Sometimes VHS covers can be so deceptive that movies like Diary of the Dead can look like excellent, spooky horror. Insane Clown Posse made a song about miracles and forgot to mention that one, clearly. They also forgot to mention the fact that the sleazy bastards at Raedon Entertainment Group Inc. (a mouthful of a name) were able to fool unsuspecting renters for years in the 80s. The very second I saw the cover for Chillers up close and personal I became infatuated. I had to see this movie, even if it was put out by Raedon. I am a huge fan of demonic/evil bus drivers (ala Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street 2) and the mixture of paintings of demon people and a sadistic-looking actor on the cover made my mouth water. Could Raedon have fooled me into seeing shit? I thought maybe this is the one: the hidden diamond in the rough. Well, yes and no. It’s certainly not unwatchable, but is it good?
I love horror anthology shows and movies, so this was a no-brainer selection for review. A group of fools all wind up missing the bus, not blaming themselves for their own stupidity, but of course blaming the bus itself. Yes, it was the bus’s fault. Nice try. Almost immediately you are thrown into a story about a butch lesbian swimmer pretending to like men (my assumption based on how butch her ‘cut was, and how flannel her top was). Let me rant for a second about this lesbo before I get into more of the plot. She literally has no teeth. I despise when people talk with their bottom teeth, which she does on occasion, but in an even worse offense, on all other occasions she talks with no teeth. It’s just a black abyss (aka “crack whore mouth”). I fucking hate looking at that shit.
Now back to the review… She meets a hunk of a man at the swimming pool and immediately begins “liking” and flirting with this stranger. The pool consists of 49-year-old men goofing off and splashing water, 80-year-old folks working out, and crack whore and Lifetime movie channel wife-beater talking nonsense. After talking for a few days (if that) these “hotties” are already buck naked in the shower having sex (Oh Raedon, how we hate you). As we see their nude fleshy backs, this little exchange between Tim and I occurred:
Dan: “Oh god, she’s naked. Hideous.”
Tim: “I don’t think you’re going to see anything.”
Dan: “Are you kidding? This is Raedon, the kings of sleaze.”
See nasty dimply ass. Realize it’s the guys.
Dan and Tim: “Aaaaaahhhh! Hahah!”
The two creatures had blended together into one nasty man-beast of love. Sickening, to say the least. Turns out the guy is a ghost of a swimmer who had died in the pool. He turns into a huge dick (of course, like all men do after you give up the sex) and starts showing his cracked and bloody skull to her. There are also other ghosts in the pool, like an old fisherman who was swimming laps in order to get some ass by losing weight (you need to do more than lose weight, good sir), who won’t leave her alone. She ends up tripping and hitting her head. The end. Oh yeah, and I guess that was a dream the girl was having?
The next story is told by a little kid about a “nightmare” he had. He’s a little boy scout dork who goes off with a strange man and two other slightly less dorky kids into the woods to camp. Smart idea kid. Can’t wait till you’re raped. Well, the other dorks start calling this kid the biggest dork of all. Oh how wrong you are. The biggest dork is the 43-year-old counselor who wears 5-inch-thick glasses, is balding, and is obsessed with being a wolf. So obsessed that he actually turns into one! Some crazy hick comes and threatens the group and the leader does nothing. He says the guy is bluffing. Little do we know, the leader is about to go insane and kill everyone. He chases the kids and kills all but the dorkiest. He is howling like an idiot the entire time, too. The end. All the people listening to this story can say after it’s done is, “So gross.”
The third and last story is insanely boring. It involves some random guy coming over to a lonely woman’s home (She reminds me of Edna Krabappel from The Simpsons), them having crazy sex, and he sucks her blood. Yep, he’s a vampire and invites some female vampire over, too. At one point the female lures a pizza guy into her fangs by showing her boobs off. Damn horny fool! Weirdly enough, the girl wakes up in a hospital realizing it was a dream, but then she sees her vampire lover on the television.
Oh my Christ, there’s actually another one. I was blown away. Three stories work perfectly, why push it? This idiot realizes he can bring people back from the dead if he reads about it. He foolishly brings back a criminal who died in the electric chair. That causes havoc that isn’t very interesting at all. He honestly just found out he can raise the dead? Nice try.
Finally it’s over. OH MY GOD. There’s another. At least this dream features a horrible mustached actor crushing Christianity. He compares crazy pagan rituals to Christianity. Crushed. Some skank (one of the guy’s students) starts saying some weird chants, then has a seizure, and then lights start flashing and she turns into a demon with one of those cheesy deep demon voices. The demon comes into the teacher’s office and says, “Do you like my body?” And he says, “It takes more than that to get an A in my class.” What more do you want you greedy bitch?! The teacher does some other pagan ritual in class and the girl turns into a demon again (?) and starts killing everyone. And you get one of the funniest terrible scared reactions I’ve ever seen.
Ugh, I really wish none of these people woke up. The dreams these people had are so unbearably moronic.
These tales finally end, or do they? The bus shows up, finally, and they all get on. Guess who’s on the bus? All the people they had nightmares about! Aaaahhh! Scary! A random Jamaican is driving the bus and he says, “All aboard for Babylon.” He changes the destination to Hell and they begin driving. Somehow that stupid camping dork kid escapes the bus, though, but waiting in the bus stop is his camp leader. Then the kid wakes up in his bedroom and says, “Now that was scary!” Pretty amusing twist and somewhat watchable stories make this worth checking out. If any of these stories would have been feature-length I would have killed myself, but as shorts they aren’t too bad. It’s worth owning for the cover, and worth watching for the fun ending and slightly enjoyable anthology-aspects. It’s even fairly competent technically. There’s a fucking underwater shot!
There’s a release put out by Troma on VHS, a supposed “Collector’s Edition”. I wouldn’t mind picking that up one day, but no one should get that first since they ruin the artwork with their stupid logos. Raedon is the way to go, even if it is slightly expensive. The copy we have has a sticker on it advertising the fact it apparently won a “Silver Scroll” in 1989. Wonder if anyone ever fell for that? The font for the logo is amazing. It’s spelled with little claws that make it really stand out. There’s a DVD release, but it’s in one of those Troma Triple Feature sets which likely looks like ass and has horrid cover art. It’s three tiny posters for the movies that you can barely see. Also, I’ve just been informed by Jayson over at Ghoul Basement that the Troma release is rumored to be a cut version when compared to the Raedon one. Can’t confirm this, but it’s yet another reason to stick with this edition. Despite how much I diss Raedon, pick up any movie you come across by them. You’re in for some terrible cheese (with hilariously terrible [and sometimes actually good] art).