Friday, 2 December 2011

Chillerama (2011)

It's the last night of the old Kaufman drive in, and as a final bow, they are putting on a bill of rare and unseen horror films. Well, that's the best way of linking the trio of mini movies you get here. The linking story (directed by Joe Lynch) begins with Floyd (Miles Dougal) digging up his ex-wife for a bit of necro fun, only for her to wake from her eternal slumber and give him a nasty bite on the scotum "You bitch! You bit off my bean bag!!" Left ball-less and oozing a neon goo, Floyd heads to his job at the drive in. Trouble is, everywhere he goes, and everything he touches gets infected with the goo. But, enough of that for now, as Cecil B. Kaufman (Richard Riehle) is ready to roll our first feature...

"Wadzilla" Directed by Adam (Detroit Rock City) Rifkin, this 50s atomic monster spoof stars Ray (Twin Peaks) Wise as Doctor Weems who has a revolutionary cure for a low sperm count. His test subject, Miles (Rifkin) takes the drug, but the out come is not what they had hoped for. Instead of an increased sperm count, Miles now produces one enormous sperm, which is out of control and on the loose. This section sets the tone perfectly, a lot of fun with lots of gross out jokes and retro style bad SFX. Part Godzilla, part Fiend Without A Face and part American Pie. Plus Eric Roberts as General Bukkake, you know you're gonna love it!

"I Was A Teenage Werebear", by Tim Sullivan follows, and is a throw back to the 60s beach movies. It's even a musical, dammit! Ricky (Sean Paul Lockhart, infamous for being under age when he appeared in gay porn films!) is a clean cut, college kid who is distracted by the leather clad bad boys, led by Talon (Anton Troy). Turns out Talon and his gang are Werebears, homosexual predators who are out to pay back those who haven't accepted them. The wonderful Lin Shaye pops up for a second time (she plays a hobo lady in Wadzilla) as the gypsy Nurse Maleva, who gives Ricky advice and recites an old saying that might be a little familiar.. well sort of..
"Even a boy who thinks he's straight, yet shaves his balls by night, may become a werebear when the hormones age, and the latent urge takes flight"
The thing with this section is it doesn't resort to making fun of the gays and playing it camp, despite them being the 'monsters', it actually handles the whole 'coming to terms with your sexuality' bit well. It did remind me, however that I must watch "Curse Of The Queerwolf" sometime soon...
Next up, after another linking thread with the neon goo spreading like wild fire and seeming turning everyone into mindless zombies.. "The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein". Adam (Hatchet) Green's contribution is a black and white, German language historical piece. Well, almost. The language and the subtitles become more and more madcap as the film goes on, but for the best, and it's a complete riot. Anne has found a book that belong to her Grandfather, who just so happened to be the mad scientist Frankenstein! "That is why we had to shorten our name.."

Hitler (Joel David Moore) finds the family, and the book and sets about creating a creature that will help him in his conquest. The monster (Kane Hodder) has a very Hasidic look, however, and refuses to kill for the Fuhrer. Taking a leaf from the Mel Brooks school of offensive film making, Green manages to make an hilarious section, even if we've seen most of the gags done before. (stunt men change colour, subtitles don't match the dialogue, the monster even passes around the side of the sets like they used to do in It's Garry Shadling's Show). Very entertaining though.
Just as we are about to be 'treated' to our next feature, Deathecation, directed and introduced by the mythical Fernando Phagabeefy (which may be for the best, since this movie is said to make the audience simultaneously open their bowels), the theatre is over run with zombies, all frantically copulating with what ever they can find. Can our heroes escape?

Chillerama is a film I've been looking forward to for a while, being a fan of Creepshow and the Amicus films,  and fortunately it didn't disappoint. Much more of a comedy than horror (we don't really care if our heroes escape) and full of OTT splatter effects, it's kind of like The Kentucky Fried Creepshow, if you like. Packed full of in-jokes ("what would Simon Pegg do?") and quick, throw away gags that will make you want to watch it all over again. So a success, then? Well, partly. I can imagine you could re-watch it in a boozy group many times, but if you're a lone viewer, you may fast forward to your favourite bits after you've seen it once. That said, it is very funny and is full of the kind of loving pastiches that horror geeks will love.
At least it wasn't a complete let down like The Theatre Bizarre was. Boy, was that a sorry mess!
Hopefully Chillerama will be unleashed  in the UK soon, until then, import the DVD/Blu ray - If you don't mind getting dirty and sticky - you won't regret it!
8 out of 10

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