Director – Chris Woods (Amerikan Holokaust, Make Them Die Sleazy)
Starring – Robert Apperson, Zach Bressler (Rooster), and Helaine Cira (1000 Ways to Die)
Release Date – 1999
Rating – 3/5
A lot of horror fans hate on the 90s for their lack of good horror flicks. Horror fans refuse to give that decade it’s due. Though it was not as well known as the 70s and 80s, it still saw it’s fair share of great horror films. This decade saw the release of Leprechaun, Subspecies, Wishmaster, and Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Deadamong many others. At the tail end of that decade, 1999, Chris Woods would direct a sci-fi thriller that adds elements of body horror.
That film was Chameleon and it was recently re-released by Chris Woods and Sleaze Box. This was years before he became a name among the indie horror scene with his release of Amerikan Holokaust with John Miller. I had never seen this no budget gem and Chris was kind enough to send a review copy my way to check out. Thanks Chris for letting me check this one out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a nurse who comes in contact a creature that is part of a government experiment. The creature is severely burned and dying. The creature passes it’s essence to the young nurse and absorbs her. The two personalities conflict and the nurse can no longer remember if it is the creature now living in the nurse’s body with pieces of her memory bleeding through or if it is actually the nurse herself dealing with the creatures attacks. It must now try to figure out what it really is while running from government agents who are right on her tail trying to capture her and take her back to continue their experiments. **Spoiler Alert**
A lot of the horror flicks in the 90s mixed sci-fi elements and vice versa. Chameleon is a well polished sci-fi film that falls into the body horror sub-genre which is one that is very underutilized.
The acting in this one is not the best I have seen but is far from being the worst. With that being said, it is probably one of the best acted Sleaze Box films that I have seen so far. The cast work up some solid characters but are unable to keep their performances consistent throughout the film. More practice and rehearsals would have went a long way in this aspect.
The story for this one is one we have seen so many times, especially in the 90s. Countless films from this decade followed a genetic government experiment that gets loose and wreaks havoc on the surrounding town. What sets this one apart from the others is the chameleon angle that adds up some excitement that the others lacked.
Finally, those of you looking for on screen kills and gore will not find those here. The film itself relies heavily on the story and atmosphere to get to the fewer instead of showering them in buckets of blood. This is the complete opposite from Amerikan Holokaust. There is a few kills scattered throughout with some blood but not enough to honestly stand out. Overall, Chameleon is a surprisingly entertaining film. This is the kind of movie that unlocks the flood gates of nostalgia and takes the viewer back to the 90s when horror and sci-fi went hand in hand. This film is a must have.