On the surface, Image Entertainment’s new DVD release, “Chillerama,” looks exactly what it’s producers intended it to be: a mad satire of 1950s monster movies. Set at a drive-in movie theater, the audience, both at home and at the drive-in, watch a triple-bill horror extravaganza. The third offering on the program, “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein,” is almost indescribable.
I’ll give it my best shot.
Joel David Moore is cast as a buffoonish Adolf Hitler, who finds Dr. Frankenstein’s diary when he exterminates the Frank family in their Amsterdam attic. He then proceeds to re-create the Frankenstein monster. To the tune of “Hava Negila,” a very Hassidic-looking monster (Kane Hodder) is brought to life. The Monster is called Meshugannah. (Are you laughing yet?)
“Oh, mine Fuhrer,” says Eva Braun. “You’re so hot when you commit genocide.” The audience is expected to laugh uproariously over this “clever” line.
There’s something very surreal about listening to Moore’s interview on the DVD’s extras menu. “Adam Green (the director) is Jewish, Kane’s Jewish, I’m married to an Israeli Jew. Shit, why not?” Moore also tells us how deeply moved he was when he visited the real Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Green is even more idiotic in his interview. “Ultimately, this became a chance to rip on Hitler as a Jewish person. That’s f—ing great!” The filmmaker assures us that he fully respects the tragedy of the Holocaust. Thank goodness! I was worried about that!
What planet do these guys live on? Do they truly understand the magnitude of what happened in Europe during World War II? That this was an attempt by a sovereign government to exterminate an entire race of people, along with seniors, the disabled, gays and gypsies? Six million Jews gone; entire families, entire towns wiped out. This is fodder for humor?
I’m thinking of Shirley and Sol, the Holocaust survivors who lived next door to us when I was a child in 1960s Brooklyn. They had met at a post-Holocaust survivors camp, married, and had three children. Outside of their immediate family they had no relatives. Not a single one. Because everyone else had died in Hitler’s camps. I’m sorry if I’m coming across like I have no sense of humor, but I don’t find that funny. That three Jewish guys would laugh at the Shoah, then pat themselves on the back because they think they’re so clever, is almost too astonishing for words.
What’s next? A comedy about 9/11? Frankly, I wouldn’t put it past these guys.
If you’re as disgusted as we are, please feel free to visit the film’s website, and, as Madonna would say, express yourself.