INTRODUCING CHILLERAMA: A BIZARRO DRIVE-IN PARTY MOVIE FOR THE AGES!!!
by John Skipp
In a world of homogenous horror – where every new film’s pre-set Thrill-O-Meter hits precisely the same buttons as the last one down the pike, over and over, like a stupid hall of mirrors – those of us who actually care about this shit often find ourselves longing for something else.
A movie that will actually whack us with surprises. Hit some OTHER buttons, for a goddamn change.
And take them not just further than we expect, but way the hell outside our expectations, into the no-man’s-land of expertly executed, cheerfully boundless Anything Goes.
We wanna be fucked with, right? We wanna go “WOOOOOO!!!” And laugh out loud. And turn to our friends, while laughing and “WOOOOO”ing, cuz we can’t believe they just hit us with that.
If you’re with me so far, then… holy mother of God.
Have I got a film for you.
Last Thursday night, I had the transcendently hilarious and revolting experience of watching Chillerama. It’s a new movie blazing its road show across the nation, one unsuspecting theater at a time.
If you’re the kind of freak I’m addressing here, then you want to gather with as many of your freak friends as you can, and spend an evening enjoying the kind of spectacular cinematic event they just don’t make any more.
Except these guys did.
Which proves it can still be done.
The guys in question are Adam Green, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, and Joe Lynch. All of whom have worked both inside and outside Hollywood. All of whom love films more than words can say.
All of whom threw down SO FUCKING HARD on this thing that, two days after seeing their world premiere, I still can’t stop smiling.
To lay it out, without giving too much away:
CHILLERAMA takes place somewhere around 1986, as the aptly-named Kaufman Drive-In (this ain’t Troma, but Troma wishes it was) unspools its last night’s worth of crazy grindhouse madness. Suicidal owner Richard Riehle is wrapping the Kaufman’s run with a long night of insane programming, nostalgically introducing each film with his big spooky voice, channeling the joy of ghost hosts past.
Leading up to this, some fucking idiot whose wife just died decides to dig up her grave, and get her to give him the blowjob she wouldn’t in life.
This ends up badly, as you might expect, setting up all the disaster to come.
Or should I say, cum.
First up on the screen is Rifkin’s WADZILLA: an epic killer sperm story so ridiculously conceived that you need the Chiodo Brothers (Killer Klowns From Outer Space) to pay off the catastrophizing fx. Which they utterly do. Rifkin once again plays the schlub with a boner problem (he’s done it before), but never better.
So much fun, it probably is already illegal.
Sullivan’s I WAS A TEENAGE WERE-BEAR follows, in a circa-1962 beach movie funfest so profoundly gay-larious and packed with catchy songs that there’s no way to prepare yourself for the hairy mayhem that ensues.
Then we come to Green’s THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN: my personal favorite, in a movie full of nothing but personal favorites. This one throws back to black and white film of the 1930s and 40s, with the most hilarious onscreen Hitler since the Warner Bros. cartoons of that same era (I’m talking Scrap Happy Daffy, circa 1943).
I honestly laughed so hard through this fucking thing that people were looking away from the movie and pointing at me. An effect I regret. But I just couldn’t help it.
And then came Lynch’s DEATHICATION: a sustained live-action shit-bombardment of South Park-worthy proportions introduced by Joe himself, as an ultra-skeevy Euro-director of pompous sleeze. It’s a short bit, coming right up to the climax.
And what a climax it is.
Lynch’s real contribution is the framing device, shot at the drive-in itself, with an abundance of character and horny zombie mayhem so intensely berserk and surprisingly emotional that it ties the whole fucking thing together as tight as a madman’s human-flesh-covered drum.
I shit you not: I DANCED THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH THIS FILM.
Okay. I’ve done my best to express how much I love CHILLERAMA. The rest is up to you.
So go see this thing. It’s a labor of love, so full of rigorous labor and genuine love and joy and everything that’s good about movies that you’re a sad, joyless clown if you deprive yourself of it.
Watch it with friends! Make friends with the laughing strangers beside you! Let CHILLERAMA bring us together, the way movies are supposed to. With baffling delight.
Cuz that’s what I call a fucking party.
Yer pal in the trenches,
CHILLERAMA is coming to a town near you! CLICK HERE for the tour schedule!