Sunday, July 31, 2011

Micro Review: The Last Broadcast

Made for about $900, this mockumentary pre-dates the much more popular Blair Witch Project but lacks the visceral scares that made Blair Witch such a hit with audiences. But Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler still concocted a solid thriller about the Jersey Devil legend that isn't without chills of its own, especially when watched alone at a cabin in the woods. There's also a late third-act twist you'll either love or loath. How you react to it will impact your overall enjoyment of The Last Broadcast. I'm giving it a Good, and wish Avalos and Weiler had made more films.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wolf Creek 2 a go-go

The first Wolf Creek, an Australian serial killer movie, bothered me. Not because it was bad, because it was too damn effective. There's one sequence I'll simply call Head On A Stick that, for whatever reason, made me feel physically ill.

The low-budget effort, made for about $1 million U.S., cleared $50 million worldwide. So guess what? A sequel is coming featuring the further adventures of outback sicko Mick Taylor. No world yet on what it's about, but I'm intrigued. Especially after writer/director Greg McLean tells Empireonline that it will be bigger and nastier than the first, which was pretty nasty.

Wolf Creek 2 starts shooting in February. No word yet on if Dimension Films, which distributed the first Wolf Creek in North America, will pick it up. Here's the preview for the original as a reference point:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Retro Review: Big Trouble In Little China

The world needs more movies like this. Too bad we're probably destined for a remake instead. John Carpenter was in fine form when he made Big Trouble In Little China. Not only did he cash in on the mid-80s martial arts craze, but he threw in Chinese spirits, monsters, campy humour, Victor Wong and a smoking hot Kim Cattrall. And who doesn't like Kurt Russell at the top of his game? This is a fun popcorn movie, one of the best in Carpenter's cannon, and guaranteed to put a smile on any true film geek's face. A Good from The Basement on this one. "The cheque is in the mail."

Meet the Knights of Badassdom

Now this is what The Wild Hunt should have been!

Those who regularly listen to the awesomeness that is our show know that Shawn and I are violently opposed to Live Action Role-playing . . . for too many reasons than we can list here. If it's your thing fine, just don't force it on us.

But we'll watch comedic horror movies about it for sure. Especially when they star Summer Glau of Firefly fame, Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten (Red Hill) and Community's Danny Pudi.

The plot: live-action role players conjure up a demon from hell by mistake and must deal with the consequences. Shenanigans ensue.

This looks like fun, Summer Glau gets better looking every year, and who doesn't dig some Pudi. And yes, this will be reviewed on a future episode. No word yet on a release date though.

To learn more about the Knights of Badassdom check out the film's Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

By Request: The Dark Knight Rises Teaser

I know we said we're not posting news on mainstream movies anymore, but we're all about fulfilling fan requests here in The Basement. So when the fans say they want us to post the teaser for the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, we do it!

The teaser is mostly old footage mixed in with some new. Hey, the movie has just started shooting for it's release next July, let's give Christopher Nolan and company a break. But we get a quick look at Tom Hardy as Bane and a sickly Jim Gordan. It's gonna be later this year/early next before the footage really starts cooking with gas.

And we're pretty sure it's gonna be awesome! Nothing yet on what The Dark Knight Rises is actually about, but do we really care? Nolan had us at Batman Begins.

Enjoy the teaser folks:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trailer Alert: Drive

It's late, I'm drunk, but Basement contributor Matt Bellamy posted this wickedly awesome red band trailer for Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn's upcoming action thriller that took Cannes by storm.

Suffice to say it looks awesome. And it makes Canadian actor Ryan Gosling look like a total badass. Throw in Ron Perlman, Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks and you've got a cast to die for.

The story? A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong. Based on the premise and footage below, I'm sold! Bring it!

 No word yet on a release date.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gone Fishing 2: Gone Fishinger

It's vacation time in The Basement folks . . . at least from the day job.

Actually, Shawn has been off a week or so now. It's yours truly who is about to enjoy 16 days of play. And that means lake time, which means time away from home and this computer. Which, to make a long story short, means updates to this blog will be inconsistent at best until I head back to work.

But fear not, regular updates will resume Aug. 8 and I will post tidbits here and there when time allows.

In the meantime, enjoy this preview for the ultimate summer movie:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trailer Alert: The Kill List

The British make pretty darn good genre movies. Dog Soldiers. Severance. The Disappearance of Alice Creed. The lists goes on and on. So when a film comes out of the U.K. that's heralded as the best British genre movie in years, it's worth paying attention.

Fortunately for us colonists IFC Films has picked up the rights to Ben Wheatley's thriller The Kill List, which will premier at FrightFest 2011 later this year.

The plot? The film follows an ex-soldier turned contract killer as he enters a dark and disturbing world. What other kind of world is there for hitmen anyway?

The preview is a bit jarring and it's hard to tell exactly what is going on, but I'm intrigued. And the film is certainly getting a lot of praise. Chances are it will end up being reviewed on our radio show/podcast.

Check out the trailer below and judge for yourselves, Basement Dwellers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A poster, release date for Grave Encounters

Found footage horror films are all the rage these days thanks to the huge success of Paranormal Activity and its sequel. And, unlike 3D, the gimmick still has some life left in it if the preview for Grave Encounters is any indication of the finished movie.

Written and directed by The Vicious Brothers (Best. Stage. Name. Ever.), Grave Encounters follows a reality TV show like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State as the cast enters a haunted asylum. The crew quickly discovers the building is more than haunted -- it's alive! And it has no intention of letting them leave.

The poster is above. The trailer below. The film hits theatres in New York and Los Angeles Aug. 19. Audiences can start demanding it on the film's official website Aug. 25. The Basement might have to get behind that effort and bring the film to The 'Loops.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Halloween starlet gets behind the camera

And scream queen Danielle Harris will direct a horror movie no less. But we wouldn't expect anything less from the sexy star.

Among Friends will be Harris's feature film directing debut (she previously helmed the short Madison). The screenplay is by Alyssa Lobit, who will star alongside Harris in the film. What it's actually about remains a mystery but, according to Arrow in the Head, the project's tagline is This dinner party's gonna be killer.

Harris has embraced her horror roots after lying low for a number of years. She got her start in Halloween 4 and 5 before moving on to The Last Boy Scout. She resurfaced with Rob Zombie's Halloween, Hatchet 2 and a host of other genre films.

Among friends begins filming in August.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jason and Shawn review: Hobo With A Shotgun

Hobo With A Shotgun

Shawn: Good for Rutger Hauer! It's nice to know he's still alive and thank you for starring in this movie. And good for Telefilm Canada for helping get it made. All too often I yell at movies "Show us! Show us this kills!" And this one does, most of the time. And it really crosses the line too, which is awesome. The Canadian accents do stand out and Abby's rallying-of-the-troops speech suffers a bit because of it, but why complain. This movie is great. But the rest of you will love it or hate it. I'm giving it a Good.

Jason: Between Rubber and this flick there's proof that original, edgy and, yes, completely fucked-up cinema is alive and well. Basement cinema. I honestly can't believe this movie got made . . . and in Canada no less. It's off the rails. It's gross. It's weird. And it's great. There's also a believable relationship between the Hobo and Abby that is touching and real. That surprised me, given all the crazy shit that's going on, but it gives the film the stable base it needs. I dug this flick a lot and am giving it a Good.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Micro Review: Insidious

A lot of people think Insidious is a mainstream Hollywood movie but it isn't. Sure, director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell made the successful Saw, but that in itself was a low-budget effort like Insidious that exploded into popular culture. More so even than Saw, Insidious deserves it's success. This is a nightmare-inducing scare picture that generates frights from the first minute in. In fact the jolts, jumps and jitters come at an unrelenting pace at times. But the film isn't just scary; it also provides a believable and likable family at the core of the haunting to suck the audience in even further. There are few special effects at work here, just old-fashioned film craftsmanship. Sure, the second half has trouble living up to the first, but this is a great ride through a haunted house none the less. I can't praise it enough, so I'll give Insidious a Good already!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Next on the chopping block: Hobo With A Shotgun

If Rubber was a middle finger to mainstream movie making Hobo With A Shotgun is the football to the groin. Jason Eisener's 2011 Canadian grindhouse film is as over the top and in your face a piece of exploitation cinema as you can get, and it hates logic and good taste with a passion.

As was the case with Machete, Hobo With A Shotgun is a feature film based on a fake trailer. The question that begs asking is is here enough material there to fill a 90-minute film? And is that film any good? The presence of the great Rutger Hauer certainly adds interest, but how much mileage can Eisener get out of a hobo with shotgun?

The answer to these and other questions comes when the July Special lands Sunday at 8 p.m. PST on iTunes, Facebook, podOmatic and right here on the blog.

Our special episodes are stripped down versions of the radio show. Just a review and some lively banter. If you miss our hour-long episodes tune in Fridays at 4 p.m. at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca for archived Season One episodes.

And we'll be back in The Basement Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. PST for all new episodes with Season Two. Stick with us!

And now for a look at our feature presentation:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A change is coming . . .

And one for the better, at least as far as we in The Basement are concerned.

For more than a year Shawn, myself and, from time to time, colleagues Anthony Michael Bosa and Mike S. from The Corner of Terror have plugged away at this blog bringing you the latest movie news and reviews, along with written reviews and weekly updates about our radio show on The X.

For the most part the news, which is also featured on our show, has been about Hollywood productions. We admit we did so to appeal to the more mainstream movie fan, but the news has never really fit into what we in The Basement are really all about -- the underdog.

We are a show about genre films, B-movies and under-the-radar productions, and from here on in our news and reviews will reflect that.

We'll bring exposure to the filmmakers who love movies and want to get their smaller productions seen. We may touch on the mainstream from time to time, but that will no longer be the norm. And, quite often, we'll be doing so to slam the unoriginal, money-hungry machine that is Hollywood and encourage people to give the little guy a chance.

Naturally, we expect this might turn some movie fans off. Hopefully that won't be the case. But if it is, we're confident those who leave will be back, because you just gotta hear what we're going to say next.

We are Jason and Shawn, and we are in The Basement. Stick with us!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Contagion trailer mirrors real life horror

Steven Soderbergh's new film Contagion looks to be the scariest kind of horror film -- the kind that can happen.

The movie, which hits theatres in September, is about a worldwide viral outbreak told from the POV of a variety of characters. It looks to be pretty heavy stuff played out by a first-rate director and talented cast, which includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet (left) and Jude Law.

I know we've pretty much had it with Hollywood films here in The Basement, but this looks pretty solid. It's an original story based on timely events and that scene where Damon learns his wife has died really packs a punch. I don't know if I will rush out to see Contagion, but I will watch it eventually.

Give the preview a gander, and sound off if yah please.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trailer Alert: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The game's afoot in this teaser for the sequel to the surprisingly good 2009 Guy Ritchie film.

I felt Ritchie's take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective was closer in tone and character to the original stories. And I loved the pairing of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. In fact, I can't watch the equally brilliant BBC series Sherlock without seeing Downey Jr.'s influence of the character.

Here we've got a glimpse at the story we've been waiting for: Holmes versus his arch rival Moriarty. And there's original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Noomi Rapace and a bunch of fun looking action scenes. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is scheduled for release in December and, given my enjoyment of the first film, I could venture to a theatre to see it.

But check out the trailer below and judge for yourself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Thing prequel gets a poster

Summer is a slow ass time for movie news, which is why The Basement is churning out stories featuring posters and stills instead of any actual hard-core news. But we're not apologizing. We never apologize in The Basement. Wanna fight about it?

Below is the teaser poster for the upcoming prequel to The Thing. That's right, it's not a remake of John Carpenter's horror classic, which was in turn a remake of the Howard Hawk's 1950s chiller. It's a prequel. Well, I guess we could classify it as yet another version of the short story Who Goes There? which the previous versions were based on, by why get that much into it?

The latest telling of the tale is due out in October and takes place at the Norwegian research facility where Kurt Russell and company found the nasty alien in Carpenter's original. The poster below is pretty stark and cool, and I have no issues with another Thing movie being made because it's technically an adaptation of the short story. It would be like me bitching about another telling of Hamlet. That's right, I mentioned Shakespeare and sci-fi monsters in the same sentence. Wanna fight about it?

By the way, the film stars genre favourite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, which is why there's a picture of her above. That's right, we're using sex to sell our stories. Wanna fight about it?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Micro Review: Dead Birds

A haunted house tale with a Western twist, this low budget scare machine delivers one creepy moment after another and is guaranteed to give even the most jaded of horror fans the heebie jeebies. At least that holds true for the first hour or so. Then this otherwise solid efforts slips a bit in the final act with scenes that rely too heavily on exposition. Still, the ride is a scary one, the acting solid and the Western setting a nice change of pace. There's enough here to like that I have to rate Dead Birds a Good, but I'm still not quite getting the title. Sure, there's a dead bird or two in it, but still.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A slight change in plans . . .

We've talked long and loud about the fact we're reviewing the killer scarecrow movie Husk for our July Special, but some things have transpired against us.

For one, holidays loom for Shawn and I, meaning we have to get our review out of the way tonight. It could also mean the special will land before our planned launch of July 31. We'll keep you posted.

Secondly, we've had some trouble finding the film. The Basement has contacts everywhere who send movies our way. We're working on Husk, but because we're doing our review this eve, we don't have time to wait. But fear not, when we find it, we're reviewing it. No two ways about it.

Lastly, four words: Hobo With A Shotgun. That's right, we've got our grubby mitts on the ultra violent, ultra weird Rutger Hauer grindhouse epic and we're going review it for you, Constant Listeners. We'll let you know what we think when we release The July Special on your ear holes. It will be a lot more fun than I just made it sound, trust me.

Stick with us!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Micro Review

Here is the third installment of the Transformers series.  THE summer blockbuster.  Or is it?

This dweller took in the movie in 2 D style, as that was the option at my local theater, and consumed copious amounts of popcorn in the 2 and a half ish hours of the films duration.

I am a bit of a fan of the Transformer movies.  Mostly, the physical tiredness associated with all three films, after watching them for the first time.  A-C-Tion packed.

Sure, like the others, this movie had plot holes.  It had holes in the return of some characters and lack of others.  Also there was a pretty pointless role with John Malkovich, yet still awesome for any Malkovich fan...which we in the basement are.

That said, they could probably erase "Revenge of the Fallen" (WHAT REVENGE!?) and just keep these two.  This movie, was by far, the best in the series.  The story was a bit weak and a bit of a stretch in some aspects, but the spectacle was unrivaled and made up the difference.  The robots were more distinguishable during battle with each other, and kept in clear, clean focus. I'm sure that was a troublesome feat for the special effects crew.  It looked WAY better and was much easier to soak in.

And though this film kept the same rating as the other 2 in the franchise, I will not be allowing my children to watch this one, as I have the others.  The violence was significant and FINALLY ventured more, into the reality (ha), as if giant robots were trying to take over the earth. Or do battle on it.  Ever wondered what would happen to a person if a giant sentient robot blasted them with their blasters?  You'll see it here.  This movie was far more hard hitting than its prequels, and by far, my favorite of the trilogy.

I'm not sure where they could go with the franchise, now that they seemed to have mastered the effects, and that is too bad.  Although, I am happy to see that Shia LaBeouf is through.  His character is wasn't really all that necessary in the second and third installments.

 I was shock and awed into giving this a good.  Despite all its "Hollywoodness"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First production still from Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods

Joss Whedon, he who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, is a genre favourite. But financial strife at MGM saw the high-concept horror film he wrote, The Cabin in the Woods. sit on a shelf for the better part of three years, with many film geeks fearing it would never see the light of day.

Now Lionsgate, the only studio out there that loves horror as much as horror fans, has bought the film and promises to release it soon . . . like possibly October. And to prove they aren't full of bull, they released a still, which we share below thanks to the cool dudes at Bloody Disgusting.


OK, so it doesn't show much other than the cast, which includes a pre-George Kirk and pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth. Goes to show how long this sat in limbo. But at least we've got SOMETHING. And Shawn and I promise to share more as the release draws near.

The film is directed by Drew Goddard and is a twist on the classic scenario of young people trapped at a, you guessed it, cabin in the woods.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some set pics from World War Z

Horror and zombie fans should be familiar with the novel World War Z: An Oral History of Zombie War. Max Brooks's post apocalyptic tale is an account of a great war between humans and zombies told through a collection of first-person accounts. It was a best seller, a big hit among some of us Basement Dwellers and guess what . . . a movie version is coming!

The film is currently shooting in Malta with a budget of $125 million. This is no low-budget effort, but the scope of the book demands that. Marc Foster is directing from a script by comic/screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski and Michael Carnahan.Brad Pitt stars as protagonist Gerry Lane.

Check out a couple of the images below, which show Pitt in scenes taking place in Israel. World War Z hits theatres some time next year.


Monday, July 4, 2011

The Dibbuk Box gets possessed

Last fall Shawn and I had a discussion or two about Dibbuk Box, Lionsgate's next attempt to conquer the Halloween box officer now that the Saw franchise has run out of gas. Our primary complaint at the time is that no one knows what the bleep a dibbuk box is.

Pssst . . . it's a wine cabinet.

Turns out Lionsgate was also concerned about the title so they've gone and changed it, so says Bloody Disgusting. Dibbuk Box is now called Possession.

While Possession is a more ominous title, it has nothing to do with wine cabinets. And it sounds like every other horror movie out there. That said, it's probably easier to sell a movie called Possession than one about an evil wine cabinet.

The Ole Bornedal-directed horror film follows Clyde Breneck and his 10-year-old daughter, Em, who purchase the antique box at a yard sale. Em accidentally releases an ancient spirit from the box that wants to devour her. Clyde must team up with his ex-wife to put an end to the curse . . . which begs the question, why not call the movie The Curse?

Title be damned, Possession hits theatres Oct. 28.