Blood Capsule #15

CHILLER (1985)

I thought it would be interesting to go back and take a look at one of Wes Craven's low-profile affairs. This made-for-TV icebox tacitly premiered on the tube in 1985, only a year removed from the lucrative nightmare on Elm Street. I'm going to go out on a limb and presume that Wes wasn't totally invested in this production. Nothing here suggests that he was present during principal photography. Hell, nothing here indicates that Chiller was directed by a human being. I doubt that editor Duane Hartzell was taxed with an enervating workload, as the camerawork rarely veers from the old-line point-and-shoot method. But what about the script? It's not too shabby.

Screenwriting duties were delegated to the capable hands of J.D. Feigelson, a name that may be familiar to Random Reviews groupies (hey, don't take my fantasy away from me). J.D. penned such cult classics as Horror High and Dark Night of the Scarecrow. Chiller concerns a terminal patient whose mother opts to have him cryogenically frozen. Ten years later, he thaws out and discovers the solace of skateboarding with the aid of Pauly Shore...wait a second. No, he thaws out and loses his soul in the process. The cast is turbulently uneven. The acting ranges from somnolent (a woozy, resigned Paul Sorvino) to expressive (a congenial Jill Schoelen and a creepy-as-fuck Michael Beck).

Chiller won't bedazzle gore fiends, but it's a decent little flick. Recommended for completists.


  1. Decent huh? Sounds like a nice time passer. When Craven's on, he's fucking ON, but he's had some serious misfires. How can one helm such brilliance like the original Elm Street, New Nightmare and Serpent and the Rainbow (which is one of the most underrated movies ever, I'm making it a mission to get that movie loved every chance I get) then do things like Cursed and My Soul To Take? Yikes.

  2. To be fair, Cursed was fucked up by Dimension, but yeah, Craven is inconsistent (and that's an understatement). Red Eye has been his only post-Scream film that I liked.