Chillerama (2011)

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Overall Rating 61%
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Ranked #5,961
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Connections: Frankenstein

It's the closing night at the last drive-in theater in America and Cecil B. Kaufman has planned the ultimate marathon of lost film prints to unleash upon his faithful cinephile patrons. Four films so rare that they have never been exhibited publicly on American soil until this very night! With titles like Wadzilla, I Was A Teenage Werebear, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, and Zom-B-Movie, Chillerama not only celebrates the golden age of drive-in B horror shlock but also spans over four decades of cinema with something for every bad taste. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: January 19, 2012
Chillerama is a film that came out of nowhere, for me. I will admit to not keeping up with genre news as much as I could, but literally, I did not know of this film's existence until it popped up on Netflix a few weeks back. A horror anthology with an all-star cast and four renowned directors at the helm... how could this have slipped under my radar? It did, unfortunately, but I quickly remedied that and fired it up. The results were better than I could have hoped for, mostly.

Wadzilla (directed by Adam Rifkin)
The opening story finds a young man (Adam Rifkin) with a bit of a problem: his sperm count is low and what he has is incredibly weak. His doctor prescribes him an experimental drug that is supposed to make the few sperm that he has stronger, and our hero readily agrees to be a guinea pig for the good doc. Unfortunately, these pills have a horrible affect: namely, they make his sperm grow to super-size proportions. Before you know it, a single sperm the size of the Statue of Liberty is running amok in New York.

I freaking loved this opening segment. It is a nod to the old fifties monster movies where some sort of animal / insect / beast / whatever grows to gigantic sizes and runs rampant through a city, and quite simply, it works. It has a decidedly unique tale to tell, it is hilarious, and although it's not a million dollar production, the effects used to bring the sperm to life were pretty good. The sperm manages to rack up a bit of a body count while he is growing, including one scene in which he bites a woman's head off and another in which he cuts a man in half at the torso with a single chomp. I enjoyed the acting by Rifkin and his eventual girlfriend, and honestly, I just don't have a single negative thing to say about this one. Huge thumbs up, 9/10.

I was a Teenage Werebear (directed by Tim Sullivan)
Next up is a charming little musical number in which a high school boy (Sean Paul Lockhart) is forced to face his own sexuality when he develops a man-crush on a gang of leather-wearing rebels. The feelings seem to be returned by the leader of the pack, and before you know it, the boys are wrestling one another. Things get weird when the rebel bites our leading man on the ass, and just like in Twilight, a bite by one of these critters will turn you into a lustful werebear with an insatiable thirst for male sodomy.

I hated this segment as much as I loved the first. It has a funny idea behind it (werebear, get it? gay guys, bears, leather, ha ha), but the execution of it was just horrible. The musical numbers were poorly performed and featured uninspired lyrics, while the plot itself meanders around in mediocrity for a bit before wrapping up with an unsatisfying ending. There are a few slightly humorous jokes, but otherwise, it's nothing more than a waste of time. I know that director Tim Sullivan is openly gay and I'm fine with that - more power to him - but this seemed like more of a vanity piece and a way of expressing his inner feelings than something that should have been released for the general horror-loving public. Perhaps you will enjoy this one more than I did if you count yourself as a member of the bear community or if you are torn on which team to play for, but I doubt it. 2/10.

The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein (directed by Adam Green)
Remember that poor little Jewish girl, Anne Frank? Well, I'll bet that you didn't know that the family changed their names to "Frank" to distance themselves from an eccentric old family member named Dr. Frankenstein. Yes, this Jewish family is the last of the Frankenstein family, and little Anne just so happens to have his diary. Before she gets a chance to write her own stuff in it, however, Hitler (Joel David Moore) and a group of Nazi soldiers barge into their hiding spot, steal the diary, and kill them all. Hitler, along with his ever-horny wife Eva (Kristina Klebe), decide to use this diary to make their own Jewish superbeast (Kane Hodder) that will win the war for them. Unfortunately for them, even a Jewish monster is still a Jew, and that doesn't mesh well with "working for Hitler."

They saved the best for last, no question about it. This was the highlight of the film, and if you could only see one segment, this would be the one. Joel David Moore is absolutely hysterical as Hitler, mainly due to the fact that he can't speak German. You see, the segment is shot entirely in German with subtitles, but the actor doesn't know German... so, he simply spouts off gibberish that sort of sounds German. Watching him yell "Boba Fett!" and "Goldie Hawn!" at the monster while the subtitles are reading "KILL!" was funny as hell, and those are but two of many, many instances. You could make a drinking game out of it. It's funny in many other ways as well, with the "bad b-movie" tricks being another highlight: actors switch from black to white, strings are clearly visual, the actors literally move from one set to another, dummies are used, etc. It's done on purpose, obviously, and it added a lot to an already great segment. 10/10.

Zom-B-Movie (directed by Joe Lynch)
This is the wraparound story, and it actually takes place throughout the film's running time. We see the introduction to it as soon as the movie starts, we see bits and pieces in between segments, and it all wraps up at the end with a tale of blood-thirsty zombies. You see, a man planned to dig up his wife and fuck her corpse, but said corpse was actually a zombie and bit his penis off. He didn't let that get in the way of his job, however, and he went to work at the local drive-in theater, which is running its last night of festivities (showing the above segments). Before you know it, his blood is dripping into the popcorn, patrons are turning into zombies left and right, and it quickly becomes an orgy of blood and entrails. Literally.

I enjoyed the hell out of this entire segment, but it was impossible to follow The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein and top it. It's not a knock on this segment at all, it's just that the previous one was so good that anything following it was doomed from the start. However, it is an entertaining take on the traditional zombie film, it is very funny, and of course, there are plenty of bloody deaths as well as a lot of bloody T&A. You just have to see this orgy of violence to believe it, words will not do it justice. 8/10.

Averaging out the scores, we come up with a final rating of 7.25/10 - I'm going to round that up to an 8/10, as that sounds more appropriate for this release. It is a shame that the one segment dragged things down so much, but don't let that discourage you from picking this up: the other segments are well worth your time, and anyone with a love for well-written horror comedies should definitely put this near the top of their to-see list.
Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added February 22, 2013 at 10:24pm
I thought this was just so-so. The best of the bunch was The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein, easily.
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