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There is nothing this Fango scribe enjoys more than a theater full of horror and exploitation fans, and a screening of a new flick full of blood, gore, sex and vulgar humor. Packed with nostalgic references to older exploitation films, CHILLERAMA (which had its Comic Con premiere this weekend), the new anthology omnibus directed by Adam Green, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan and Joe Lynch, is an all-in-one hilarious, disgusting, self-aware film that never takes itself too seriously. It's the perfect Friday date night flick.
The four directors got together two years ago to come up with a project they could work both separately and together on, and create a film that’s both an homage to the movies they loved and watched at drive-in theaters and hard tops as kids...as well as something that the Hollywood machine would never let them get away with.CHILLERAMA takes place at the Kaufman Drive-In (Har Har), which is going out of business after one last evening of cinematic mayhem. Several teenaged stereotypes pull up in their Chevy's to join in the fun... and that's when the real festivities begin. The first film that the teens (and in turn, us viewers) watch is WADZILLA, a tender tale about a poor man with some sperm count issues who against his better judgment, takes untested medication prescribed by his sleazy doctor. The medication causes his sperm to grow and grow and take over this city, like a viral gooey Godzilla. This film-within-a-film will remind you of classic 50's monster-on-the-loose epics like ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, and the acting, music and cinematography are drenched with homage to genre flicks from the past.The next short, shocker directed by Tim Sullivan, is I WAS A TEENAGED WEREBEAR, detailing the plight of a Frankie Avalon-ish character who is exploring his desires with the dangerous bad boy from school, a hardbody who also happens to be a dreaded "werebear". A musical take on the old teen beach party comedies of the early ‘60s, Sullivan's riff offers a fresh and often hilarious perspective on the werewolf genre. However, out of all of the segments in CHILLERAMA, I WAS A TEENAGED WEREBEAR takes itself a bit too seriously at times, and ends up being the least enjoyable of the collection.The audience favorite was Adam (HATCHET) Green’s DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN. Green admitted to the crowd that he was given the title for the short first, and then had to develop the story around the moniker (in true Roger Corman / AIP style), despite the fact that he was slightly uncomfortable with it. Green is Jewish and was careful about how he broke the , um, irreverent title to his mother. No worries, though—Green’s DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN is charming and the ultimate crowd-pleaser. The central lead, HATCHET’s Joel David Moore, is absolutely hilarious as Hitler, speaking his own version of gibberish-German (“Osh Kosh Bygosh-instein”) while creating his own version of Frankenstein's Monster, who ends up unleashing mayhem and turning his back on his creator.Without a doubt, CHILLERAMA positively gross. There are plenty of dick and poop jokes (and matching visuals) not to mention a demented blue-colored blood zombie sex orgy set to Fats Domino's song “My Blue Heaven.” Where elese are you going to see THAT? Fans of the transgressive tint of early John Waters pictures should be drooling though the entire film as, like PINK FLAMINGOS et al, it echoes the brash go-for-broke feeling of those innocent B gems of the past (with tons of sex and violence), which is a nice change from the relentless, shaky sprocket Grindhouse ’70s vibe that has become so popular. And make no mistake CHILLERAMA is an audience experience picture, meant to be absorbed by a large crowd of appreciative fans. For this critic, seeing the premiere at Comic-Con, the crowd enthusiasm was goosed by an appearance at the very end from all four directors walking out of the famous and dear-to-our-hearts New Beverly Cinema in LA for a Q&A. Priceless.See CHILLERAMA as soon as you can, especially when you’re in the mood for something nostalgic, gently offensive and really, rather special. The film will be on tour, coming to select theatres and drive-ins near you before hitting DVD and On Demand this fall...Highly reccomended fun.
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