Q&A Highlights From ‘Chillerama’ Debut At Comic-Con

While some filmmakers might panic or throw a tantrum if everything wasn’t going perfect on the night that their new film showed to the public for the first time, Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin, and Tim Sullivan were in good spirits and even making jokes about a potential disaster in process – Chillerama wasn’t actually there at the time it was set to start! In an effort to have the most updated/near complete version of the film possible, producer Jason Miller (who has been also handling a lot of the FX shots) was driving the latest cut from Los Angeles down to San Diego, and was stuck in some traffic. So instead of a post-film Q&A, the four filmmakers talked and took a few questions BEFORE the film, a situation as unconventional as the film itself. Here are some of the highlights! – Green explained that the title of his piece (‘The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein’) was not his own creation – it was bestowed upon him by Rifkin and Sullivan, who brought the project to Green and Lynch after the initial concept for the anthology (and the titles for each part, apparently) had already been worked out. Green joked that his mom immediately “took down my Bah Mitzvah pictures” upon hearing the title (then stressed that he was kidding).

– The title monster in ‘Wadzilla’ (Rifkin’s piece) was done by the Chiodo Brothers, best known for Killer Clowns From Outer Space. His movie is a spoof of 1950′s “atomic monster” movies, with Wadzilla being brought to life w/CGI, stop motion, and puppetry depending on the shot (and the current size of the monster). His short also features a few surprise cameos that were met with big applause.

– Rifkin and Sullivan have been working on the concept since they worked on Detroit Rock City together back in 1998. They also both consider actress Lin Shaye (Insidious) to be their good luck charm and thus she has been a part of pretty much everything they had done since. Keeping with tradition, she appears in both ‘Wadzilla’ and Sullivan’s ‘I Was A Teenage Werebear’ (as different characters).

– Lynch cast another good luck charm of sorts in his portion of the film, dubbed ‘Zom B-Movie’, which serves as the wraparound segment and tells the story of a Drive-In that gets overrun by zombies on the last night it is open before it gets closed down. Lynch roped in dozens of fans and friends (including yours truly) to play the anonymous denizens/eventual zombies of the drive-in, but he didn’t go too far to cast two of the featured characters: his wife Briana and their toddler son play, fittingly, a mother and son, with House of the Devil‘s AJ Bowen as the husband. They play a couple on a date that couldn’t get a sitter for their infant son, and eventually become the center of one of the film’s most memorable moments, one that hopefully will get past the MPAA once the film goes before the ratings board.

- The film premieres (in completed form!) at UK’s Frightfest at the end of August, and will tour in the fall as a “roadshow” (including some at some actual drive-ins, if all goes to plan) before a DVD release at the end of the year. As they are slowly (sadly) becoming a thing of the past, I think it will be a real blast to see it at an actual drive-in, which is where the four filmmakers saw a lot of the films that inspired their pieces. A quick survey of the crowd showed that just about everyone had actually been to drive-ins in the past (Lynch: “Thank GOD!”), but if you’ve never been – let Chillerama be the film to bust your cherry this fall!

– I can’t review the film properly as I worked on it (in addition to my little cameo as a zombie, I did the opening titles and will be doing the closing credits as well), but I can vouch that the crowd was totally digging it, cheering loudly in all the right places, applauding the occasional glitch (such as a hilariously “temp” shot of Wadzilla), and even clapping along with a particular musical segment in ‘Anne Frankenstein’. I think it will definitely benefit from a theatrical showing, so if it comes to your town, definitely check it out that way!