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Showing posts from February, 2012

Avengers assemble in the new trailer

We've seen teasers and lengthy Super Bowl spots but the wait for the full Avengers trailer is over. And it was worth it!

We've got 'em all: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkey, Black Widow and Nick Fury. And, Hulk aside, they're all played by the actors who immortalized them on the big screen during several Hollywood blockbusters.

This is the first time anything like this has been attempted on film. It's a risky venture for Marvel and Paramount Pictures, but under director Joss Whedon, it looks like the gamble paid off. Can't wait to see this on May 4!

But I digress too much. Time to shut up and watch the trailer again!

Robotic virus meteor catastrophe

Everyone knows that Jason and I love movies that you have almost might have heard of.

My personal favorites are disaster or end of the world movies. This movie is something I can look forward to.  I "accidentally" watched the trailer and can honestly say, "looks wicked, to me."

But, we've been fooled by trailers many, many times.
What to do?  Have faith that either three separate stories of doom and gloom are going to inflict mankind,  or one story with a triple threat is going to take us out.

Yeah, my draw to these movies?  The thought that I won't die alone.  All you fuckers are coming with me. haha.

That said, I can find little on this story, except it's directed by these guys:

Ji Woon Kim - Pil-Sung Yim 

And they are going to take out humanity!

Here's a trailer (with subtitles):

Transformers babe manages creepy apartment in 666 Park

We don't touch on TV much in The Basement but, seeing as how I've just got cable up and running, and movie news is in short supply today, I figure I'd post this little tidbit.

Rachael Taylor, who recently starred in the TV reboot of Charlie's Angels and appeared in the first Transformers flick, has been cast in the pilot for ABC's new supernatural drama 666 Park. I guess, with the success of American Horror Story, scary television all the rage again.

Good! As long as it's good. Got it!?!

The pilot is based on Gabriella Pierce's series of novels of the same name. Taylor will be play Annable who, along with her husband, accepts an offer to manage a historic New York City apartment building. Then the scary stuff starts to happen and puts everyone's lives at risk.

Fringe scribe David Wilcox wrote the pilot, which automatically means I will at least watch the first episode. We'll keep you in the loop on 666 Park as it develops.

Real Steel: Micro Review

Ever thought it would be cool to have real life sized "Rock em Sock em" robots?  How about not only life size, but bigger than life, and under your explicit control?

Well here they are.

Hugh Jackman is a pretty diverse dude.  From Wolverine to Broadway. And pretty much everything in between.  This included.

This is a "feel good" family movie.  Although, my five year old did get in trouble for the "LEFT, RIGHT, UPPERCUT" display at school.

This is a technically perfect movie, and with an almost Disneyesque feel, crossed with any Rocky movie.  However, it does have huge robots that box each other until they destroy their opponent.

 The technology for something like this has been around for a while, so while it presents nothing new, it only perfects the effects needed to pull this off.

I have been holding off from watching this movie because I have heard that it is story heavy.  I don't really like to think about the story, but this presents well, and …

Jason and Shawn review: Terror From Beneath the Earth and The Monster of Phantom Lake

Terror From Beneath the Earth

Jason: A Mihm movie that gets it right. How? Terror clocks in at a breezy 66 minutes, the perfect length for a 1950s cheapy. These movies were talky and slow moving, and Mihm captures the vibe perfectly. Actually, there isn't one wrong note here other than I know this was made in the modern era of cinema. Otherwise the acting is appropriately bad, the sets equally so, and the monster, well, the monster makes 1950s Godzilla look like the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. I enjoyed this, but it's still a Bad. You know, the whole adjust-for-inflation thing. A worthy watch, and would be a Good if viewed in 1950 something, but a Bad by today's standards, even if that's the point.
Shawn: ATTACK OF THE GIANT BAT THING! First let me say that I loved LOVED the making of the bat thing in the special features chunk of the DVD. Missed Shannon though. She's only in it for four minutes. Not even. BOOO. She is the greatest retro actress eva. As for Mihm…

Modern/Retro 50s Night Vol. 2: Terror from Beneath the Earth and The Monster of Phantom Lake

We return to the wacky 1950s world of drive-in cinema with this, the latest episode of Film Reviews from the Basement. But we're doing it with a twist that can only come from that maestro of throwback cinema, Christopher R. Mihm.

Modern/Retro 50s Night Vol. 1 is one of the most successful episodes of our fine radio show/podcast, and the only way we could think of topping it was to interview Mihm's favourite leading lady: Shannon McDonough!

Shannon has starred in three Mihmverse epics: It Came From Another World, Attack of the Moon Zombies and one of the film's on the chopping block tonight: Terror from Beneath the Earth. Not only does she provide some great insight into the love and hard work that goes into making these micro-budget movies, but she talks about what it takes to be a working actress outside of Hollywood. It's a great 20-minute conversation whether you're in show business or not.

In addition to Terror, Jason and Shawn tackle Mihm's very first film…

Pop goes the evil in Slash-in-the-Box

Two short films sent our way in as many weeks? We are blessed in The Basement. And the more Shawn and I get to watch these nifty little numbers, the more we appreciate the medium as a method for telling scary stories.

Today's entry, Slash-in-the-Box, comes by way of writer/director Nick Everhart. Shot in one day on a budget of $2,000, this looks just as slick and accomplished as any Hollywood effort. Sure, I could see the ending the coming, but I got a few scares, some gore and a hot blonde. And it's a fun watch too. Not bad for five minutes worth of entertainment.

But why bore you with my chatter, push play and experience Slash-in-the-Box yourself. Keep up the good work, Nick, and let us know when your next film is ready for viewing!

And, for the record, Barbie dolls are scary!

Slash-In-The-Box from Nick Everhart on Vimeo.

Altered: Micro Review

Altered is a 2006 sci fi flick from the director of the Blair Witch Project.

Yeah, I thought the same thing too.  More shaky cam stuff, low budget etc and so forth.

This movie is NOT what you think.

I had seen this movie popping up in my recommended row on Netflix. I kept skipping it because of the director and my physical queasiness that I suffered from Blair Witch.  Also, because I thought it would be plain, cheesy.  Even after Jay recommended it, I was still skeptical.

I can't believe that I waited.

 All I have to say is, "WOW".

This movie had a very cool vibe from the get go.  It starts out with a bunch of  "good ole boys", hunting something. That something turns out to be an alien, from the species that altered their lives, some 15 years prior.

They capture it and take it to their ultra secure location.  Do they kill it?  The answer to that question, is another question:  "What happens to an animal when it kills a human?"  It is pure party from t…

Horror hits the dusty trail in The Prospector's Curse

In addition to bringing you reviews of movies you've almost heard of, The Basement has found a nice little niche when it comes to giving short films their due, and we're more than happy to do it. All the better when it's a Canadian flick to boot.

The latest is a Western-themed horror film called The Prospector’s Curse, which recently wrapped production near the remote town of Ponty Pool, Ontario.

Set during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890’s, this darkly comedic short is written and directed by Josh Heisie (Mail Order Bride), produced by Bruno Marino (Anything Goes) and is currently in post production in Toronto.

On a side note, if you haven't seen Bruce McDonald's 2008 zombie flick Pontypool then you need to get on it. Great twist on the genre.

Getting back to The Prospector's Curse, the film tells the story of Theodore “Tubby” Ellsworth and Jack Smith, two criminals who stumble across a mutilated and dying prospector on Indian ground. They promise to give h…

Who's in Insidious 2?

In a move that will likely come as no surprise to anyone, Insidious scribe Leigh Whannell let drop to the folks at Dread Central that at least two characters from the 2011 horror hit will back for the eventual follow up.

Whannell said paranormal specialists Specs and Tucker, played by Whannell and Angus Sampson, return in the sequel. Whannell explains it best himself below:

"I can say that yes, my character will be seen in Insidious 2," said Whannell to Dread. "It may probably bum a lot of people out, though, to hear this news. It's part of the reason I don't even read the internet message boards anymore; there was this hatred that spewed out from fans saying 'I hated those guys! They sucked! They ruined the movie!' so there will probably be a lot of people out there who will be disappointed to hear that the Specs and Tucker characters will be coming back. (laughs)"

Some didn't like the humour the characters brought to an otherwise freaky 9…

Micro Review: Paranormal Activity 3

In some ways this is the most affective Paranormal Activity film of the bunch, with a number of good scares and clever use of special effects. There's chills aplenty and some great shorts shitting moments. I'm a bit puzzled by how it ends and how the filmmakers are going to explain the progression into the other movies, as it's a prequel to a prequel. But I guess that's what Paranormal Activity 4 is all about. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman -- who made Catfish -- do a great job of recreating the 80s and crafting some convincing horror. That said, if you hated the other Paranormal Activity movies, you'll hate this one. I didn't, so it gets a Good!

Jason and Shawn review: Choose and Dead Hooker in a Trunk


Jason: Or, as I like to call it, an excuse to stare at Katheryn Winnick's chest for 90 minutes. Or Katheryn Winnick in general. This is a disposal horror thriller. It's like Saw or Scream, only not as clever. I spent more time playing on my iPad and chatting with Mike S on Twitter than I did paying attention to this movie. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Choose. I can't give this an Ugly because then it'd be a slight against Katheryn Winnick. But, if you want to perv on her in a good movie check out Satan's Little Helper. Otherwise this is just Bad.
Shawn: Pretty decent start to a movie. Got me looking. Speaking of looking: hot blonde in a shower scene! Still looking!! No boobs :(. Interest fading. Hey, investigative reporter seeking serial killer with links to her own family? Sounds all too familiar. Girl with the Terrible Boobies ring a bell!?! You know what, at least I saw boobs in that movie. This is another borefest cheesy st…

Choose, Dead Hooker in a Trunk and an interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska

When it comes to horror, women tend to get more notice for the work they do in front of the camera than behind it. Not so with Jen and Sylvia Soska.

The self proclaimed Twisted Twins of Vancouver are no strangers to the entertainment industry, having started out as child actors before making the transition to stunt work and eventually a disappointing turn in film school. Frustrated, the twins set out to make their first feature film. They called it Dead Hooker in a Trunk, made it on a low budget, and the rest is history.

Jason and Shawn are not only going to review Dead Hooker on this episode, but The Basement Dwellers will also air a feature interview with Sylvia and Jen that explains their adventures in grindhouse cinema far better than can be done here. It's a 20-minute chat every film fan and aspiring filmmaker needs to hear. 

But first, the boys will level the executioner's axe at a little-know horror flick called Choose. It stars Canadian actress Katheryn Winnick, last …

Lockout poster features a babe and a big gun

A movie that's gone from zero to 60 on The Basement's must-see scale is the sci-fi/action film Lockout.

First, we got a look at the kick ass trailer (posted below) and now we've go the slick poster (posted above). It shows Guy Pearce in full action-hero mode with a big effing gun, hottie Maggie Grace and a bunch of explosions and shit. It's everything a poster for a flick like Lockout should be.

Oh yeah, the title's in there somewhere too.

Lockout is written and produced by action guru Luc Besson and stars Pearce as a wise-cracking anti-hero recruited to rescue Grace from an orbital prison. The film hits April 20 and look like all kinds of fun.

Horror invades your home in Intruders

Clive Owen and horror aren't words I ever expected to see together in a sentence, but such is the reality of the new home invader flick Intruders.

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who made the surprisingly great 28 Weeks Later, Intruders features Owen as a father trying to unravel the mystery of Hollow Face, a mysterious figure who is tormenting his daughter. Creepy, nightmare-like imagery ensues as Hollow Face draws every closer to the girl.

Is it just me, or have hoodies become the new Shatner mask or horror? Just throwing that out there.

The film plays at SXSW from March 13 to 15 and hits theatres March 30. Shawn's retired from watching trailers, but I've seen this one and think it looks right up our alley here in The Basement. We like scary, and this promises to be all kinds of scary.

A first look at Taken 2

No, this isn't a trailer for the much anticipated sequel to Liam Neeson's spectacular 2009 action flick Taken, but rather a rundown of the script by those fine folks over at Latino Review. And it's a rather spoiler free one at that.

It does, however, offer a very thorough synopsis of the sequel's first act or so and hints at how the film plays out without actually running anything. The reviewer also puts to rest any fears that Neeson will play a small part in this.

That said, if you want to go into the film without even the remotest hint of what's to come, then don't push play. But, if you want to be even more jazzed for what promises to be an exercise in pure badassery, then give the six-minute clip a listen.

Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen return along with Neeson. Taken 2 is shooting as we speak and hits theatres Oct. 5.

And apologies for the sizing of the video, but it's meant to be heard rather than seen.

What's in the Briefcase?

Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock popularized the term MacGuffin, a plot element that catches the viewer's attention or drives a work of fiction. Writer/director Nate Golon must have had the term in mind when he crafted his short film Briefcase.

Take a guess what the MacGuffin is.

Golon also stars in the film, which we've embedded for you below at his request. The less said about Briefcase before you have the chance to watch it the better. So I'm gonna embed away and share my two cents after the break.

This is a pretty cool little film; a concept ripe for a short. Golon uses the MacGuffin well in crafting a tale right out of The Twilight Zone that's five minutes well spent. It's a good looking flick too. I'd love to see what he can do with a feature film.

To learn more about Briefcase check out the film's Facebook page, where Golon promises more about the film's mythology. Something tells me we're not done with this story yet.

Doghouse: Micro Review

So with 4 gin and tonics, 2 beer in my system, I decided to watch this movie.  I have seen it on Netflix for months and always bi-passed it.  I just wasn't interested in seeing a low low budget zombie movie.  But then, something got the better of me.

This movie started out pretty decent, with good acting and some funny, yet dark, UK humor.  Almost felt a little Shaun Of The Dead ish.  Just darker.

As this movie progressed and gave little hints of what was to come, I started really enjoying it and hoped they didn't let down with cheese zombies.

Wow, they sure didn't let down.  They had a surprisingly good budget for gore and blended it nicely.   There weren't hoards of the zombie - demon ish women, but there were a lot.  I was completely satisfied with every step of this movie and wished I had watched it sooner.

Does everyone survive?  I don't know, but I really dug the ending too.  For any zombie lover, I recommend this movie.  It is a buddy movie, too.. More fun w…

Jason and Shawn review: Rage and Tales of an Ancient Empire


Jason: A true cautionary tale. Remember kids, it's not polite to steal another man's parking spot. He might hunt you down, rape your wife, and make a mess of your face. In all seriousness though, this is a solid little suspense film with a brutal conclusion. The game of cat and mouse starts with harassment and becomes increasingly more violent as it goes along, exploding in a gruesome yet tasteful climax. Too bad Witherspoon didn't have enough of a budget to show us all of the gore, but we get a taste. This harkens back to films like Duel and Carpenter's Halloween and, although it isn't quite the classic they are, I will enjoy watching this again and again. A Good from me.
Shawn: Wow. This was a pretty cool movie. It was well made, well shot, well cut. That being said, I have some issues and they have nothing to do with the presentation or actual viewing experience. First off, if I knew some clown ass biker dude was chasing me after he cut my brakes, then chase…

Rage and Tales of an Ancient Empire

You think you're having a bad day? Check out the folks in the above pic. Doesn't look like things are going well for them at all!

Which brings us to one of our films on the chopping block this episode: Rage. Writer/director Chris Witherspoon approached The Basement Dwellers, Jason and Shawn, about reviewing his award-winning indie horror/thriller. The boys naturally agreed.

Witherspoon was inspired by 1970s thrillers like Duel when he crafted this story of a cat and mouse game between a suburban thirtysomething and a mysterious biker. As the tale unfolds, the game gets a little ugly. Does the outcome appease our Basement duo, or is Rage just something to get mad at? Stick with us!

And don't step away -- even for a second -- as Jason and Shawn turn their attention to Tales of an Ancient Empire, the not-so-long-awaited sequel to Albert Pyun's early 80s fantasy hit The Sword and the Sorcerer. Sure, no one cared if it got made, and it stars Kevin Sorbo, but it's still …

Machete is ready to kill again!

The Robert Rodriguez-produced Machete is Shawn's favourite flick of 2010 despite the presence of Fat Steven Seagal. I was entertained by it but wouldn't call it Top-10-of-any-year material.

But I assure you we're both excited to see Danny Trejo return to the role he was born to play in the aptly titled Machete Kills.

All we really know is the flick is scheduled to shoot in April and the plot is as follows: "Machete is recruited by the U.S. Government for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man. Machete must battle his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space. Machete takes on an army in an effort to dismantle a plan for global anarchy."

As long as Trejo is kicking ass, hot chicks are getting naked, and the third act can live up to the first two this time around, I'll be more than pleased with Machete Kills. S…

Moon Nazis attack in Iron Sky

That's the basic plot behind the new batshit crazy sci-fi/action/comedy from Stealth Media Group.
And what a great premise it is: Nazis landed on the moon 70 years ago and have been biding their time to launch an invasion.  They decide they’ve been waiting long enough, take to their fleet of flying saucers, and begin a full scale attack of Earth.
What more can be said? Nothing! Other than this has become a must see in The Basement!
Iron Sky premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and is expected in theatres April 4. It's directed by Timo Vuorensola, produced by Tero Kaukomaa and written by Johanna Sinisalo along with Michael Kalesniko. Genre veteran Udo Kier and a bunch of hot chicks star. 
Now watch the epic goodness below!

From the Mihmverse to The Basement: an interview with Shannon McDonough

On Feb. 25 we journey back into the world of Christopher R. Mihm with his low budget tributes to 1950s horror and sci-fi: The Monster of Phantom Lake and Terror From Beneath the Earth. Yes, it's Vol. 2 of Modern/Retro 50s Night.

And we're thrilled to have sat down and talked with one of Mihm's favourite leading ladies: Shannon McDonough. Shannon starred in Attack of the Moon Zombies (see Vol. 1 of Modern/Retro 50s Night) Terror From Beneath Earth and It Came From Another World and she provides some great insight into the love and hard work that goes into making these fun films.

Shannon also takes some time to discuss her other projects, including Potpourri -- a movie she says has a little of every genre, and what it takes to be a working actress outside of Hollywood. It's a conversation every Basement Dwellers needs to hear!

Stick with us for Vol. 2 of Modern/Retro 50s Night featuring the movies of Christopher R. Mihm and our interview with Shannon at the end of the mo…

James Wan conjures up The Warren Files

Horror fans know James Wan. The director made Saw one of the biggest horror franchises of all time and he turned last year's Insidious into a huge hit. Now the man is back behind the camera with a new terrifying tale: The Warren Files.

The film is based on the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who reached out to help the Perron family after they claimed they were haunted in Rhode Island. The Warrens were also involved in the infamous Amityville haunting.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have signed on to play the Warrens. Wan just cast his Perron family, with Lilli Taylor and Ron Livingston playing the parents and Mackenzie Foy and Joey King their children.

The casting isn't as big a piece of news as the project itself. Anyone who's watched Paranormal State knows who Lorraine Warren is and her exploits are ripe for a decent movie. I also have complete faith in Wan as a director when it comes to this type of material.

The Warren Files begins production later this mo…

Bait 3D promises Jaws in a supermarket

You read that right: sharks in a grocery store. Kinda like snakes on a plane, only with sharks and no Samuel L. in sight. We're talking material for the highest grossing movie of all time right there.

In all seriousness, that is the concept behind the Australian shark movie Bait, which speculates on what would happen when a freak tsunami hits a small town on the Gold Coast and traps people in a flooded underground supermarket with a pack of man-eating sharks.

The idea is cool, and the rough sales trailer we've discovered and posted below holds promise. We love sharks in The Basement, be they mega, 2-headed or otherwise. And Bait sure can't be any worse than Shark Night 3D, although it was shot in the three-extra dollars format.

Bait was directed by Kimble Rendall and stars Julian Mcmahon and Xavier Samuel. No word yet on when we'll see it, but it's rumoured to hit theatres some time this year.

Check out trailer below and share your thoughts, Basement Dwellers.

UPDATED: The Basement presents Dark Fest 2012

There's been a dastardly change in the line up for Dark Fest 2012, with The Innkeepers unable to attend because of frightening circumstances. But those Basement Dwellers Jason and Shawn are proud to announce Hobo with a Shotgun will step in as the kick off film March 9 at 7 p.m. And this Canadian grindhouse effort, starring the great Rutger Hauer, is sure to please fans of gruesome cinema!
From out of the cinematic basement and onto the big screen, the 16th Kamloops Canadian and International Film Festival has plunged into a dark realm of B-grade movie entertainment with the inaugural Dark Fest, a loving tribute to the frightful side of cinema.
To do so, the gentle Kamloops Film Festival Committee turned to a couple of guys who appreciate everything that's good about bad movies: Jason and Shawn, co-hosts of 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops' premiere film review show Film Reviews from the Basement.
Jason and Shawn looked deep into the darkest corner of the basement to find four films gua…

Jason and Shawn review: Skew and Familiar


Jason: I love movies that fuck with you, and Skew fucks with you. Is what's happening real? In the cameraman's brain? Or is something wrong with the camera itself? That's what Skew is all about, Charlie Brown! Skew is more about psychological horror than visceral thrills, although there are a few of those. The viewer's task is figuring out the link between what is happening and what is happening on camera. You have to work a bit to enjoy this movie. If you're up to the task, you'll have a fun ride. Simon, the cameraman, unnerved me almost as much as the killer in The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I'm giving Skew a Good and encourage horror fans to watch it.
Shawn: Hello found-footage movie. I’m about done with these now. Truly. With that said, at least this was a decently entertaining story. For my last unbiased review of a “footage” movie, I’m glad it was this one. You better make one hell of a found footage movie to pull me out of retirement. This was a low b…

Skew, Familiar and A Chat With A Scream Queen

This episode is a milestone of sorts for Jason and Shawn. For the first time in Basement history the films on the chopping block are being reviewed at the request of the film makers themselves, and it's a task our two Basement Dwellers are all too willing take on.

First up is Seve Schelenz's horror feature Skew, which has screened at more than 40 film festivals worldwide and won awards at six. Skew was recently picked up by Netflix in the U.S. but has yet to achieve a wide release in our Home and Native Land. That said, it's screened in The Basement, and Jason and Shawn are prepared to tell you if Skew is deserving of the attention it's received.

Then the boys turn the executioner's axe on the first short film ever reviewed on the show: Familiar. The flick comes from the Fatal Pictures team of writer/director Richard Powell and producer Zach Green. Is Familiar 24 minutes of gruesome terror and fun? Stick with us!

And you've got to stick around for the long awai…

Riddick is back!

Because some times it's best for a headline to just speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Amen.

Indeed, the above shot is of Riddick, the cult character made popular by action dude Vin Diesel in the films Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick. Well, this shot is from the franchise's latest installment, appropriately enough titled Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking.

Currently in production under the guidance of director David Twohy, Dead Man Stalking is rumoured to be more in scope and tone with Pitch Black than its grandiose follow up. I dug both films a lot, but I'm looking forward to a return to the franchise's roots. Too be honest, as long as Riddick is being a bad ass, I'm happy. He's one of the best antiheroes put on film.

The latest Riddick also stars Battlestar: Galactica babe Katee Sackoff, Jordi Molla and Nolan Funk. As for the plot? Read on:

"Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick (Die…

Murphy, Weaver and Bobby D get Buried in Red Lights

Rodrigo Cortes's made a killer debut with his claustrophobic thriller Buried. Now he's set his sites on the paranormal with his follow up Red Lights.

Cortes cast Cillian Murphy and Sigourney Weaver as physicists who make a living out of disproving paranormal phenomenon. Things go well until they run afoul of Robert De Niro, a psychic who claims to have extraordinary powers.

The trailer belows holds promise, but don't they all. I've had a crush on Weaver since Aliens and Murphy was the bomb in 28 Days Later and Sunshine. Bobby D needs to introduction, but he hasn't made a great film in a long, long time.

The success or failure of Red Lights hangs on its director. If this is even half as good as Buried, it's going to be a solid night at the movies. Here's hoping Cortes isn't a one-hit wonder.