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Before we begin…that cover art is just exquisite. Thank you,
Now the news. CHILLERAMA (now on DVD and Blu-ray from Image
Entertainment) is no GRINDHOUSE. This is GRINDHOUSE’s low-budget little brother
who spends a lot of time alone in the bathroom and seeks a high-five for every
fart he cuts. And if ya think that’s a crude comment to make, wait till you sit
with the movie.
The flick takes place at a closing drive-in, which is
showing four freaky, vintage films on its final night. We see three and a
fleeting glimpse of the fourth before a zombie orgy…but we’ll get to that
Joe’s Lynch’s ZOM-B-MOVIE is the wraparound story. We hang
out with various young patrons and employees of the Kaufman Drive-In, the owner
of which, played by HATCHET’s Richard Riehle, is planning a slam-bang finale to
his career by showing these zany films, then offing himself (he’s trying to
decide between pills and booze or his revolver to get the job done). His projectionist
is late for the evening’s events, unfortunately, because he was busy having his
genitals bitten off by his dead wife who awoke in her grave after he dug her up
to orally rape her corpse as payback for never pleasing him while she was
alive. Now he’s walking with a bit of a limp, oozing blue juice out of his
wounded crotch and slowly turning into a horny zombie. Feel free to reread all
that to make sure you got it. Now it’s showtime!
WADZILLA is Adam Rifkin’s giddily 1950s-monster-movie
homage, which focuses on poor Miles, played by Rifkin himself. Ray Wise
portarys his doctor, who sets him up with some experimental pills to assist his
impossibly low sperm count (under the microscope, he has one sickly sperm).
When Miles gets aroused, a shooting pain in his testicles all but cripples him.
Instead of replicating more, the doc informs Miles, “When you get turned on,
the one sperm you do have gets huge!” So Miles must jerk off super-fast any
time he feels aroused to prevent the little guy from reaching epic proportions.
Despite Miles’ best, um, efforts, this tactic fails, and soon the Statue of
Liberty is being draped with an enormous condom. Enjoy cameos from Lin Shaye as
a dumpster-diving homeless woman, Ron Jeremy as a kids’ show host and Eric
Roberts as Army General Bukkake. It’s certainly a fun one to show friends,
especially those with a healthy appreciation for stop-motion animation, Frank
Henenlotter and/or Atomic Age creature features.
Tim Sullivan’s I WAS A TEENAGE WEREBEAR is another
’50s-inspired tale, which attempts to mash the beach party and monster fads
together in an odd and tasteless stew. It concerns high-schooler Ricky, who is
gay and doesn’t know it. He’s bitten by the school’s leather-jacket-wearing
tough guy, who is a werebear. Goofy and gross gay jokes ensue—over and over. I
appreciate Sullivan’s concept very much, but this one just didn’t click with
me. Maybe it was the unlistenable musical numbers, but I found myself yearning
for the charm and excitement of WADZILLA—consider that for a moment. Final
note: I don’t know what the hell was happening with the sound, but I could not
put down the remote; the volume would go from a whisper to volcanic eruption
from scene to scene. Exhausting. But you can enjoy another fantastically
bizarre Shaye cameo!
Adam Green’s ’40s-style THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN is by
far the wittiest of the bunch, and zany enough to make you start thinking about
Mel Brooks and Monty Python. It’s pretty amazing to think that Green was able
to deliver something so entertaining after a) being saddled with that title,
which he did not come up with (the segment was Rifkin and Sullivan’s idea) and
b) having great concern over handling such touchy material. Presented in black
and white and sporting a sound design that harks back to Marx Brothers films,
it’s quite adorable. The gist is that Hitler wants to create a “killing
machine,” which leads to lab scenes and hilarity. Kane Hodder stars as the
awesomely cartoonish monster, while Moore turns in a knee-slapping performance
as a deliciously buffoonish Hitler.
The wraparound story returns with blow jobs, skull sex, blue
goo, more castration and a freewheeling zombie orgy. Oh, and we get a glimpse
at another feature, DEATHICATION, which is a kick to the chops of John Waters. That
means there’s a lot of poop.
The discs treat us to a directors’ commentary with all four
responsible parties, who are seeing the final, final product for the first
time. It’s fun to learn that Lloyd Kaufman was pissed at Sullivan for not
putting him in his last two films, hence the onscreen drive-in’s title as an
apologetic nod. That is but a drop in the bucket, however; between the four of
these fellows, there’s no shortage of stories, technical information and
unbridled fanboy enthusiasm. They’re nerds, we’re nerds and there isn’t a
moment of silence throughout.
Now, I don’t mind the fact that this video commentary shows
the quartet in a small window that knocks out roughly one-quarter of the
screen. Maybe you will; something to consider. Frankly, I’d prefer all
commentaries be executed in this fashion. I was extraordinarily curious to find
out where Sullivan’s head might’ve been while creating WEREBEAR, and came to
find out that a lot of his inspiration came from GREASE 2, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL,
I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2. Which totally makes
“Making THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN” is pretty fantastic.
The biggest joke is that Moore doesn’t know German, so he provides his own
bullshit form of the language throughout, which is priceless. Add Hodder
plodding around in over-the-top makeup and Green’s nervous enthusiasm, and
you’ve got a sweet little featurette.
The WADZILLA deleted scenes aren’t so much deleted scenes as
they are concept art mixed into the clips from the film. So illustrations of
Wadzilla attack people, and that’s fun stuff (especially since Godzilla’s
iconic roar-screech accompanies every shot of the beast). Silly greenscreen
business and behind-the-scenes puppetry are also included. ZOM-B-MOVIE’s deleted
scenes include a lot of fake poop. Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve
written about so many bodily fluids and functions…
There’s also a Comic-Con interview with all four directors,
which has all kinds of lovely horror homages going on. It’s hosted by Famous
Monsters of Filmland, and Lynch is wearing a GOREZONE T-shirt. The lads again
explain their motivation, and it’s charming enough to check out. Oh, and then
there’s another Comic-Con interview session.
Finally, trailers for WADZILLA, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREBEAR and
the whole dang film itself are also included. To quote Lynch, “Are we done now?!”
DVD/ Blu-ray Reviews
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