DVD review: Chillerama – a (bad)breath of fresh air

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In a year where the box office has been dominated by retreads and reruns, despite its inability to know when to stop like a good SNL skit gone bad, Chillerama is a (bad)breath of fresh air.

ChilleramaAt times both cringe-worthy and laugh-out-loud funny, this anthology of four campy horror mini-movies is presented as part of a final night at a local drive-in, which is coincidentally being overrun by zombies who have eaten tainted popcorn butter.

The first of the quartet is Wadzilla, director and writer Adam Rifkin’s take on the Japanese monster movie which sees an enormous sperm rampaging through New York City looking for a mate.  There is jizz o’plenty as the spermatozoa finally gets off in/on one of New York’s biggest and most famous landmarks.  Awful green screens of citizens running through the streets of Manhattan and cheesy special effects are the order of the day here; the only thing missing is the miscued lip synch.

In I Was  a Teenage Werebear, the ever hunky Sean Paul Lockhart (aka Brent Corrigan) makes a small leap from hardcore to softcore in a hilarious send-up of both the beach blanket slasher and werewolf genres.  For a gay audience this is definitely the movie’s funniest piece with its inside jokes and potshots at homophobia and the bear/leather culture.  Did I mention it was a musical?  Lockhart does a decent job although it isn’t difficult when you’re playing it for laughs in your jockstrap.  You can judge his singing abilities for yourself in the trailer below.

Next up is the cringe-inducing The Diary of Anne Frankenstein. This particular short also gets a lengthy “making of” in the bonus features in which the filmmakers attempt to give some insight into just what the hell they were thinking.  With sub-titles in English, television and Avatar star Joel David Moore plays Adolf Hitler who creates a Jewish Frankenstein called Meshugannah, played by horror star and stuntman Kane Hodder.  Turning the Anne Frank story on its ear (and other body parts), while the Führer spews every German-sounding phrase he can muster from “wienerschnitzel” to “fahrvergnügen”, his monster takes his revenge.  This one is definitely not for the easily offended.

Finally, in Zom-B-Movie the film comes full circle back to the drive-in as the theatre-goers are turned into flesh eating and sexually depraved zombies.  Loads of gore, lots of blood and one big orgy ensues as these zombies have sex with each other and the various body parts strewn across the parking lot.

The actors and creative team of this low-budget schlocker (it was reportedly made on a shoestring $300,000 budget) are obviously having a lot of fun and at times it is infectious.  A judicious edit would make this infinitely more watchable though as the single joke in each short gets a little tiresome.  As a package this is as much about making an audience feel uncomfortable as it is about making them laugh; it succeeds at both.


Written and directed by Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan, Adam Rifkin.  An ArieScope Pictures production.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray on November 29, 2011.

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