that it’s actually funny.  This wasn’t.  It was also pretty long, clocking in at just under 2 hours.  That’s way too long.  I was ready for this movie to be over much sooner than it actually was.

Also, I feel like they were trying to make Zom B Movie a little “smarter” than the rest.  There were lots of movie references that I felt like were forced…like they were saying them just so the audience would nod their head and say, “I know that quote.”  It failed.  Yes, I knew a lot of the quotes, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed it.  They were just beating us over the head with them, and it was a bit much.  There’s a difference between “smart” and “beating the audience over the head with tons of movie references”. 

One last complaint.  Bad horror movies can be funny in how bad they are.  It’s extremely hard to make a good horror movie that feels like a bad horror movie.  Chillerama tried to pull that off, but failed miserably.

 In case you couldn’t tell, I didn’t really like this movie.  Aside from the girlfriend in I Was a Teenage Werebear and parts of The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, I didn’t really like this at all.  So, while I can’t say that I hate it, I can say that I disliked it immensely.

Rating: 1/5

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