PLOT: A drive-in movie theater celebrates its final night in business with a marathon of b-movies.
Oof. I don’t think I’ve ever endured such a tough first entry to any year I’ve done this horror-watching marathon. Moreover, there haven’t been many movies I’ve disliked as much as I dislike this movie.
I tend to gravitate towards the horror anthologies because how well they usually manage to break up the runtime. Coming off watching the first episode of the new Shudder series, Creepshow, I kind of wanted to keep the good will going with another anthology. The plot seemed to be a pretty decent concept, so I was game.
It’s hard for me to start this review because there’s so many ways to frame how I feel about this movie. Imagine eavesdropping, as an adult, on a group of 12-year-old boys sitting at a lunch table. They’re probably talking about dicks and boobs, maybe farts and they all probably smell like they don’t realize they really should start wearing deodorant.
That’s the experience of Chillerama: it feels like it’s just a bunch of friends trying to make each other – and probably only each other – laugh, but the only way they know how to make each other laugh is to talk about their dicks or the size of the shit they just took. I’m all for stupid humor, but this ain’t it chief.
The first short is called Wadzilla, which is surprisingly the most competent of the stories that we see, and it winds up being about a mutant sperm that terrorizes the country until it humps the Statue of Liberty. Cheesy but effective practical effects make up for cheap jokes like naming a character General Bukkake and a finale in which all of our characters are drenched in exploded cum, but Wadzilla suffers from the same thing that plagues each and every one of these stories: a thin plot and a bloated runtime.
Chillerama is 2 full hours long, and each story is barely warrants the length of your standard Saturday Night Live sketch. Wadzilla is followed up by the nearly indecipherable I Was a Teenage Werebear, a coming-of-age rockabilly beach movie about gay werebears, whose punch-line seems to just be an excuse for forced sodomy, and then The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, which is clever enough to be a sign gag on The Simpsons, but wears out its welcome within its first shouty few minutes. The final half film is literally just people shitting and in the very little we see of it, it makes you appreciate John Waters more. The last film is interrupted, thankfully, by a full-blown zombie outbreak at the drive-in theater. But it’s not your average zombie outbreak, because all these zombies want to do is fuck and eat your genitals. Again, another excuse for forced sodomy.
Chillerama wants to be edgy, offensive content, like something Lloyd Kaufman would acknowledge as his heir apparent, but Chillerama is not clever enough to be truly offensive. Even when it gets close to the line in The Diary of Anne Frankenstein (because there’s nothing easier for a lazy button-pusher to invoke the name of Adolph Hitler), the jokes are too cheap to take seriously enough to ruffle your feathers.
Honestly, the most offended I was while watching this movie was the end, when the framing device at the drive-in was revealed to be a movie, too, and the filmmakers, framed in the shot as if we would know them by sight (fuck off), and mildly pan their own movie. Fuck you. You don’t get to disown this pile of trash during the fucking runtime.
Chillerama is overlong, unclever, and not the least bit scary. It just winds up being a strokefest for a handful of filmmakers as they even get to have the last (and only) laugh in this pile of shit. Fuck this movie.
OVERALL Rating: 2 out of 10
I actually went into this anthology liking it but lost interest real quick. I agree about the Lloyd Kaufman rip-off.