Furthermore, the collection of characters is so formulaic and one-dimensional it's ridiculous: the corrupt doctor; his assistant, played by Linda Blair (we know she's his "assistant" because he repeatedly refers to her by that title); the recently-widowed businessman with a heart of gold who develops a romantic interest with Blair's character; his criminal son; the Blair character's alcoholic, abusive, unemployed boyfriend, whom we are introduced to in the most contrived use of a flashback; and, of course, the rough, tough, bearded security guard who becomes the hero.
Apparently, the preserving fluid which some cryogenics lab uses on its bodies is highly conductive, naturally resulting in disaster when all of the lab's containers end up outdoors in a remarkable sequence of events during a lightning storm (on Halloween night, no less). As for the zombies themselves, if you enjoy watching people in green latex masks walking around in aluminum foil suits, then "The Chilling" is the movie for you. The zombie action is very weak at its best; the zombies' primary killing method seems to be grabbing people by the shoulders and shaking them to death. The businessman and the security guard do most of the zombie fighting, including a highly suspenseful scene of re-freezing the undead with liquid nitrogen. Let me tell you, the steel mill scene in "T2" has got nothing on "The Chilling" in portraying an enemy getting frozen in his tracks like that.
How Linda Blair ended up stuck in the middle of this piece of dreck is indeed a mystery. True, her career didn't exactly skyrocket during the 80s (sadly), but this movie is an embarrassment for her. The script doesn't even have the decency to put her to any good use. The most that her character is given to do is shriek out things like "Here they come", "Do something", "Hurry!". The only thing I can figure is that poor Linda was compensated for her work on this film in rations of food. The hero is played by Grizzly Adams himself, Dan Haggerty. In this picture, he faces stiff acting competition from his beard and the security dog, and he does his best to outperform them both.
The only frightening part of "The Chilling" is the introduction which brings up the factual elements of cryogenics and suggests that "the film you are about to see could happen in your own community". As I was counting the number of times a few of the names are repeated in the closing credits, I was floored to suddenly see Lucasfilm get credited. Fortunately, it was only for the movie's sound production. 1/10.