Chillerama Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 120 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 29, 2011
- List Price: $29.97
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Chillerama might seem creative if one hadn’t already seen the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse, featuring Planet Terror (Rodriguez) and Death Proof (Tarantino), the two directors’ tribute to low-budget, B-grade filmmaking, full of gore, grit, and exploitation.
Chillerama brings together directors Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City; The Dark Backward), Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs), Adam Green (Hatchet; Frozen) and Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn; Knights of Badassdom) in this anthology of B-grade horror films, each one spoofing the weekend creature features of the 1940′s through 1960′s.
Chillerama originally premiered at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and then began a 20-city Roadshow Tour. It features a film-within-a-film, so to speak, as the main story involves a group of people at a drive-in to see a horror movie marathon for the theatre’s final night before shutting down as a mysterious infection begins to sweep through the crowd turning them all into zombies.
Meanwhile, the “main features” being shown are Wadzilla in which a man’s sperm mutates into a giant, Godzilla like creature that goes on a rampage, I Was a Teenage Werebear finds a teenager fighting an urge he just can’t control any longer and lastly The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is a comedic gothic black and white horror feature that has Hitler trying to build the ultimate weapon.
Each “feature” has its own unique style, but each one is infused with a sly sense of humor more than outright gore. This is the stuff of Ed Wood with a little a bit of a nod to the stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen. Unfortunately, most of the humor is very puerile and this collection of films falls way short of genius, feeling more tedious and unnecessarily beholden in places to its historical references than anything. If you want to see this sort of thing done right, then stick to Grindhouse.
Judging a release like this can prove rather difficult since each “film” in Chillerama is directed in a different style and looks very different. For instance, Wadzilla has an over-saturated, grainy appearance with purposely added source damage while The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is in black and white with source damage applied. I Was a Teenage Werebear, meanwhile, looks like clean HD with highly saturated color. In all instances there doesn’t appear to be any harmful compression effects or post-processing applied in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer from Image Entertainment and it is quite solid all around.
The audio is a pretty straightforward DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that has a little low level ambience in the surround channels, but does help to add a tad of atmosphere to the horror. Dialogue s clean around and there is good spacing of sounds across the front channels.
Nearly all the video supplements are provided in high definition, which still seems unusual these days, especially from smaller labels like Image. There is a mixture of deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews on offer, but the best extra will be the picture-in-picture commentary with the filmmakers.
The supplements provided with this release:
- Video Commentary – Picture-in-Picture video commentary by the filmmakers
- The Making of The Diary of Anne Frankenstein – (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:23:17)
- Wadzilla Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:04)
- I Was a Teenage Werebear:
- Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:21:59)
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 00:14:27)
- Zom-B-Movie Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:02)
- Famous Monsters (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:05:41)
- Salfen Comic-Con Interview (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:07:51)
- I Was a Teenage Werebear
The Definitive Word
A valiant effort, but a disappointing one that is low on scares and laughs, Chillerama simply feels like an unnecessary and unsuccessful attempt at spoofing the golden era of creature features.
Additional Screen Captures