Thursday, October 16, 2008


On the sixteenth day of Halloween, my boo love gave to me ... sixteen homicidal human Popsicles with Mommy issues!


That guy from The Warriors, a priestly Paulie, loads of other That Guys, jerky doctors, Wonder Woman’s Mom, a violated Rottweiler, and another black eye for the Cryogenics industry.

More details here.


Miles Creighton (Michael Beck) dies of liver failure and his grief-stricken, money bags-laden Mother (Beatrice Straight) puts him into frozen suspended animation. She hopes to revive him when a treatment is available in the spooky liver-free future, despite the spiritual protests of the family priest (Paul Sorvino). Ten years pass, and a malfunctioning ice box thaws Miles out but doctors are able to revive him and treat his now-curable illness. But Miles isn’t the same warm, affable guy he used to be. He huddles alone in bedroom in his enormous mansion and watches TV, drinks wine, and silently contemplates evil doing. Well, so far I can really relate. But the real Miles blossoms when he’s given back control of the family business, a mega-corporation in need of profit-making ventures. He’s emotionless and ruthless, hates charities, and lacks a soul. He drinks a lot of booze, beats women, abuses animals, and murders here and there. He then hits on his adopted sister (Jill Schoelen), who can’t see he’s a cold-hearted snake! Just look into his eyes! He’s been telling lies. He’s a lover boy at play, he don’t play by rules, oh oh…OK I’ll shut up now. So he does a bunch of other messed-up Donald Trumpish-crap before the final showdown with his ticked-off, over-billed Mom who leads him back into the fridge where he’s put down for an eternal chilly time-out.


Browsing my Netflix horror selections, I stumbled across Chiller which had “Wes Craven’s” displayed prominently on the front cover. “Hmm, the guy who directed the original Hills Have Eyes and the underrated People Under the Stairs and invented Freddy Krueger, you know, that horror icon”, I told myself. Then I thought, “Hmm, but this is also the guy who created Scream and the endless stream of haughty, self-aware, dumb-as-shit teen slasher copycats”. What to do? It was dated 1985 so I guessed that this was made between the first Nightmare on Elm Street and Serpent and the Rainbow, which comprised a classic Craven era of sorts, so I figured what the hell. I later learned that this was one of several TV movies Craven did in the 80s. The DVD quality was worse than anything you can see on VHS. It looked like someone put a camera in front of tube TV and shot the whole thing in a cave. The acting was spectacularly wooden, even for TV. Only stage-trained actress Straight seemed to be putting in any kind of effort. The Warriors guy was as stiff as a Baseball Furies bat. Sorvino may have had ten minutes of screen time at best, but his mug dominates the video cover. The only redeeming and memorable factor of the movie was a cool reanimation sequence by the late, great Stan Winston.

Chiller was truly dreadful, slow, and worst of all, boring. I longed for commercial breaks that never came. Like, remember that one Popsicle commercial from the 80s where goofy kids sung and danced into the popsicle like a microphone? Yep, better than Chiller.

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