Saturday, December 31, 2011

Micro Review: Final Destination 5

I'm an unashamed fan of the Final Destination series. Like the original run of Friday the 13th films, these movies are all about death and how death rolls. The formula is the same with each film, but it's the way the carnage plays out that makes them fun and highly entertaining. The fourth entry is the weakest link, so it's nice to see the fifth installment return to the series's glory. There's a great opening sequence on a bridge and the final thrill is a great one that brings the series full circle. The acting doesn't matter here, it's the effects and the kills that are the true stars, and they shine! And yes, the Tom Cruise lookalike does die . . . twice! That's Good for me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mike S reviews Troll Hunter

Mike S, the creator of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and curator of  The Corner of Terror joined me in The Basement recently for a screening of the Best Flick of 2011 (in my opinion), Troll Hunter. But The S is a biased man, just like Shawn and I, so he might not agree with me on that. What does he think?

Read on . . .
A few months ago Jay and Shawn reviewed the 2010 Norwegian film, "Troll Hunter".  Well, I finally managed to get the chance to sit down and watch it so that I could give you guys my thoughts on this unique film.

And here they are:

I was expecting it to be a rather cheesy movie in the same horrid way that "Leperchaun" was, but since Jay and Shawn enjoyed it, I was anxious to see it.  I was quite pleased with it from start to finish.

The plot is fairly simple and easy to follow: a college film crew wants to document events surrounding strange disappearances and property damage that are reportedly done by bears.  While trying to get a possible poacher to talk, the crew stumble onto something even stranger and far more dangerous... troll hunting.

I found it highly appropriate that a Norwegian film would deal with such a topic, as trolls are more of a Nordic tradition than and English/North American one.  It helped add to the reality of the whole situation that was only enhanced by the CGI work and the acting.

I really enjoyed how the trolls looked the way they've been portrayed in old illustrations with the small, beady eyes, and bulbous noses, etc.  Just fantastic for a monster geek like myself.  The CGI was also used sparingly, which was nice since it didn't distract from the characters involved.

The acting was also pretty decent considering that most of them were unknowns.  Otto Jespersen was great as Hans, the troll hunter, and Thomas Alf Larsen, Johanna Morck, and Glenn Erland Tosterud were believable as college film students as well.  The cast worked well together, and the humourous parts of the movie came naturally.  The way Jespersen delievered some of his lines with such a straight tone was just priceless, and I couldn't help but smile and chuckle.

While the movie isn't, "I can't sleep now, thank you," scary, it does pull you into the story and makes you a little worried about the safety of the characters.  I was quite impressed with how easily "Troll Hunter" made it for me to forget that it was just a movie, and enter the reality presented before me... by the end, I believed in trolls.

Because of that, I'm giving "Troll Hunter" a honoured spot in "The Good," and will be adding it to my collection as soon as I can.

Jason's Top 10 of 2011

There was a time when I saw almost everything that hit mainstream theatres. A lot has changed since then. For one, I've come to dislike most of what Hollywood dishes out week after week, finding it boring, unoriginal tripe designed for mass consumption. No chances are taken . . . because taking a chance can hurt box office.

Then there's the show, which requires Shawn and I to watch two movies a week that are away from the mainstream. No complaints; none at all. But it leaves little time to track what's playing in theatres in our home town.

That said, this is a list that's very different from other Top 5 or Top 10 or Top Whatever lists floating around out there. It's a list cobbled together from what I've seen in 2011 and largely from what's been viewed on the show. I can do no more, or no less.

Enjoy the list, and remember: Shawn and I are back on the air Friday Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. PST on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca. We've got the return of The Arrow himself, John Fallon, and reviews of Grave Encounters and Julia's Eyes. Awesome doesn't begin to describe the hour of radio that awaits!

1) Troll Hunter
TRROOOOOLLLLLLLL! That will never get old. This is one of the few found-footage films that gets it right. We see enough of the monsters, the camera doesn't shake so much that we get motion sickness, and not too much time is wasted on the boring humans. Actually, the humans are kinda interesting! And I believed everything I saw in this movie, even though it's 100 bullshit. By the time this movie was done, I was convinced trolls exist, at least in Norway. That's the sign of a great movie, people. Hollywood take note: this is great entertainment. Don't remake it, just give it a wide release and you'll make the millions you so desire. A Good from The Basement on this.

2)  Buried
I love movies that leave me feeling like I've been punched in the gut and this movie did that to me. The final 10 minutes are unbearably suspenseful and the ending, although some may see it coming, still packs a wallop. This is the kind of movie Alfred Hitchcock would have made if he were still with us. It's cinematic, emotional and even shocking despite its cramped quarters and features a great performance by Ryan Reynolds. This is a one-man show and he owns it. A Good review from me.

3) Rubber
Rubber is a slap in the face to Hollywood and all the sheeple who flock to the mass-market garbage movie studio's make. As long as the sheeple keep watching movies like that, Hollywood will keep making them. That's what Rubber is about, but it's also about a killer tire named Robert. To say Rubber is witty as hell and twice as funny would be an understatement. It's ballsy and has something to say. People will either groove on that or hate it. I grooved on it, and it's getting a Good in books.

4) Kidnapped
Where to begin? First off, I dig the way it was shot. Lots of long tracking shots to give it a documentary feel. Also love the split screen. It ramps up the tension and the thrills. Some sequences almost knocked me out! And the ending? Killer! Left me spinning on me heals and feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach. Not for the faint of heart or fans of mainstream cinema. Kidnapped pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. It's a Good. I gotta watch it again!

5) Attack the Block
I'd rather watch a movie with juvenile thugs as the main characters than rich, pretentious white people. I'm talking about YOU Skyline. These are the kinds of people you want protecting the planet: real people who, despite being scared, ACT. They know how to defend themselves and their block. They kick ass. Lots of it. And they're about 15 years old. This is a fucking awesome movie! Gory. Scary aliens. Chases. Some good one liners. A fun ride! Better than most movies of its kind. A Good for me.

6) Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
What a fun, likable movie with lovable characters and some great, gory deaths -- none of which are at the hands of another character! And yes, Katrina Bowden is gorgeous. Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil isn't laugh-a-minute funny, but I did laugh a lot. And one's enjoyment of it doesn't hinge on whether or not he or she is a horror fan. If you dig horror comedies in the vein of Shaun of the Dead, you will likely enjoy Tucker and Dale. I did, and I'm giving it a Good.

7) ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2
Best. Slasher. Sequel. Ever. There, I said it. This is an original piece of work, at least for the genre. Yet it gives fans what they want: more blood, more gore, and cooler kills. Yet there are ideas at work here. Hell, the main villain, ChromeSkull, has a pit crew -- a whole network of people working for him. No wonder he can pull off what he does! Even Brian Austin Green was good here. He was creepy, messed up, and a total wanna-be ChromeSkull. The little game of Who Is the Better Killer that he and the original play is F-ing cool. ChromeSkull is quickly becoming one of my favourite slasher villains, and this film lands firmly in the Good. For shizzle.

8) The Loved Ones
Wow, what an experience. I've never gone from hating a movie to loving it before. But I did here. Believe it! The first 40 minutes or so are disjointed and weird. Then the film has a brilliant turning point and it all comes together in the best possible way. Robin McLeavy is a revelation as Lola, one of the creepiest movie villains of all time. Her family makes the one from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre seem oddly tame. This is a disturbing and crazy film that is also a lot of fun. I have to give it a Good.

9) Catfish
Fact or fiction? Or does it even matter? This sure looks and feels like a documentary. No note is false. Every person feels 100 per cent credible. If it's bullshit, then give the makers an award anyway. This movie pulled at me. I felt every emotion while watching it and it's certainly a work for our times; kind of a high-tech, real-life thriller. And, true or not, every Facebook user needs to see this because there is no doubt in my mind this happens every day to people who spend too much time online. In fact, I'd be willing to screen it to people just for that purpose. This is a Good for sure.


10) Burning Bright
Jaws on land. That's the best way to describe Burning Bright, although it isn't as good as Jaws. This is a tight thriller with lots of expertly executed suspense. Briana Evigan acts as good as she looks, and she looks great. I believed her and her relationship with the autistic brother. Burning Bright is a solid horror movie, and one of the best I've reviewed in The Basement. A Good for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Basement will be filled with Rage

Because that's the name of an acclaimed new horror movie that is being sent our way care of director Chris Witherspoon.

Made on a shoe-string budget, Rage tells the story of Dennis (Rick Crawford) who unintentionally runs afoul of a mysterious motorcyclist. The encounter sets in motion a day-long battle that grows more and more sinister as it goes along. Sounds like a gritty riff on Duel or Joyride. I dig!

The film has earned praise across the board on the independent film festival circuit. It's also scored points with Fangoria and Horror Movies.ca, which makes Shawn and I all the more eager to put Rage on the chopping block as soon as the screener arrives. Ditto the effective little trailer below.

Check out the film's official website and Twitter feed for more details. And stick with us for our thoughts on Rage once we get to see it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comparison and contrast: Fright Night

Shawn and I enjoy shitting on remakes or reboot or whatever the kids and studio execs are calling them these days. Primarily because most suck, and suck hard. But that's not the case with all of them.

A good remake brings something unique to the table, retelling a good story in a new and interesting way. Like a good production of Hamlet, which has to be one of the most told stories in human history.

I'm not saying The Thing or Halloween or Fright Night are on the same level as Hamlet, but they are stories that lend themselves to retelling. And, when done right, each version can be as timeless as the one that came before it.

With that in mind, I've tackled  the 1980s horror classic and its redo, released this past summer.

Fright Night (1985)

I first saw this movie back in 1985. It's the first horror film I watched in a theatre and it scared the crap out of me. Now it's just a great funhouse ride of laughs, scares and gruesome, but fun, visual effects. Chris Sarandon is just awesome as the vampire and Roddy McDowall is a joy to watch as Peter Vincent: Vampire Killer. This was made back when horror movies, and movies in general, were a lot of fun and it shows. I find it hard to believe the remake will have anywhere near the energy and wit writer/director Tom Holland put into every frame of his movie. A Good for me. 

Fright Night (2011)

This could've been one of the better remakes in the horror cannon had the final act not fallen apart in a mess of  nonsense and contrived plot twists. But the 40 or 50 minutes that come before it are a fun and frightening update of the original film. Director Craig Gillespie and writer Marti Noxon make all the right choices in retelling the story of a vampire that moves into a suburban neighbourhood. Scenes are moved around and changed, giving the story a different feel. Colin Farrell makes Jerry his own, turning him into and angry and frightening villain. The rest of the cast is equally as good, and different, from the one that came before. I wish I could give this a Good, but the weak ending puts it in the Bad.

Micro Review: Colombiana

Zoe Saldana is one badass chick. There's no denying her charisma, physicality and acting chops. She's one of the few actresses who can pull off an action heroine. Unfortunately, the script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen is nothing more than a rehash of other action movies, including Besson's own The Professional. And director Olivier Megaton overshoots and overedits the picture like he thinks he's Michael Bay or something. Throw in a convoluted love interest and you've got yourself standard Hollywood drivel livened up by a great performance and a few good fights. A Bad on this one.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Now I have a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho

And with that, we want to wish our fellow Basement Dwellers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The holiday season has arrived and there's presents to be wrapped and opened, booze and food to be enjoyed and, yes, some movies to watch. It's not Halloween, but it'll do.

That means regular updates to the site won't be the order of the day for the next week or so. Perhaps if a bit of interesting news pops up or a review floats my way.

But fear not, Shawn and I are back on the air Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. PST on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca. We've got the return of The Arrow himself, John Fallon, and reviews of the found-footage horror fest Grave Encounters and the thriller Julia's Eyes. It'll be good radio, promise.

Thanks to everyone who supported us this past year and who sticks with us every week. And we appreciate the friends we've made along the way. The Basement is nothing without each and every one of you. You all rock individually and as a collective group.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Prometheus trailer promises Alien greatness

Wow! Just had my socks knocked off by the official trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi and the Alien franchise (sorta).

We premiered the trailer's teaser a few days back. The result was a bit meh, but this . . . this delivers. Not only does it hint at the genre classic Scott created back in 1979, but it promises a big, sprawling sci-fi epic the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. And love, love, LOVE the way the title is brought in. Again, nice nod to the Alien series.

The official word from 20th Century Fox? Pleasure your eye holes with this: Visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.

I gotta see me this movie in a theatre when it lands on June 8. Until then, watch and enjoy Basmentites!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Star Trek 2 won't shoot in 3D after all

A couple of weeks back we reported that director J.J. Abrams's second Star Trek flick would be filmed in 3D, a decision that baffled and frightened us in The Basement. The first film was great and hugely popular, so why gimmick up something that's sure to be huge hit with audiences anyway? Or so we wondered.

Turns out Abrams himself talked with MTV and shot down that rumour. The film will be shot normally and undergo the dreaded 3D-conversion process instead, meaning people will be able to see it in both Ds when it hits theatres in May 2013.

This is good news in a sense, as I could care less if Star Trek 2 was in 2D, 3D or even 4D. All we in The Basement want is another Star Trek movie already.

Also good news is Abrams dropped that he'd love to shoot the film in IMAX, which The Dark Knight and the latest Mission: Impossible were filmed in. IMAX gives a movie a powerful feel and scope that three extra dollars can't come close to capturing. Seeing the Enterprise warp in that format would be epic.

Here's the trailer for Abrams's first Trek.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Horror is about to get Familiar

Got an email in our inbox from producer Zach Green of Fatal Pictures giving us the skinny on a new horror short he's about to unleash upon the world -- Familiar. And boy does it look like it's going to be good and bloody!

Written and directed by Richard Powell with gobs of the red stuff courtesy of Ryan Louagie's FX's, Familiar tells the story of a middle age man who, through a series of tragic events, grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind might not be his own.

Cryptic? Yes, as is the teaser below. But we've got a screener of this little horror find en route to The Basement and we'll be interviewing Green and Powell early in the new year, so you'll be able to hear much more about Familiar in 2012. And you'll hear it in The Basement.

In the meantime, enjoy the preview. It gave me chills during its short running time. Looking forward to seeing the final film!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Because we have to . . . The Dark Knight Rises trailer!

Alright, alright. We're whores and we can't deny it anymore. We tried fighting it by posting the Prometheus pre-trailer, but why bother? It must be done. It's our duty as movie geeks!

We contemplated posting the bootlegs that popped up on the net these last couple of weeks but didn't, knowing this day would come . . . a day of high-quality epic greatness.

So, without further adieu, The Dark Knight Rises trailer! It's great. July can't come soon enough. 'Nuff said.

The Prometheus pre-trailer

That's right, it's the trailer for a trailer. Or should I say the teaser for the teaser trailer? I'm not sure. Actually, I think I just burst something in my brain.

Regardless, we've got a little bit of nifty promotional material from 20th Century Fox counting down to the preview of director Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi and the franchise he created back in the 70s -- Alien. Well, kinda sorta. Prometheus is described as being more Alien related than a prequel to the series.

The video below is only a half minute long and doesn't show much beyond quick images of footage and behind-the-scenes material. But it works. I gotta see me that trailer come Thursday!

Prometheus stars Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. Look for it in theatres on June 8th. The plot is still being kept under wraps.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jason and Shawn review: Alien 3000 and Groundhog Day

Alien 3000

Shawn: Every group of friends have their rules of friendship. Jason earned his friends' points by introducing Alien 3000 to me because he and Anthony Michael Bosa believe it's the worst movie ever made. Any movie that opens with a boob shot followed by some decent gore can't be the worst movie ever. But this is a shit movie; one of the worst I've seen in a long time. Aside from the gore and boobies, everything else about it is pretty bad. The worst thing is everyone in the movie takes it so seriously despite how bad it all is. This rates an Ugly, but The Lady with the Terrible Titties is still worse.

Jason: Worst. Movie. Ever. I thought that when Anthony Michael Bosa showed it to me in 2005 after claiming the same. And I think it now after doing my due diligence and showing it to dude. It's a study in bad. Bad acting. Bad direction. Bad special effects. Bad dialogue. Bad idea. It steals elements from Aliens, Predator and Independence Day among others and does so with malice. I can understand if people believe there are worse movies out there. But to me, this is as shitty as a shit movie can get. And I believe everyone should see it once to understand just how bad cinema can be. An Ugly on this one!

Groundhog Day

Shawn: The concept of this movie is what makes it required viewing. I'd actually rate it a Bad because you either dig Bill Murray (I do) or you don't and it's only funny in parts. But the idea of being given a chance to make everything in your life right is fascinating. It's like being asked "What would you do with a million dollars?" and seeing the answer played out on screen. Watching this movie movie will eliminate the douchebag in all of us, and not many movies are like that. Hence it's a movie to see before you die.

Jason: This is something we don't have a lot of in The Basement: a nice movie. A feel-good movie. Something to learn from and be inspired by. This is more of a Christmas movie than most traditional Christmas movies. No one plays an asshole like Bill Murray. Andie MacDowell can't act to save her life but she's definitely a girl worth pursuing. There's something I've always liked about her. I can't put my finger on it, other than she's exceptionally hot. And she's likable. This movie is a Good. It's inspiring and funny, and you gotta love a combination like that!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Movies You Need To See Before You Die Vol. 2

Late last season Jason and Shawn shared with their fellow Basement Dwellers two movies they believe everyone needs to see before they die.

The films were Enter the Dragon and Running Scared, and the response was so positive the duo decided to pick two more movies they consider required viewing before death, only this time with a twist. How Shyamalan you say? Quite.

Shawn rolls with the 1993 Bill Murray comedy classic Groundhog Day. Such a light, sentimental choice might seem out of place coming from a beast, boob and blood loving dude like Shawn. In fact, what is up with that!?! Wanna find out? Stick with us!

Meanwhile, Jason brings an out-of-left-field choice with Alien 3000. The same Alien 3000 he and Anthony Michael Bosa say is the worst movie ever made? Indeed. Then why does it need to be a movie everyone watches before he or she dies? Well, you'll just have to tune in.

Thanks to Moe Porn from Drunk On VHS for tracking down Alien 3000. He will also sound off on the "film" tonight. And there will be music and other movie mayhem to go with it.

The last episode of Film Reviews From the Basement to air in 2011 kicks off at 10 p.m. PST on www.thex.ca, Shaw Cable 106.1 and 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fright . . . err . . . night!

A look at our evening's films:

Groundhog Day



Alien 3000

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance trailer

Sequel Week concludes in The Basement with a film starring Shawn's most hated actor of all time -- Nicolas Cage -- that's a follow up to a movie no one seemed to like: Ghost Rider.

But we've given the Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine directed sequel some love here on the site before. So why not showcase the feature-length trailer that premiered today on the Interwebs?

The preview is all about action and flashy visuals. Given that Taylor and Neveldine made the Crank films, there's also hints at the duo's tendency to make things over-the-top crazy. This is not a bad thing.

The story finds Johnny Blaze hiding out in Europe when he's called upon to save a young boy and prevent the Devil from taking human form on Earth. Whether or not Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is any better or worse than the lackluster first film will be known once the sequel hits theatres in February.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Expendables 2 teaser

It's sequel week in The Basement. And isn't it ironic that the two most badass looking sequels star Bruce Willis?

Ironic? No! Badass!

Naturally, Willis is not alone in The Expendables 2. Back are Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Joining this cast of awesome is Chuck Norris (who hasn't aged a day in 30 years it seems) and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yup, that's enough testosterone to power to planet.

The plot isn't important beyond Willis's Mr. Church recruiting the team as payback for not fulfilling the job in the first movie. As for the trailer, it shows the cast and a lot of guns. Great big fucking guns!

The Expendables 2 hits theatres Aug. 17. And our asses will be in seats to see it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Collector expands his work in The Collection

Shawn and I didn't mind the Saw-inspired horror film The Collector. We caught it in between our podcast season and our first season on 92.5FM The X and haven't formally reviewed it on the show. But it'd say it rates a Bad.

Surprise surprise, The Collector was just popular enough to inspire a sequel, which is appropriately enough called The Collection and has been picked up by Lidell Entertainment for distribution.

The Collection is currently in post production and no release date has been set. Given that the first film did better at home than in theatres, I wouldn't be surprised if this goes straight to DVD.

The film stars Josh Stewart, Johnny Yong Bosch, Emma Fitzpatrick and Shannon Kane. As for the plot? The Collection picks up where The Collector left off, with anti-hero Arkin hired to rescue Elena, who was kidnapped in the first film, from The Collector's booby trapped hideout. 

I enjoyed The Collector enough that I'm willing to give its sequel a try. Sure, the booby traps in the first film were a bit out there, but there was also blood and boobies. We take the Bad with the Good in The Basement.

The above picture is from the first film. I don't remember what's going on though.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trailer Alert: G.I. Joe Retaliation

Earlier in the day I posted a trailer for a big summer movie that I don't think will work. Not at all. Now I'm posting one for a big summer movie that I think will.

Why will I plunk down $10 for G.I. Joe Retaliation and not Men in Black 3? As a big, silly spectacle, the first Joe movie worked. This looks to be more of the same, if not a little less silly judging from the trailer below. Plus it's got The Rock kicking ass and, if you stick with it until the last 20 seconds or so, there's John McClane himself  -- Bruce Fucking Willis -- doing what he does best.

Oh yeah, Cobra is actually Cobra in this. Believe.

I dig this preview. It does everything right. And shit blows up. Sold! See you on June 29.

The Men in Black are back

Will Smith looks old. That's the first thing that popped into my mind while watching the teaser for Men in Black 3.

Sure, Tommy Lee Jones looks old too. But he was kinda old when the first Men in Black hit theatres back in 1997. Smith was young then. Guess I was too. Now we're all growed up and he's rich and famous and I'm not. But I'm happy, and that's all that matters.

The first Men in Black was awesome. The second . . . not so much. There's been a lot of bad buzz about the third in terms of script and budget etc. None of that is unusual when it comes to big summer movies. And this is going to be a big summer movie.

But does the film look any good. The teaser below looks OK. I didn't laugh once and have a hard time caring about a third entry in a 15-year-old film series. I'm probably alone on that train of thought so, submitted for your approval, is the teaser trailer for Men in Black 3, which hits theatres this summer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jason and Shawn review The Shrine and Needle

The Shrine

Jason: The last 20 or so minutes of this movie owned! Creepy. Gory. You name it. Good on Aaron Ashmore's character for stepping up like he did. Good on the Polish villagers for being who they are. And good on Cindy Sampson for never once hesitating to show her cleavage. We love sexy in The Basement, and she brings it. This is a solid, eerie horror movie with one of the creepiest statues put on film. A Good for The Shrine from me.

Shawn: The first 12 minutes of this movie captivated me and gave me chills. We had a naked shower scene and a great scare. If the movie had ended there, it would have been a Good. The middle of this movie left me yawning, bored and not entertained at all. But the ending brought the thrills back. I though the whole concept was alright, but the execution was a bit sloppy. This movie had potential; potential that was not realized. A Bad for me.

Needle

Jason: Needle is a passable enough time waster. Something to watch on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon with a few beers and no regrets. But you'll never watch it again and likely forget about it soon after the credits roll. The film tried too hard to make us believe one character is the killer. So much so that we're actually looking for a possible killer elsewhere. I wanted more from Needle. More gore. More scares. More of Tahyna Tozzi's boobs. I'm giving it a Bad, but there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes.

Shawn: This is a fairly original movie. Not completely original as ideas are spun off of other ideas, but kudos for trying. There's some cool deaths, a magic voodoo box and hot lesbians. Cool! Because of the cool ideas alone I almost gave this a Good without consideration. But I felt indifferent to who lived and died and figured out who the killer is right from the get go. I won't watch this again, so I'm giving it a Bad. I recommend it for some gore and a little originality, but it won't blow your skirt up.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Season Two, Episode 10: The Shrine and Needle

There's nothing quite like watching beautiful people die. Not a question, but a statement from one horror fan to another.

And the actors and actresses cast in the films on the chopping block tonight are among the beautiful people. Given that the movies are of the independent and horror variety, there's a pretty good chance some, or even all, will meet a gruesome end. Jason and Shawn wouldn't have it any other way.

The first half of tonight's horrific double bill hails from Canada but takes place in Poland. The Shrine features a trio of journalists who investigate a cult accused of committing human sacrifices. One must assume the group runs the risk of finding out first hand if the allegations are true. Does The Shrine offer up thrills and chills? Stick with us!

Then it's off to the land Down Under for the supernatural tale of a torture device that allows the user to kill his or her prey from a distance. In this case the prey is a group of young university students who cross paths with the titular Needle. The plot certainly offers up potential, but The Basement Dwellers will judge whether or not the film is Good, Bad or Ugly.

There's also the return of Game Time With Greg, four songs for your listening pleasure and other movie-related tricks and treats, all starting at 10 p.m. PST on www.thex.ca, Shaw Cable 106.1 and 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops. It's radio from the cinematic basement.

A preview of tonight's main attractions:

The Shrine



Needle

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Agitate Films will krush skulls in 2012

ChromeSkull. SkullKrusher. You gotta love a horror villain with an on-the-nose name. And U.K.-based Agitate Films intends to bring audiences just that with SkullKrusher.

Currently in pre-production under the guidance of writer/directors Parmjit Singh and Anton Huber, SkullKrusher (love it!) tells the gruesome tale of six medical students whose experiments on the dead accidentally revive a psychopath. Trapped in a deserted hospital basement, the beast hunts and kills the students while they protect a 12-year-old girl named Kendra. Sounds like fun! Our kind of fun! Basement fun!

SkullKrusher is the first feature from Agitate Films, which operates out of London, England with the goal of producing low budget/micro feature films, shorts, clips, commercials and documentaries. To learn more, check out the company's website and give SkullKrusher's Facebook page a view!

We love us low-budget horror in The Basement. Shawn and I promise to keep you posted on SkullKrusher as the film goes into production!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Disturbing red band clip from The Devil Inside

Being the father of a newborn, the clip below really rocked my world. But that does nothing to diminish my desire to see director William Brent Bell's upcoming horror film. In fact, the stones on display only make me want to see it more!

The found footage exorcism flick is Paramount Pictures's stab at creating another low-budget franchise like their Paranormal Activity series. The film follows a woman who becomes involved in a series of unauthorized exorcisms in an effort to discover why her mother allegedly murdered three people during her own exorcism.

We haven't featured The Devil Inside on the blog until now, but trailers I've seen predict a scary and shocking ride. If you don't believe me, watch the video. But know that despite any blood or gore, it's age restricted for a reason.

The film hits theatres nationwide next month.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Cabin in the Woods trailer

Last week we showed you the cool poster for Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods. Now we've got the horror film's way cool trailer!

And true to what the pair have promised all along, The Cabin in the Woods takes the premise of five friends who gather at a cabin in the woods for a wild weekend of partying only to rule afoul of . . . something, and turns it on its ear.

Sure, all the elements are there, but something way bigger than a mad killer is at play here. And we in The Basement gotta see this movie and learn what that is! An original horror film? Quite!

The film stars Thor's Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison and Fran Kranz. It hits theatres via Lionsgate on April 13. Now watch the brilliant trailer below care of JoBlo!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The most kills ever put on film?

That's what the makers of The Summer of Massacre are claiming. Between it and the alleged scariest movie of 2012 -- Six Degrees of Hell -- next year is shaping up to be big one for horror fans!

Directed by Joe Castro, this anthology features eight slasher killers in five horror stories that, when combined, feature the most killings ever put on film! So says the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of them are featured in the bloody trailer below.

The cast includes genre veteran Brinke Stevens and ChromeSkull himself, Nick Principe. Does the plot of all five stories really matter? No. Not when the film claims to have the most kills ever put on screen.

I'm not much for violence for violence sake, but this has instantly become a must see! We like our slasher movies bloody in The Basement, and this promises to be bloody.

Just how bloody? Push play and find out. And thanks to JoBlo for finding the trailer for this potential classic. The film hits DVD and Blu-Ray Jan. 10!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jason and Shawn review: Attack the Block and Kidnapped

Attack the block

Jason: I'd rather watch a movie with juvenile thugs as the main characters than rich, pretentious white people. I'm talking about YOU Skyline. These are the kinds of people you want protecting the planet: real people who, despite being scared, ACT. They know how to defend themselves and their block. They kick ass. Lots of it. And they're about 15 years old. This is a fucking awesome movie! Gory. Scary aliens. Chases. Some good one liners. A fun ride! Better than most movies of its kind. A Good for me.

Shawn: Aliens attacking a neighborhood in the UK. Your heroes? 15-year-old gang kids. Likely? Probably more likely than Hollywood types could imagine. Why? Rich, pretentious 20 somethings don’t make good heroes. But, tough ghetto kids take their beef to anyone that might infringe on their territory, terrestrial or not. I really dig this movie. It has great chemistry, great acting, is well put together, and there's cool aliens. Done. Stuff blew up. Good.


Kidnapped

Jason: Dude watched this first and told me I would fucking love it. He was right. I did! Where to begin? First off, I dig the way it was shot. Lots of long tracking shots to give it a documentary feel. Also love the split screen. It ramps up the tension and the thrills. Some sequences almost knocked me out! And the ending? Killer! Left me spinning on me heals and feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach. Not for the faint of heart or fans of mainstream cinema. Kidnapped pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. It's a Good. I gotta watch it again!

Shawn: This movie reminded me of The Strangers in a lot of ways. But I was equally reminded that it totally isn’t that film. Yes, it's a home-invasion flick and it really wasn't the fastest moving movie. But it has great tension and FAR better scenarios than most movies. It went the distance and delivered with an incredible ensemble of violence and release at the end. Not your typical feel-good ending, but an ending that satisfies the pace and build. Definitely a Good from me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Harry Manfredini Interview, Attack the Block and Kidnapped

Kill, kill, kill . . . ma, ma, ma! By taking the line of dialogue "Kill her, mommy. Kill her" and integrating it into the score for Friday the 13th, composer Harry Manfredini made cinematic history. He also coined one of the most spoken phrases in the movie-nerd vocabulary, and film fans love him for it. 

Harry has composed music for more than 100 feature films during his prolific and influential career, one he only gets to scratch the surface of during Jason and Shawn's scant 30-minute chat with him. But it's a conversation every movie and music fan needs to hear, which is why this interview will air uninterrupted between the Basement Dwellers' two reviews of the evening.

And how about those reviews? First up, Jason and Shawn put the British sci-fi comedy Attack the Block on the chopping block. The boys know they are a bit late to the party when it comes to reviewing this highly regarded effort. But being the biased bastards they are, they know you'll want to hear their thoughts on the film. Is Attack the Block Good, Bad or Ugly? Stick with us!

Then it's over to Spain for the second movie of the evening: the home-invasion thriller Kidnapped. The film has a reputation for not holding back on the blood and carnage. Does it live up to its gruesome reputation? Tune in tonight and find out.

So grab a beer or two and plunk your butt down at 10 p.m. PST, tuning in to www.thex.ca, Shaw Cable 106.1 or 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops for all your radio and movie-review needs.

And now for a look at tonight's films:

Attack the Block



Kidnapped

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is The Cabin in the Woods a Rubik's Cube of horror?

That's what the poster for the Joss Whedon scripted, Drew Goddard directed film The Cabin in the Woods would have us believe.

I admit, the below poster isn't what I would expect for a horror movie about five friends who gather at a cabin in the woods where bad things happen. Then again Whedon, who created Buffy, Angel and Firefly, isn't known for playing by the rules.

As we've previously reported, the film's release was long delayed by MGM's financial woes before Lionsgate picked it up. It now hits theatres April 13, 2012. A trailer is expected next week.

The Cabin in the Woods stars Thor's Chris Hemsworth but was filmed long before he was cast as the God of Thunder.

Night of the Walken Dead

We're career Christopher Walken fans in The Basement, so this video hit our collective funny bones right where it counts.

From the sketch comedy group POKYPAC comes The Walken Dead, a spot-on spoof of the hit TV series The Walking Dead, only this time the zombie virus makes its victims quote The God Who Walks As A Man, Christopher Walken.

The video has great FX and makeup and the impressions, although a bit overplayed, are hilarious when strung together. So are the people's reaction to them. Even the funny make 'em ups work.

Press play and enjoy . . .  little man!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're the chum in Jurassic Shark

It's amusing, but not in a ha-ha way, how author Steve Alten has struggled to get a big-budget Hollywood adaptation of his giant shark novel Meg made yet cheap knockoffs hit DVD and Video On Demand every other month. I feel his pain.

On the other hand, some of these schlocky shark flicks are kinda fun in their own way. The latest entry, Jurassic Shark, looks pretty damn funny. Whether that's the point or not remains to be seen.

Directed by Brett Kelly, this shark tale is made in the tradition of mockbuster greats like Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus and Sharktopus. The plot kicks off with an oil company accidentally unleashing a prehistoric shark from its icy prison. Once free, the shark strands a mixed bag of potential victims on an abandoned piece of land where they must join forces in order to survive.

Need I mention that the victims are a mix of art thieves and college students? Probably not, but it gives you an idea of what Jurassic Shark is all about.

As cheesy and cheap as this looks, Jurassic Shark is now a must see in The Basement. We're all about this kind of movie : beasts, boobs and blood. That's what makes us Basement Dwellers happy. Learn more about the film on its Facebook page and enjoy the hilarious trailer below.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jason and Shawn review: Attack of the Moon Zombies and Destination: Outer Space

Attack of the Moon Zombies

Jason: This has all the elements of bad 1950s sci-fi drive-in fodder. In fact, one of the characters actually describes the situation as such. The sets are made of cardboard, the costumes are cheap, and the monsters aren't the best quality. In fact. writer/director Christopher R. Mihm captures the look, sound effects and style of the era perfectly. And the acting and dialogue is spot on. Too bad the film clocks in at 90 minutes -- about 10 to 20 minutes longer than most movies of the age did. Had it been tighter, then this Basement Dweller would have had a better time. This is a Bad movie, but that's the point.

Shawn: Capt. Freely . . . Ace Freely! Ha ha! Good casting and this looks like the 50s style. I really like this one. This is what I was hoping Mihm's films would be like. I really think he nailed the feel of these movies. It's the complete opposite of Destination: Outer Space. I'll give this one a Bad, as that is probably the best I would give a 50s black and white sci-fi movie based on watching it in the times we live in. If I saw this in the 50s, I would give it a Good, but we have to adjust for inflation.

Destination: Outer Space

Jason: Not as "good" as Moon Zombies, but a movie that grows on you. Yes, this is supposed to be a loving tribute to 1950s B-grade sci-fi movies, but the first 20 or so minutes feel like it's a tribute to the awful ones. Slow. Bad dialogue. Cheap sound and special effects. You name it. Christopher R. Mihm knows his sci-fi. There's references to Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar: Galactica among others and they are well done. As a satire of movies of the era, I'll give Mihm an A for effort. But it's too long and I doubt very much I will watch it again. Another Bad for me.

Shawn: This movie looks and feels so familiar. Yeah, we in The Basement tried to make an epic spaceship movie once. I think we did almost as well as Mihm did here. In all the departments. I fell asleep while watching this and really had a hard time paying ANY attention. It's simplistic, not well acted, and didn't quite have that feel that Attack of the Moon Zombies did. This is a fail and an Ugly for me. But it may have been an important stepping stone for Mihm, as it came before Moon Zombies.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Modern/Retro 50s Night Vol. 1: Attack of the Moon Zombies and Destination: Outer Space

Months back writer/director Christopher R. Mihm contacted The Basement via email and asked if they'd be interested in reviewing some of his movies, which are loving throwbacks to the 1950s sci-fi/horror films he grew up with. 

These are movies like Village of the Damned, The Blob and Them! Cheap, drive-in fodder designed to do nothing more than entertain. The Basement Cinema of a bygone era. 

Always up for a challenge, Jason and Shawn took Mihm up on his offer and present to you the first of three episodes dedicated to his work that will air throughout the season, culminating in an interview with the man himself . . . unless The Basement Dwellers are unimpressed and Mihm unimpressed with them being unimpressed. Got that? Good.

The two looowwwwwww budget films on the chopping block tonight are sci-fi "epics" the likes of which have never graced the screen! A pair of spectacles designed to thrill, chill and bewilder in ways Basement Fans have not experienced until now! They are Attack of the Moon Zombies and Destination: Outer Space!

Even Mike S. gets in on the action, bringing listeners his thoughts on the 1950s drive-in classic Them! Plus there's a slew of music new and old and some other goodies to put you in a movie watching mood! This! Is! Radio! The! Way! It! Was! Meant! To! Be!

Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. PST on www.thex.ca, Shaw Cable 106.1 and the old fashioned way at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops. The Basement demands it to be so!

Now for a look at tonight's films:

Attack of the Moon Zombies


Destination: Outer Space

Thursday, November 24, 2011

J.J. Abrams's Star Trek 2 beams in May 2013, costs three extra dollars to see

It's the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend (enjoy, friends south of the border) and there's a drought of interesting shit to write about, so I guess this will have to pass as news in The Basement on this Thursday night.

J.J. Abrams's second, and long delayed, Trek epic hits theatres May 17, 2013 and will be shot in 3D. That's good news/bad news for Basement Dwellers, who love what Abrams did with Star Trek and hate paying three extra dollars to see 3D of any kind in theatres. At least it's being shot in 3D, so the comin'-at-yah thrills should be decent, if not unnecessary.

The 3D news surprises me. Abrams's first Star Trek is highly entertaining. A sequel doesn't need a gimmick to make it great as long as his cast is intact and the script is good. And 3D is quickly becoming a thing of the past. An odd choice, Paramount Pictures.

Still, we're gonna see it and, if it's even half as good as the first, it will still be a fun two-hour diversion.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hollywood shows balls, makes Dragon Tattoo hard R

And thank you for that, David Fincher! I've never been keen on the U.S. version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, believing the original Swedish film is just fine thank you. Ditto the two sequels.

But at least Fincher and company made the movie right in terms of not wussing out on the book's aggressive content. Nor have MGM and Columbia Pictures, the studios producing the project, demanded the material be cut for the dreaded everyone friendly PG-13.

Instead, the latest adaptation of Stieg Larsson's bestseller has been given an R rating by the MPAA for brutal, violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language. The feel bad movie of Christmas indeed!

Shawn hates the movies with a passion. Despite my misgivings for the upcoming film, I am curious to see it. The trailers have certainly been promising, but we've been jerked around by trailers before. There's one below for your eye holes.

Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hits theatres Dec. 21. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shopping horror will be Laid to Rest

Because Robert Hall, the co-writer and director of Laid to Rest and its sequel ChromeSkull, is remaking the 1980s campy horror flick Chopping Mall.

Now, we hate remakes and reboots in The Basement, but Hall knows how to make a good gore film. And Hall says he wants to put an original spin on Roger Corman's tale. We're fine with that. The best remakes take something and make it their own.

The original featured a group teens raving it up in a closed mall only to be attacked by the building’s security robots. Hall told Variety he wants to add a darker, more supernatural spin to the story. Again, sounds groovy.

I admit I've not seen the original, but will now so I can compare/contrast when Hall's Chopping Mall hits theatres. And, as long as there's boobies and blood, I know us Basement Dwellers will be satisfied.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inqlorious Basterds meets Dracula?

That's the gist of what Canadian director Jim Donovan is shooting for with his upcoming Fangs of War, a war-torn retelling of Bram Stoker's classic tale.

According to Screen Daily, the flick is set in Nazi occupied Transylvania during 1944. The film will shoot in Europe and China with Celina Jade (The Man With The Iron Fist, Legendary Assassin) co-starring. Ken Nakamura and Fang Yi Ning produce.

There isn't much more to say at this point other than the project sounds ambitious and intriguing. If it's even half as good as author Kim Newman's Dracula mash-up novels Anno Dracula and Bloody Red Baron (both of which need to be made into movies STAT), then this could be a fun film. 

As we always, we'll keep you updated on this project as it develops. The above pic is co-star Jade.