A kind of goofy, over-the-top, gross-out valentine to the drive-in era and the sort of cheap splatterfests that such edge-of-town establishments often featured, Chillerama is a horror anthology that offers up enough bad-taste depravity to put a curled smile of pleased enjoyment on John Waters’ face.
Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivian, Joe Lynch and Adam Green are the four directors presiding over the mayhem here — a two-hour festival of gore, goo, guts and blithely unserious chills and thrills. The wraparound story centers on the closing of the very last drive-in theater in the United States, where owner Cecil B. Kaufman (Office Space‘s Richard Riehle) has planned the ultimate marathon of lost film prints to unleash upon his faithful patrons — four films so rare that they’ve never been exhibited publicly, until now. Sex and dismemberment stand alongside gross-out gags and puns galore, but the entire affair plays sort of like Monty Python and Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask crossed with your average, very derivative ’80s VHS horror romp, and a pinch of exploitation DNA. Production design and cinematography, nicely, reflect the scummy grindhouse roots of the material. Younger audiences may not find much enjoyment here, but genre enthusiasts will likely be clutching their stomachs for more than one reason.
Housed in a standard Amaray plastic case in turn stored in a complementary cardboard slipcover, the unrated Chillerama comes to DVD presented in a 1.78 aspect ratio, with a Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound audio track and optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. Bonus features are anchored by a directors’ audio commentary track, interviews with the same quartet, and a nice spread of behind-the-scenes material, inclusive of deleted scenes and two making-of featurettes, that throw a bit of a different spotlight on each of the segments. The obligatory collection of preview trailers round things out. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. C+ (Movie) B- (Disc)