Chillers (1987) - Weasello Rating: {----} (I wish *I* died during the movie!)

Spoilers abound. This movie is so horrible that I figure it's more entertaining to read the plot from my words alone, so I wrote just about every little plot point down in the "plot" section. If you don't want any spoilers, or if you don't enjoy reading about movies for whatever reason, just skip down to the next section.

Body Count: One, just one. Oh wait, maybe three or four; but none are really confirmed and they're all dream-like deaths, and didn't actually happen in real life.

Porn Cont: Though a horror movie, we are only allowed to see one (1) man-ass, and one (only one) nipple... and that nipple is shrouded by a swimsuit.

One sentence plot summary: Five people stuck overnight in a bus depot share with each other their nightmares from the day before.

The Plot: This movie is, essentially, an incredibly short and cheezy plotline designed simply to show you five short horror movie flics. The first scene opens up with some folks getting off of a bus at a bus depot - but they missed their connecting bus. While waiting for the next bus, they discover they all have something in common - they all had a horrible nightmare the night before. They decide to share the nightmares with each other!

Story 1: The Swimming Pool
The basic plot to this story is a girl is swimming in a swimming pool, and she's practicing her backstroke. She bangs her head against the edge of the pool, and starts floating underwater, obviously in sad shape. Suddenly, a young buff man jumps in and saves her. She thanks him, and they start getting all romantically entangled while she learns how to swim better from this studly dude. After we see her nipples (through a wet bathing suit), we're "treated" to some nice buff man-ass in the public-shower sex-scene before things start getting "scary."

The girl starts feeling uneasy, and suddenly her new boyfriend dissapears. She goes out to the now-devoid-of-patrons pool, and sees him dive in - and not come up for air! The lifeguard is called over and the pair "explore" the pool for the missing body. Their exploration, interestingly enough, is limited to a few square meters of space that is the focus of the fixed-from-the-ceiling camera angle. Their search pattern was incredibly small, and we were treated to this "fun" and "exciting" scene for a good two minutes.

The girl is later talking to some authorities when she finds out the boy had died... Five years ago! After figuring this out, the girl starts seeing several obviously dead people wandering around the pool, mocking her with lame catch phrases and warning her about the deadliness of "operating a drill when falling into the pool" or "diving when there's no water." She retreats in horror, only to find her new boyfriend - now with white contact lenses (making him look more creepy) and a big bloody head. She retreats even more, back into the shower - now cornered with several ghoulies after her, she exclaims "Why are you doing this to me?!"... to which the ghouls explain, "Because we like you!"

The new boyfriend dude then puts his hands on his hips, stands in some fog, gets a nice blue backlight, then throws his head back and starts laughing "BWA-HA-HA-HAAaaaa!" in the most cheezy and irrelevant, and pointless, evil scene I've ever seen.

My theory is that the girl died when she banged her head against the wall during her backstroke; maybe she drowned and that's when all the "fake" stuff started. She was "added to the list of dead people at the pool," so to speak.
Story 2: The Junior Camping Club
A group of 3 young junior campers (or scouts, or whatever generic name they were using) and an adult supervisor head out and make a camp in the woods. As they are setting up their tents-without-bottoms, and throwing their sleeping bags on the leafy, dirty floor (?!), a crazed old redneck comes out of the woods sporting a few leg-clamp traps and a rifle.

Obviously upset, this redneck says "You ain't be doin' none of yer' derned business on this here my property," or something similar. The leader of the junior campers proclaims that this is government land, but the redneck would have none of it. "Whatt'ya', queer or sumptin? You ain't gittin my permission to use this here land o mine!" The campers are given a few hours to pack up and leave before he comes back to "break your arms."

The kids urge the leader to just leave, as the guy requests, but the leader guy says that the old redneck was just a rough and tumble man flexing his muscle, and he wasn't really a threat. To prove that the redneck wasn't coming back, he set off in search of him and said to the kids "wait here until I get back! Don't leave the campsite, that's an order!"

Two of the badass kids sneak out of the campsite immediately and go lightup some cigarettes. One boy is suddenly grabbed from above, and pulled very slowly upwards (as the boy makes no noise, to alert boy #2 to this horrifying danger). The other boy turns around to find his smoking buddy gone - and he wanders around slowly calling out his name. Then he's grabbed too, and doesn't scream or anything.

Cut back to nerdy boy #3, who has thick glasses and obviously would never go smoking. After all, the camp leader said to stay in the campsite. He falls asleep by the fire after hours of waiting, but soon wakes up to the muffled cries of the now-bound boy #1 and boy #2. The boy jolts upright in fear, only to find the crazed redneck guy...

Dangling from a rope by a tree! SHOCKER!

It turns out that the camping leader guy was insane ("I thought you were from the state government," asked the boy. "Hahah! No! From the state INFIRMARY," responds the leader guy) and decided he wanted to eat the redneck and those "pesky brats that snuck off smoking and making fun of me." He took a liking to nerdy boy #3 who followed orders rather well.

After nerdy boy frees boy #1 and #2, a brief forest-chase-scene occurs and the crazed leader guy gets his hand stuck in a wolf trap. The boys run back to the car and hop in - only to have the leader guy slam into the car window! Hissing and growling, covered in blood, he makes an insane face through the window while chomping his teeth together. He then shows his stump of an arm. Apparantly, he chewed off his own hand just to catch up with the kids.

I have to say, this was the best of the five stories.
Story 3: The Crazy Stalker(s)
Some lonely older woman was watching TV, when the news came on. The news anchorman looked rather attractive, and the woman says "I love you, newsman! You're so understanding and you don't judge me and you just sit there and talk!"

The woman gets up some nerve to call the newsman at work and call him out for a date. She gets all flustered and hangs up in mid-sentance, realizing that what she is doing is pretty stupid and she probably now classifies as a stalker.

But the next day, the newsman shows up at her house, thereby classifying him as a stalker! After a rousing evening of getting to know a complete stranger, We are treated to yet another sex scene, this time under the covers so we don't even see man-ass. But we do find out that our TV newsman is...


He proceeds to suck her blood. "Will I become like you," asks the woman. "No," says the vampire suprisingly. "You will die in a few days."


This is probably the weirdest, most boring story, because the girl then just waited till the vampire fell asleep then staked him through the heart with a hair brush. The big "horror" moment happens when she sees him on TV at the end of the movie, still alive and well. Bwa-ha-ha. I suppose there's another vampire lady that sneaks into her house and kills a pizzaman, but I don't know what's up with her.
Story 4: The Kid Who Had An Amazing Power
Some young teenager is reading a morning newspaper when he gets all sad at the obituaries. A 9 year old boy has died! He slams his fist down on the table and exclaims in a cheezy voice, out loud, "I WISH I COULD BRING YOU BACK!"


Dazed and confused, the 9 year old boy is back. The teenager calls up the parents and sneakily informs them that their child was found outside or something, and the parents are all excited and come pick him up. "This is great," says the teenager. "I wonder if I can bring back other people, too." Well, of course he can. He brings back a young 22 year old man, and tells him to go home to his family. Dazed and confused, he does.

Then he brings back his long lost brother! His brother starts waxing philosophical about how he liked it in heaven, and how he didn't *want* to leave, and all that stuff. Just as they start warming up to each other and treating each other civil, the 22 year old boy he brought back earlier busts in through the door with a shotgun in hand.

Turns out he's an axe-murderer who was just put in the electric chair! He demands the boy bring back his "other friends," and shoots his brother in the leg to show he's serious. Then the teenager puts his hand on the newspaper and wishes him to be dead. In a wave of cheezy special effects, the axe murderer dissapears. THEN, INEXPLICABLY, the teenager dissapears too! Back in the bus depot, he explains that in his dream he wished himself out of existance. WHAT?! WHY?! HOW?!

Oh wait.. in retrospect, I just now realized that when he put his hand on the newspaper, under the axe-murderer's picture was his own picture on a different page. So I guess his ability works through a few sheets of newspaper or something. Huh. STILL LAME!
Story 5: The Ancient Aztec Evil
The last story is kind of interesting, and the most gory, but is still lacking. A super-exciting anthropology class is being taught about an ancient Aztec evil that can be summoned with a certain phrase. Of course, a nerdy girl in class decides to visit an excavation and recite those words - and she becomes the evil Aztec warrior chick.

She rips off the head of her companion, then attends class the next day.

In class, she slashes a few people in the face and eats someones ear (I think) and then approaches the teacher. After the police bust in and the teacher figures out the reversal spell, the girl is shot dead. Bending over her body, the teacher says "What have I done?!" before the girl reaches into his chest and pulls out his still-beating heart, Indiana Jones style.
As they finish off their nightmare tales, the next connecting bus stops by. All the folks board the bus, and Ta-DA! In the most shocking and twisting turn of events I've ever seen portrayed on film, all the evil badguys from the dreams are occupying the bus seats! The obviously evil rastafarian busdriver swivels the destination sign to "HELL" and laughs maniacally as they drive away! OH NOoooo!

... ahem. Enough with the sarcasm!

My Opinion: Oh the pain. This is a textbook B Horror Film. Wait, no, an F Horror Film; it doesn't deserve the B. It is so stupidly bad, I almost gave it 1/4 stars... Until I read the tagline to the movie. "Evil travels by many forms... Even by BUS!" It almost looked like it was trying to be serious and just plain failed.

Mind you, though it was incredibly bad, it wasn't so bad that it wasn't funny at all. I was laughing at the movie, and commenting throughout, not falling asleep.

That's a good thing.

As for the acting, incredibly bad and forced. One of the characters (the ax murderer that was brought back to life) did a pretty good job, but he had all of about 2 minutes of screen time. He even looked convincingly insane!

The effects and cinematography was horrible - it looks like it was shot with a camcorder in the late 70's. The most expensive peice of equipment they probably had was a tripod for the camera. The cuts between scenes were always fade-to-white cuts, which I've never seen before and I never want to see again. There is no "fading" of the sound or music between cuts, so a guy will be going "HAaa HAaa Haaa! HAaa Haaa H..." and then fade to white. At the same time, the not-dramatic-whatsoever music suddenly stops in mid-chord. As this movie was all about dreams, when people started to describe their dreams, it did the cheezy "zoom-in-on-their-face and echo-their-last-words" introduction. Oh god. I never though those actually existed outside of cartoons.

Costumes? Sets? The makeup artist did a few poorly done gore-jobs, but other than that everything seemed to be actual locales and plain clothes.

If you're stupidly drunk right now, and you have a party going on at your house, and you want to throw on a cheezy movie that will provide a few laughs (but doesn't require constant attention), this movie is for you. If you are sober, in the company of less than two other people, and are looking for something chilling to cuddle up to, stay far, far away from this movie and anything it touches. It's like romantic kryptonite.

Maybe the little kid in the movie had a point - every time someone finished a story, he'd say "That's not scary!"... You said it, kid.

Interesting Notes:
  • Did I say interesting? Oh, never mind then.
Boring Notes:
  • There are only 9 people on the cast and crew credits. NINE. But wait, what's this? On the back of the box, there is a few other people credited for makeup, special effects, and the like. They are not credited anywhere else; in the film, on IMDB.COM, nowhere.
  • There's a review on the front cover of the box.
    "A creepy anthology that delivers, with scary twists and fright-filled turns." - Larry Barsky, FANGORIA
    Look, Larry; I don't know how much they paid you to say that, but it wasn't worth it. You've just lost yourself one potential reader, because I'm never going to trust you EVER AGAIN.
  • Oh, wow! I flipped over the box and here's another fantastic review.
    "CHILLERS is a tense, taught experience in terror!" - Mark Cartwright, HOLLYWOOD HOTLINE
    The same goes for you, buddy! Working for a (formerly?) big outfit like Hollywood Hotline must mean you make a lot of money or you are just plain stupid. Putting an endorsement like that on a movie like this is career suicide.
  • The bus picture on the front cover of the movie has the destination sign set for "Hell." I thought it was an incredibly lame picture, until I saw it actually appears in the movie. Even more lame.
  • For a movie I hate so much, I sure did do a big writeup for it. At the time of posting this, I think this is the longest writeup I've ever written.
  • Zerotime says "The "not becoming a vampire after being bitten by one" is in most vampire lore. And I guess the death bit was because he took too much blood, or she caught some kind of vampire disease or something.
The entire cast/crew list: Director: Daniel Boyd
Producer: Daniel Boyd
Writer: Daniel Boyd (looks like this guy has a monopoly!)

Tagline: Evil travels in many forms... Even by BUS!

Running Time: 91 Minutes
Sources: The oh-so-wonderful IMDB, my head, the box.

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