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Review: Dead by Dawn (2020)

OK, we're big fans of Jamie Bernadette here in The Basement. That's something we haven't tried to hide. Which is why it pains me to say her latest effort, Dead by Dawn, just isn't that good.

The premise holds promise, as a man heads to his remote cabin wanting to commit suicide. His plans are put on hold, though, when he's forced to protect a kidnapped woman from a trio of sexual deviants and their sadistic games.

What unfolds is one part Last House on the Left, and another part I Spit on Your Grave, less the impact of those earlier films. For the most part, Dead by Dawn lacks any real thrills to hold your attention until the final 10 minutes. Then all hell breaks loose, and the film actually gains some momentum.

This means it's up to the cast to carry the movie. Sadly, most of them don't. Jamie is the one who truly shines. She's usually the scream queen/hero, but here she seems to be having the time of her life playing one of the bad guys. Her scenes …
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Behold... Conrad the Bavarian Ep. 1

JoBlo and Arrow in the Head just debuted their first original YouTube series, Conrad the Bavarian... and it's a thing of gruesome, goofy beauty!

From German independent filmmakers Robin and Nicolas Huck -- AKA The Huckbros -- this episode has the duo play... well, pretty much everybody as Hitler's grandson attempts to steal an occult artifact from beneath Conrad's house. Why? Because it's one of five artifacts that can bring Hitler back to life.

You got all that? Now watch and enjoy:

Good stuff, yes? Ja! A nice mashup of grindhouse sensibilities and video-game aesthetic, all in the name of a good time. Look for Ep. 2 to appear April 21, and each subsequent episode every two weeks after that.

Congrats to Robin and Nicolas, and producer John Fallon and executive producer Berge Garabedian. You've got a good one on your hands.

Source: JoBlo Horror Videos

Chris Hemsworth is back in action with Extraction

Who better than the mighty Thor to take on a city full of soldiers out to kill the kidnapped son of an international crime lord? Why, the man who brought the God of Thunder to life of course, Chris Hemsworth!

This is indeed the plot of Netflix's latest foray into big-budget action movies, and it was made under the guidance of Hemsworth's Infinity War and Endgame directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. But this is no MCU movie; it's a hard-R actioner with violence and swearing galore. And we're A-OK with that!

Check it out:

Hemsworth is joined by David Harbour and Golshifteh Farahani. It hits the streaming service April 24, and you bet your ass we'll be watching!

Source: Netflix

The Book Nook: "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (James M. Cain)

When I'm not working, I'm doing the whole self isolating thing.  That gives me a lot of time to do stuff- reading, writing, watching movies, listening to music, drinking craft beers, etc.

Which is why I'm starting a new feature called, "The Book Nook"- where I explore the various books in my personal library.

I recently did a review of "The Shadow Laughs" from the pulp novel era.  Once I'd finished, I sat down and read a book many consider a "modern classic of American literature"...  James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice".

Frank is a drifter who wanders into a roadside diner... and into Cora's life.  The passion that develops between them introduces them both to possibilities they never realized existed...

Including the possibility of the perfect murder...

The plot is fairly simple and straight forward- but was fresh, startling, and even scandalous in 1934 when it was published.  So much so that it was banned in…

Author Ken Gerhard hunts monsters in The Basement

Long-time fans know Shawn and I are almost as excited about ghosts, monsters and other high strangeness as we are about movies. So when we can bridge the world of the supernatural with the world of entertainment, we do so with glee.

Macho, heavy metal glee... but glee nonetheless!

I just got off the line with Ken Gerhard, a widely recognized cryptozoologist and author who's penned several books on the subject. He's also appeared on a wide range of TV shows and radio broadcasts, including Coast to Coast AM, Weird or What? with William Shatner, and Monsters and Mysteries in American.

Ken has written a new book, The Essential Guide to Bigfoot, so he and I dove into that, and I picked his brain for ideas on what Bigfoot could be. We also got on the subject of other mysteries and monsters, and had a blast discussing this fascinating subject.

We can't wait for Basement Dwellers to hear it, and hear it you shall next Friday, April 17 -- only on Radio NL 610 AM Kamloops!


Retro Review: When A Stranger Calls (1979)

The original When A Stranger Calls is the stuff of legend, largely because of how downright terrifying the opening act is.

We know the story of the babysitter who receives threatening phone calls, only to have the calls end up coming from inside the house. It's a popular urban legend, and was effectively brought to the screen (kinda) in Bob Clark's Black Christmas.

But writer/director Fred Walton, and co-writer Steve Feke, breathed new life into the tale, and expertly crafted it into the film's opening 20 minutes, which are among the most tense put on film. Ditto the conclusion, where Carole Kane's babysitter -- now grown up with kids of her own -- is again tormented by the mysterious caller. So, all told, When A Stranger Calls offers about 40 minutes of pure horror goodness.

It's the middle act I liked the least when I first watched When A Stranger Calls decades ago, but I have a new appreciation for it now. This sequence follows the caller, chillingly brought to…

Review: Rootwood

For most of Rootwood's running time, I was hooked. Director Marcel Walz crafted a decent, low-budget horror movie that paid homage to The Blair Witch Project without blatantly trying to rip it off.

The story involves a group of podcasters, well played by scream queen Elissa Dowling, and Tyler Gallant, who are hired by a Hollywood producer (Sleepaway Camp's Felissa Rose) to document the legend of The Wooden Devil, and several mysterious disappearances in the nearby Rootwood Forest.

We get what we expect: hikes in the woods, an increasing number of creepy goings on, and then the documentarians (our podcasters recruit their friend, the beautiful Sarah French) begin falling prey to something in the woods.

All this is well handled, and the strengths of our three leads carry the film, along with some decent direction by Walz.

Then we reach the final act, which starts with a jarring bang. There's no easing into it; we're dropped right in the middle of a horror sequence. Ther…

The Neasa Hardiman interview, Rootwood, Tiger King, and Bloodshot

We took it to the mighty Radio NL 610 AM Kamloops last night, and sang it loud and proud with a feature interview, and more movie and TV reviews than you can shake a stick at. So how do we follow up such a performance?

With a podcast version of the show, of course; one that includes even more of our interview with filmmaker Neasa Hardiman, writer/director of next week's big-horror release, Sea Fever!

Jason and Neasa talked the film's genesis, and how it relates to mankind's current struggle with COVID-19. Neasa also discussed her talented cast, which includes Hermoine Corfield, Connie Nielsen and Dougray Scott. How'd she recruit them? Stick with us!

And stick around, as Jason and Shawn review the upcoming horror release Rootwood starring Elissa Dowling. Is this tale of paranormal podcasters and an evil devil in the woods worth your time when it hits April 7? Stick... we already said, didn't we. Not a question. A statement.

Shawn also took on Joe Exotic and Tiger K…

#52BottlesOfBeer: 14- Steel and Oak Brewing Nightcap

Friday comes and I get excited because I get to try out a new and different craft beer.  This week's tip and sip is Steel & Oak Brewing's Nightcap.

The label is fairly simple and straight forward.  I must confess that the red background and pink text are not as pleasing as I'd like.  I like the mixture of the fonts used.  I just don't like the two tone nature of it.  There's isn't enough contrast for me- some of the text was a little hard to read.  This is a problem for someone like me who actually likes to read the label.

While the label didn't satisfy me, the colour of the brew itself did.  It had a nice ruby colour that was surprising, but nice.  It was also a little hazier than I expected as well- but I actually kinda enjoyed the slight haze.  To be honest, I sat there for a minute just examining and gazing into the depth of the misty brew.

I was also surprised by the first sip.  The combination of cranberry and orange gave my taste buds a nice jol…

Neasa Hardiman talks Sea Fever in the Rootwood

The pandemic continues, but it can't stop Jason and Shawn from triumphantly returning to the mighty Radio NL 610 AM Kamloops once more! And this time they're bringing an award-winning filmmaker with them.

Jay interviewed Irish writer/director Neasa Hardiman, who's film Sea Fever hits Digital and On Demand next Friday! That's her standing with stars Hermoine Corfield and Connie Nielsen.

Neasa talks the relevancy of her horror movie -- which is about a parasite's attack on the crew of a fishing trawler -- and how it's reflective of our current battle with COVID-19. And she describes where the idea for this timely monster came from.

The Basement Boys also have a new review for your ear holes. This time they put the creature feature Rootwood on the chopping block just before the film hits DVD and Digital. Is it worth your self-isolation buck? Stick with us!

And stick around as Jason and Shawn sound off on Netflix's hit series Tiger King, Vin Diesel's Blood…