Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Horror Movie Challenge: Chillerama (2011)

Chillerama is a horror anthology film with each segment being written and directed by a different director and paying homage to different genre and style. The first is "Wadzilla", a monster movie spoof where a gigantic sperm terrorizes New York. The second segment is "I Was a Teenage Werebear", a musical short about a closeted teenager who turns into a vicious werebear after being bit on the ass during a wrestling match. The third is titled "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein", a short about Hitler discovering the diary of Dr. Frankenstein and using it to create his own monster. The framing story that ties the segments together is about a small drive-in theater hosting a marathon of lost films (the three segments) while the patrons slowly turn into sex-crazed zombies.

I feel somewhat conflicted by Chillerama. Anyone who knows me knows I love anthology films and I find its concept interesting. However, the film's executions keeps me from fully loving it and listing it among my favorite genre films. 

Like most anthology films, Chillerama's segments are somewhat lopsided. "Wadzilla" has its tongue planted firmly within its cheek and "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein" is enjoyably over the top. However, "I Was a Teenage Werebear" is long and bad in a less entertaining way and "Zom-B-Movie" is too chaotic for its own good at times and the awkward movie quotes with only one in every twelve making thematic sense became irritating. 

Anthology films live and die on their segments, so its problematic when half the stories are good and the other half are less so. However, I don't want to call Chillerama a bad film. Even though I dislike "I Was a Teenage Werebear" and "Zom-B-Movie", there are parts to them that I do like and I feel they do embody the different styles they were honoring. Also, like Creepshow, Chillerama possesses its own personality that helps it stand out among the crowd. 

The anthology's cast isn't half bad either. Some of the actors and actresses' performances are obviously weaker than others, but everyone seems to be having fun with their roles and even the weaker ones fit the "So Bad its Enjoyable" tone of the segments. Richard Riehle deserves particular note. Playing the drive-in theater's owner, Riehle possesses one of the few serious scenes within the film (where he is contemplating suicide due to losing the one thing he had left in this world) and he makes it shine. 

Its far from perfect and incredibly uneven, Chillerama is a fun anthology film that lovingly honors the B movies and horror schlock of yesteryear. Its definitely not for everyone, but check it out if you like cheesy movies that tend to be so bad they're enjoyable.