When I saw Chillerama at the Hollywood Forever cemetery over the summer it was with grave (sorry) disappointment that I had to report that it hadn’t exactly blown my skirt up. Despite liking some elements of the film I had to give it a 4/10 Review.
It was a bummer because I typically like Adam Green and Joe Lynch’s output. And even though I especially dug Adam Rifkin’s segment, I can’t just review the bits I like – I have to review the whole film. Movies are more than the sum of their parts, which is an axiom that can take a harsh turn when you have a part as rancid as “I Was A Teenage Werebear“. A gangrenous leg can kill an entire man after all. But what happens if you remove that leg? Your patient lives.
Earlier this week, I caught a screening of Chillerama at USC in which the “Werebear” segment was omitted. The result was markedly better. Since it was a screening for students it was decided that only the segments of the directors who were able to attend would be shown – to ensure more time (and a more relevant line of questioning) for the Q&A afterwards.
I have to say that, as I suspected, the whole thing just feels and flows better. Without the additional segment, I was no longer too worn out and exhausted to enjoy the merits of the film.
Now, it’s still not Green and Lynch’s best work. It’s a side project movie and it feels like one. But at least now the cheap gory thrills that it has to offer can be taken more in stride and it’s something that you and your buddies can crack open a few beers and watch without feeling like an endurance challenge. “Zom-B-Movie” benefits greatly from the omission since we’re not required to spend too much time away from its characters and “The Diary Of Ann Frankenstein” feels more like a simple pleasure rather than something you watch while recovering from the wrath of “Werebear”. “Wadzilla” remains the high opening note that it always was. It’s also worth noting that movies like this just weren’t meant to be two hours long – 90 or so minutes is far more manageable.
Now this version isn’t available for purchase, but seeing it reinforces a hunch I had back when I wrote our chopping list. If you’re a fan of these guys, it’s safe to pick it up on Blu-ray. Just make sure your remote is handy for the one (or two) clicks it takes to make the viewing more expedient.