When a drive-in is closing, the owner decides to show several “lost films” in Chillerama.
Chillerama consists of several films within a film, with an arching narrative between films. A drive-in run by Cecil B. Kaufman (Richard Riehle) is closing and he decides to show several films that have never been seen before. Before the movies begin, a man digs up his wife’s corpse to defile, and she comes to life and turns him into a sex zombie…or something. The movies within the movie are Wadzilla, I Was a Teenage Werebear, and Diary of Anne Frankenstein.
A man with a low sperm count tries a treatment that turns his single sperm into a monster and it ravages a city.
Yup, that’s about all there is to that one. An obvious nod to trash films from Troma Video and 50s monster movies, Wadzilla features terrible acting and horrible sets but a kinda-sorta funny premise and some better-than-expected special effects. The idea of Wadzilla is fairly funny and even though it doesn’t have a very good first impression, it was the second best of the three main shorts in Chillerama. I’ll admit, seeing a giant monster sperm terrorize a city was surprisingly satisfying to watch.
I give it 3 out of 5.
I Was a Teenage Werebear
A closeted homosexual teenager gets bitten by a homosexual werebear and they turn into leather-clad werebears.
You may know that I’m not much of a fan of musicals so I Was a Teenage Werebear was a bit of struggle for me to get through based on that alone. Also working against this short was the homophobic undertones (I’m still not sure if the whole thing was anti or pro gay) and wound up being a much too long joke about not being werewolves, but being werebears (bear being the term for a hairy homosexual man). I couldn’t wait for this segment to be over.
I give it 1 out of 5.
The Diary of Anne Frankenstein
Hitler tracks down the Frankenstein family and the diary of Anne Frankenstein, which may hold the secret to win the war.
I really expected this short to be lousy too but I laughed so hard at several scenes I almost replayed the entire segment once it was done. The title, an amalgamation of The Diary of Anne Frank with Frankenstein, made me chuckle and in action the premise is even funnier, albeit a bit insensitive. This short made the whole of Chillerama worthwhile.
I give it 4 out of 5.
So back to Chillerama, between each movie there are scenes at the drive-in that are mostly horribly unfunny and chock-full of movie references and one-liners. If the segments were longer than just a few minutes between short films, it would be kind of painful but as they are, it’s all right.
On a whole, Chillerama is stupid, but it knows it is. The budget is barely at shoe string levels and the action and dialogue seems like it was written on a napkin in the basement of someone’s mother, but I still kind of enjoyed the whole thing. It’s not a film that tries to be good, it’s a mashup love letter to trashy b-movies and in that, Chillerama largely succeeds. If nothing else, Chillerama is worth watching just for The Diary of Anne Frankenstein.
I give it 3 Diary of Anne Frankensteins out of 5.