Instant Gratification Quick Takes: December 1, 2011

 Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

Chillerama (2011), directed by Adam West, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin and Tim Sullivan, with Richard Rielhe, Ray Wise, Eric Roberts and Kane Hodder – As a fan of classic horror/grindhouse cinema, nothing is more infuriating to watch than someone try and emulate the greatness of the masterpieces of schlock and sleaze we hold so dear and fail miserably. Sadly, almost 90 percent of the time, this is the case.

Chillerama, a bloated turd of a film from four filmmakers of questionable talent, including Adam Green (Hatchet), at best could have brought back fond memories of horror anthology films like Creepshow and television series like Tales From The Crypt. Instead, it’s more along the lines of Troma’s Tales From The Crapper — all previous shit metaphors aside. In short, Chillerama is constantly trying too hard to be the funniest guy in the room. It’s the Tom Green of anthology films. It’s like this kid I knew once who would do anything for a laugh. His name was Pete. We once paid Pete five dollars to eat a cigarette butt out of a trashcan. Then, after he actually went through with it, we threw the five dollar bill into a nearby stream and made him fish it out. It was late fall when all of this happened and, as you can imagine, poor pathetic Pete froze his nuts off. He got his five dollar though and – more importantly to him – he got us to laugh. And we laughed. It was hilarious. Pete, however, never stopped to decide whether we were laughing with him or at him. He probably didn’t care.

The difference between Pete and Chillerama is that, as much as I hate to admit, the former made me laugh. There wasn’t anything funny about Chillerama.

“Wadzilla”(directed by Adam Rifkin, whose most recent credits include penning 2007’s Underdog live-action cartoon adaptation) is a Godzilla spoof involving a giant sperm. It starts with a terrible premise and holds its ground. Even appearances by Ray Wise (Twin Peaks‘s Leland Palmer) and Eric Roberts can’t save what was an egregiously bad idea in the first place.

“I Was A Teenage Werebear” is a campy 1950’s-style musical directed by Tim Sullivan, who directed 2001 Maniacs (a sort-of guilty pleasure of mine.) “Bear” in homosexual slang, is a term describing a burly, hairy gay man – if Moe Porne of the podcast Drunk on VHS was a homosexual, he would be a bear. Hence, the idea is that “werebear” is like a werewolf but, when you’re bitten by one, you turn into a heavyset gay man. In regular form, a werebear is more like a twink, which in homosexual slang means a young, fresh-faced, gay manboy – if I was gay I’d probably be considered a twink at one time although I’m growing more bear-like by the day. It’s not the worst concept for a five-minute skit – maybe a fake trailer – but “I Was A Teenage Werebear” goes on too long and stretches the premise way farther than it should. The music is not good. None of the actors or actresses are particularly impressive vocalists. Strike two.

By the time Adam Green’s segment came on, I had just given up. It’s an Anne Frank parody (!!!) in which Anne Frank’s grandfather is Frankenstein or something. When they brought to life a “Jew monster” that looks like something out of Borat or The Eternal Jew, I had had enough.

Somebody named Joe Lynch directs something with zombies in it. It may have been the horrible wrap-around movie set in a drive-in.

Pete is married now. He’s got a kid. I think he’s grown up a bit since his cigarette-eating days. So, maybe there’s hope for Adam Green and company. But probably not. Once you go werebear, there’s usually no turning back. [IMDb] (Available until May 29, 2015)

Here, watch this instead: Creepshow 2 (Available until Nov. 14, 2014)

Hey! Follow Matt on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

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