Wes Craven has had one of the most unusual careers of any genre director. He started out pretty late in life (33 maybe), made some classic exploitation and horror films, and then jumped into the dreaded realm of made for television flicks. Why I wonder? To pay the rent I suppose. The story of Chiller begins in a very atmospheric cryogenic chamber setting and it really got my hopes up. It was a creepy beginning and it was Craven at the helm. So why didn’t I like the movie? Production values for starters. They really hindered this project. Also, the made for TV quality was really hard to get past. The story was lacking something too. I think Craven was exploring ideas here which would have been more suited for the big screen. In the story, Michael Beck (The Warriors) awakes from a cryo-sleep after being dead for quite some time. Many can immediately tell there is something different about him. But his mother, the one who put him in stasis, refuses to believe them. A priest (Paul Sorvino from Goodfellas) becomes our hero and the question of the human soul comes into play. Beck’s character is quite evil and we are presented with the possibility that he lost his soul when he died. Not a bad premise, but nothing is ever resolved. Many questions the film poses go unanswered-which may or may not be a good thing. I think the film’s main message is “Don’t play God” or maybe just “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Scream queen fans may appreciate an early appearance of Jill Schoelen who went on to star in The Stepfather, Cutting Class, Popcorn, and When a Stranger Calls Back. On another note, this features some of Stan Winston’s early F/X work, and it’s quite good. The DVD has a funny trivia game to make sure you were paying attention to the movie. Sadly, that’s about all the DVD has to offer because the transfer (what transfer?) is horrible. While I don’t think you should go out of your way to see it, Chiller was certainly better than Vampire in Brooklyn.
698MB | 1h 27m | 608×416 | avi