The Chilling (1989)

   

Directed by: Deland Nuse & Jack A. Sunseri

Written by: Jack A. Sunseri

Starring:

Linda Blair .... Mary Hampton
Dan Haggerty .... Sergeant Vince Marlow
Jack De Rieux .... Joseph Davenport Sr.
Troy Donahue .... Dr. Miller
Michael Jacobs .... Mark Evans
John Flanagan .... Jerry Kardell

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: 1989

Rating:

 

A bank robbery occurs and one of the criminals robbing the bank, Joe Davenport Jr. (Ron Vincent), is shot and killed by the police.
His father, Joseph Sr. (
Jack DeRieux), goes to a cryogenic centre to attempt the resurrection of his son and has the help of a lady, Mary Hampton (Linda Blair), who works at the cryogenic centre amd who one late Halloween night, asks her employer, Dr. Miller (Troy Donahue), for his help to bring Joe jr. back to life.
A thunder storm occurs while two of the sergeants, Vince (
Dan Haggerty) and Mark (Michael Jacobs), are working graveyard shift and the power is knocked out suddenly.
The lightning strikes down at the storage facility, awakening the frozen clients who are all turned into homicidal zombies.
A group of them attack both Vince and Mark.
Mark is eaten alive by a bunch of them and Vince tries to find a way to stop them.
Meanwhile, Mary and Joseph upon their return to the center are being chased by the zombies and discover at the same time that there is no escape from them.
The zombies begin to attempt a killing spree of all the employees at the cryogenic center.

 

There's impressive shots on the the cryogenic pods revealing Walt Disney etc. which is a good start for a film like this one but what is more creepy is watching the narrative credits rolling up on this possibly happening on reviving dead bodies but of course this is only a horror flick.
While we watch the film there's situations like the punk Joe Davenport Jr. getting forceful and lustful towards a woman which looked cheesy to watch but at the same time you wonder if she will give in or freak out during this moment. It definetely boggles you big time.
Then we have the bank robbery holdup as well as in other areas at a hotel but on how this was performed looked a bit cheesy as well. However later on in the story with the gunshooting between the criminals and policemen it did look slightly intense and energetic here and there too.
There's a nice sympathetic situation between Joseph Davenport Sr. and Mary Hampton on discussing about his son being his only child and about putting him in a cryogenic pod which was well focused on the two of them and looking good and serious. Definetely makes up for the cheesiness that we have spotted so far while watching the film.
There's a situation with the owner of the labratory named Dr. Miller trying to call one of his employees in which this was supposed to add some dark comedy to the story but yet the writing and everything else falls flat in this sequence. Oh well.
There's also a situation when an eccentric employee named Jerry Kardell tries to seduce a lustful woman which looked too planned out and unnatural. In other words very phony to spot all of this.
There's a good powerful scene when Joseph requests to look at a pod and Dr. Miller shows him his sons pod and Mary tells him that it isn't the right one yet Miller acts hard headed and ignorant about it all which looked truly frusterating to watch imagining on dealing with someone like that at work. It does leave a nice clue to the story on what may unravel later on.
The humor lightens up a bit better when
Sergeant Vince Marlow is starting his shift and acting flirtatious towards Mary as this was fun to watch their tineractions towards one another. The scene was well put in.
Then we spot some nice flowing conversations between Vince and his co-worker Mark Evans while playing cards which was set out nicely along with a radio on and announcing a thunderstorm which adds a nice touch to a horror story. The thunderstorm looked intense that you get an impression that a power outage will happen but once something like this happens the employees get a little concerned which breaks the good flow on their discussions here as it looked a bit too set out.
Nice shots on the pods lighting up with lightning striking on them as this gives you a totally creepy feeling that what's up next is not gonna be any good here. Also good close up shots on the corpses coming out of the pods with dark features to them and making effective sounds as this works in well making the moments look like a perfectly dark horror scene here.
There's a nice shot with the lightning shot on a window near Mark and he spots one of the homicidal zombie's appears before him for a sec and then disappears which looked perfectly spooky along with some cheesy one liners when he says it must've been a fallen branch.
Nice struggling situations between the two of them with good shots on the zombie's invading their workspace which looked perfectly suspenseful while watching all of this.
There's more dry humor when a drunken boyfriend of Mary's answers the door and there's trick or treaters and put his empty bottle in one of their bags of candy. Yet it can seem slightly funny if you're in the laughing mood for it.
Some of the fighting sequences between the zombie's and the people can look slightly sloppy when we watch these situations happening.
However there's a great forceful moment when Vince gets stern and demanding towards Jerry as to why this is happening as this looked strongly put in along with his explantiations to what these corpses have become.
We also spot many good shots and suspenseful moments with Mary and Joseph trying to struggle away from the madness showing the average stunt work that is surrounded by them. Plus there's a good shot on Joe Jr. staring lifelessly at Joseph and he is about to give in to try and talk to him in which this makes you watch really hard wondering if something terrifying will happen to him here.
Some fun touches with Vince plunging away with his forklift acting vengeful along with perfect close up shots on him driving this vehicle. It definetely looked exciting to spot this.
A great suspenseful situation when we spot everyone trying to activate a power generator while these zombie's nearly corner them which you wonder if they will get it activated in time or not. This keeps you in suspense for sure.
There's some cheesy shots on the pods catching on fire with a blazing inferno with phony looking explosions too.
We spot a real touching and near ending sequence with Vince holding his dog and looking sad as you really feel sorry for this poor guy while spotting this.
Bottom line is that this is one of those cheesy zombie film version's of George A. Romero's and also I think this film was a tribute to his work. It's okay to watch but not a smash hit zombie flick by any means. Still it's worth it to watch for what it is if you like badly made for video, horror movies like this one.

The actors do an okay job but of course we can't forget about former scream queen Linda Blair (Mary Hampton) freaking out while being attacked by the living dead and she very much focuses on her character well into the film. Plus she shows a nice focus on her sympathetic behavior in the near beginning of this film while talking to someone on a situation and really getting into all of this. She also does a nice job trying to talk to someone on another topic and does well trying to be patient about it all without trying to lose it. She also does a nice job with her bluntness in another scene towards another actor playing her drunken boyfriend. She still proves that she can be a worthy character actress.
But you gotta love former Grizzly Adams TV star Dan Haggerty (Sergeant Vince Marlow) as he is extremely outgoing in his role while watching through the film you hope he survives. He does a nice job in the beginning of his performance with his flirtatious behavior and nice sense of humor acting very believeable while doing this. Plus shows a good charming type of personality along with his sarcasm while working on his shift and playing cards. He drew in perfectly well with this moment and acting very lightheaded here. Yet at times he seems to act thrown off at times when he gets anxious which is slightly rusty to spot but gets right back on track. Plus knew on how to act tough and forceful in another moment showing some good energy when he does this. Plus was believeably heroic when he tries to save the day really showing a great adrenaline here. He reminds you as one of those believeable type of employees who enjoys their job and working with others. He stole the show.
Jack De Rieux (Joseph Davenport Sr.) seemed to show off a perfectly type of sadness to his part that you truly feel sorry for the guy. He also does well with his reasonable attitude when getting into a heavy discussion about reviving his son in which he studied really hard in this scene as you can tell here. Also does a nice job whenever he had to act short with someone which showed some nice characteristics here too. To top it all off does well almost giving in when he spots his son acting weak about it and falling into this which also looked good in his performance here.
We also have former 50's heartthrob Troy Donahue (Dr. Miller) as the evil one as he was another cast member I enjoyed too. Well he gets what is coming to him. Yet he seemed to come off rather gay with his speaking showing a bit of a feminine side to his appeal when he gets wicked with his behavior or demanding too. He seemed to try to be funny and it didn't always work here. However when he gets blunt or aggressive this shines off nicely while spotting this in his role.
Michael Jacobs (Mark Evans) seemed to do okay in his job playing a dweeby but likeable kind of employee in which he does a great job acting anxious while he needed to do this. He also was great with his conversations adding some good hype into his role too. He came across as one of those sensitive types in which he delivers this pretty well while we watch him do all of this.
John Flanagan
(Jerry Kardell) seemed to perform not too badly as an odd and eccentric employee at the lab in which he showed a nice focus while doing operations on corpses in which he drew into this very well. Also does a good job with his tense speaking but yet there's a moment when he tries to act lustful and just doesn't get into it but yet it was also due to some poor writing as well. Does a great job explaning a deadly situation bringing some good charisma into doing all of this.

A woman gets naked making out with a tough guy and one of her breasts is exposed as well as a full body shot of her back and butt while she is taking a shower.

One of the people at the cryogenic labs is operating on a corpse by taking the inside organs, like the heart and kidneys, out of the bodies.
Various zombies are butchered as well.
There's also a decapitated head and dismembered hand.
There is also some cannibalism of a corpse.

We have alot of Z-grade synthesizer music that tries hard to sound like a violin orchestral type of playing but we all know that it isn't. Yet there's some good hissing and rusty metal sounds too as well as nice screeching noises too. Plus some nice energetic drumbeats too. Near the end of the film the orchestral music sounds a bit stronger and giving the film a perfect suspense to what we hear here. There's alot of low sounds throughout the flick which works in well too.

Sergeant Vince Marlow: You know what they say Mark. Life is a bitch and then you die