Review: Chillerama (Blu-ray)

Image Entertainment presents Chillerama, a throwback horror-comedy quadrilogy homage loving directed by die hard fans of the genre. Grab some popcorn, dim the lights and prepare yourself for a drive-in experience right in your home!

  • Directors: Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan
  • Starring: Richard Riehle, Joel David Moore, Kane Hodder, Ray Wise
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 120 Minutes
  • Company: Image Entertainment
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Discs: 1 - 25GB
  • Video: 1.78:1 - 1080p - AVC
  • Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Region: A
  • Released: 11/29/2011

It's the final night for one of the few remaining out door move theaters, the legendary Kaufman Drive-In. Faithful ozoners (slang for drive-in patrons) flock to the cinema to experience rare, never before seen prints of horror films personally selected by Cecil Kaufman (Richard Riehle, Hatchet). Cecil is at the final reel of his business and life. Contemplating suicide after the Drive-In's last hurrah, he knows the show must go on for the eager cinemaphiles waiting in their vehicles. Something just isn't right though, Floyd (Miles Dougal, Detroit Rock City) shows up to work at the drive-in late looking half dead with blue ooze all around his crotch. Said blue ooze comes from a little booze fueled grave digging accident moments before that involves Floyd's dick, Floyd's dead wife and necrophiliac castration mutilation. The blue goo ends up in the popcorn being sold to unsuspecting theater goers which culminates into a sex, gore, gross out finale. Welcome to Chillerama.
Chillerama is divided into 5 segments from genre filmmakers Adam Green (Frozen, Hatchet & Hatchet II), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Knights of Badassdom), Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) and Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs). Lynch's segment Zom B Movie is essentially the base of all the madness that starts, weaves and bookends the film. It's here that holds the heart and soul of Chillerama. It's loaded to the brim with a smorgasbord of action, blood, tits and film quotes that will have you squealing in delight. It's a loving ode to cinema that will make any self respecting film fan smile.
The first film to hit the screens at the Drive-In is Wadzilla, a spoof of 50's monster shlock about a giant sperm destroying New York. GIANT SPERM! Rifkin's segment is a total blast from start to end. Further made awesome because the stop motion effects are provided by none other than the legendary Chiodo Brothers (Killer Klowns From Outer Space). Rifkin takes on dual duties as director and star in Wadzilla along side Ray Wise as a neurotic but hilarious sperm doctor. Lin Shaye, Miles Dougal and even Eric Roberts stop by for great cameos that lead to some nice chuckles. The sperm ocean alone at the end is well worth the watch.
Next up is Sullivan's take on 60's beach and musical films, I Was A Teenage Werebear. This is undoubtedly my least favorite segment out of the film and many would agree with me. Werebear feels completely out of place compared to the other entries and largely one note. Where the other segments truly feel and look lovingly authentic, Werebear just doesn't cut it. It didn't connect or resonate with me at all and I honestly think Chillerama would benefit without it's inclusion.
Adam Green's segment titled, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein sees Hitler (Joel David Moore, Grandmas Boy) create a Jewish monster named Meshugannah (Kane Hodder, Friday the 13th VI-X) expected to help him win WWII. This is absolutely my favorite film included in Chillerama. Green and the Ariescope crew nail the 40's black & white look truly authentically. Joel David Moore is simply hilarious as the gibberish instead of German speaking Hitler. Kane Hodder looks like a cartoon come to life as Meshugannah and even dances while he's not killing Nazi scum. Major kudos to all involved, a lot of fun is to be had while watching this.
Last but not least before the Dead Alive inspired zombie apocalypse finale is Deathication, a film from Fernando Phagabeefy (Joe Lynch doing his best John Waters impersonation). Without delving too much into this segment, I'll just say it involves shit. Lots and lots and lots of shit. Overall, Chillerama is worthy addition to the pantheon of midnight horror anthologies. Despite the aforementioned misstep of Werebear, there's quite a lot to love and enjoy in this.

    • Video
    Image brings Chillerama to Blu-ray with a damn good looking MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer. Detail is impeccably striking throughout and showcases the art design/makeup FX wonderfully. A nice layer of grain is present in most segments and sometimes exaggerated to fully bring out the drive-in aesthetic. Colors are given a huge hue boost making them truly shine and stand out. No digital snubs or snafus here, a solid looking transfer all around.
    • Audio
    The discs sole audio option is an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track that is quite effective. All speakers are used to good effect creating a nice surround experience. Subwoofer also gets plenty of action offering up a steady amount of bass rumble. No problem whatsoever in this department.

    Bonus Features
    • Video Commentary - Adam Green, Joe Lynch. Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan
    This is a picture-in-picture video commentary featuring Chillerama directors Green, Lynch, Rifkin and Sullivan discussing the film and their segments. Discussion covers the origins of the project, fun anecdotes from the set and behind the scenes stories detailing every aspect of production. It's definitely a worthwhile watch if you want every info inkling pertaining to Chillerama.
    • Deleted Scenes - Wadzilla
    A couple minutes worth of minor cuts to pad out the running time.
    • Deleted Scenes - Zom B Movie
    Another couple minutes worth of trims cut due to run time. Mainly just extensions of scenes excised to keep the film chugging along.
    • Featurette - Making of The Diary of Anne Frankenstein
    This 20+ minute behind the scenes look at Adam Green's segment is definitely my favorite feature on the disc. I largely admire Green & everyone behind Ariescope Films for their shared passion and The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is another success. Seeing the process behind the making of it all is truly wonderful and continues to solidify that Adam Green is one of my favorite filmmakers.
    • Featurette - Making of I Was A Teenage Werebear
    • Interview - Chillerama Directors
    • Trailers
    Sole trailers for Chillerama, Wadzilla and I Was A Teenage Werebear round out the supplements.