Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jason and Shawn review Kill List and I Saw the Devil

Kill List

Jason: This movie ruined my day in the best possible way. I'm still left reeling from it, like I'm punch drunk. Or just drunk. You decide. I can't say I enjoyed this movie, although I know I will watch it again and would recommend it to horror fans in a heartbeat. Yes, it's a horror film. But not in the traditional sense. It's frightening and surreal, but oddly funny and touching too. I'm not quite sure what happened at the end, but I was disturbed by it. I call this brilliant because I really don't know what else to call it. It pulls no punches and pushes your buttons. A harrowing experience, and it's a Good!

Shawn: Here is a really different spin on hitmen. Just dudes, that kill people for money. Dudes with normal problems, normal ..ish lives. I had no idea what to expect from this film, went in blind, knowing it was a small budget. John FALLON recommended tonight’s flicks. So in that sense, I was looking forward to them. This was a tad slower paced, but it was still interesting, uncomfortable and even funny in parts. And it was also brutally violent where it needed to be. The unexpected twist involving the weird cult was fucking cool. And I dug the shit out of the masks. The end of the movie blew my fucking mind. I dug this a lot. I’m going to give it a another watch…and a Good.

I Saw the Devil

Jason: One of the most intense, nasty, frightening and brutal films I've ever seen. Period. Nothing even comes close. It's not torture porn, but it's as harsh as harsh can be. If the “victim” in this movie was anything less than the monster he is, I Saw the Devil would be an abomination. Because he's actually a serial killer who preys on and brutalizes women, what we get, albeit nasty as fuck, is oddly acceptable. How fucked up us that!?! Gotta give this a Good. I don't know if I will watch it a million times, but it's the most brutal kind of art and deserves praise. Wow, what a ride!

Shawn: This is two and a half hours that I was abso-fucking-lutely glued to the screen. I couldn’t take my eyes of this KOREAN made action-horror flick. Not only because it was subtitled, but because it was fucking riveting, gory, people eating people action…every element. Man, was this movie fucked up! I’ll be watching this, likely again and again. Haha. It was another stellar recommendation by The Arrow, and a damn Good in my books. Ridiculous even. The acting, though in Korean, was TOP NOTCH. I was mostly left speechless by the end of this film. There just aren’t enough words to describe the coolness here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Season Finale: Kill List and I Saw the Devil

The end of a season, the end of an era. In a manner of speaking.

Yes, folks, the latest edition -- and the last regular-season outing until October -- also marks the final episode of Film Reviews from the Basement as we know it. What does that mean for the show? A name change for one. And the promise of expanding the premise beyond the film-review format.

So welcome, Basement Dwellers, to the first episode of We Came from the Basement. You won't notice much that's different beyond the name for now. Jason and Shawn are still here, as is their love for boobs, blood and B-grade film entertainment. And Mike S. is still in the house tweeting away at @camethebasement (follow along tonight folks).

With a new name comes the opportunity to expand The Basement in new directions while adhering to what fans, and the Basement Dwellers, love. Anything is possible now, and by the time the boys return to The X this fall, the hope is some of the possibilities will be a reality.

But there is still the next hour to get through -- an hour that explores the dark side of humanity with a pair of foreign thrillers that have phasers set to kill!

First up is the British hitman thriller Kill List, which has received mad praise for its dark portrayal of a killer taking a contract that promises a big payoff. Then the Basement Dwellers take on the acclaimed Korean serial-killer-action-horror movie I Saw the Devil, which mixes terror and martial arts. How does the combination work for Jason and Shawn? Stick with us!

And stick around through the summer as We Came from the Basement returns once a month with a stripped down episode featuring a lone review for your ear holes. We don't want you to miss us, after all. The May Special hits May 5 with the documentary Superheroes.

And don't forget to tune in to 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca at 3 p.m. PST today for the radio version of last week's show.

Here's a taste of the films on the chopping block this episode:

Kill List



I Saw the Devil

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Look up in the sky . . . it's the Man of Steel logo

Sorry, it was just too easy. But what other way is there to introduce the official logo for Warner Bros. upcoming Superman flick Man of Steel?

And it's nice to see that director Zack Snyder and company are pretty much going the traditional route for the latest telling of the Son of Krypton. The logo is a little darker, a little more gritty, but there's no way to mistake that this is a Superman movie.

We've balked at the project in the past because, really, does the world need another Superman origin story? No. But Shawn -- the world's biggest Superman fan -- likes what he sees so far in terms of Henry Cavill's physical interpretation of the character. And praise Jebus Lex Luthor isn't the main villain.

Amy Adams and Russel Crowe co-star in the film, which is still in production. Man of Steel is slotted to hit theatres in June 2013.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Netflix picks up a Briefcase

Few things please us more than hearing about a independent project finding success. And it's even more exciting when it's a film or short film we've given some love to here on the site.

Several weeks back we reviewed writer/director Nate Golon's short film Briefcase, a five-minute long story about a mysterious briefcase that gets its handler in a whole world of trouble. It's a well-made ride deserving of praise and notice.

Earlier today we received the following in an email from Nate: Netflix has licensed 'Briefcase' to a two year exclusive deal, for retail use and online. It will not be a film that is a rental, but instead will be used by Netflix has a promotional tool in retail stores worldwide, advertising Netflix as a VOD feature in TVs. They will also probably use portions of the film on the Netflix website.

He goes on to say: "I'm so excited to have the opportunity to license my short film, 'Briefcase,' to Netflix. Netflix is the industry leader, and we are honored to be associated with such a prestigious company."

Hats off to you bro! And best of luck with Briefcase and your future projects. The Basement salutes you!

In case you missed it the first time, here's the film:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The teaser for the Total Recall remake trailer

Seems teaser trailers for trailers are all the rage recently. It's like an appetizer for the appetizer so to speak. Hey, whatever gets yah interested I guess.

As much as I hate to say it, I really like what I see here. Not so much a remake of the beloved 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film as it is another take on Philip K. Dick's short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, the Len Wiseman directed sci-fi/action flick stars Colin Farrell in the role of Doug Quaid, a factory worker who begins to suspect he is a spy caught up in futuristic resistance movement.

Starring alongside Farrell is Wiseman's wife and No. 1 hottie in the world, Kate Beckinsale. Jessica Biel, who is no ugly duckling either, also stars. Two hotties for the price of one? I'd buy that for a dollar!

Total Recall invades theatres Aug. 3 and the full trailer for the movie arrives on Sunday. Stick with us!

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Mother's Day trailer, release dates

After sitting on a shelf for more than a year, Darren Lynn Bousman's Mother's Day remake is finally coming home.

We reported late last year that the film was going to hit theatres on May 13. We've now learned that Anchor Bay Films is gearing up to release it on DVD and Blu-Ray May 8 following a limited theatrical engagement in New York, L.A. and Chicago on May 4.

Wow, that is pretty limited.

For those who aren't in the know, Bousman's remake of the 1980 Troma shocker follows the sadistic members of a villainous family as they return to their childhood home to terrorize the new owners and their guests. Rebecca DeMornay (above) plays the titular mother and Jaime King, Deborah Ann Wolf and Briana Evigan also star.

The remake is getting good buzz among horror fans, so you know we'll review it on our June Special later this year. Until then, check out the new trailer care of those fine folks at Anchor Bay and, in this case, Bloody Disgusting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some new Avengers pics for your eye holes

Simply because we can, we Basement Dwellers have amassed several pics from Joss Whedon's upcoming foray into super hero movies The Avengers. Advance word on the Interwebs is the movie rocks hard! Which is good. And so do these pics below! This is also good.

We've got Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Naturally, we put beauty before everyone else.

The Avengers hits theatres May 4!

Scarlett Johansson

Chris Evans

Chris Hemsworth

Jeremy Renner

Robert Downey Jr.

Samuel L. Jackson

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jason and Shawn review: Creature and Absentia

Creature

Shawn: Yes! Keep it simple. How? A typical creature, but it's a dude in a costume kicking ass. That's cool! I quite enjoyed this movie. It was definitely a little strange in some parts. There was definitely gore, boobies, and a cool monster. Weird brother and sister lovin’ though? Not cool! This movie was so close to being a Good. So close! But the ending fucked itself. I want to see the final battle, fuckers! Don't dump them in a mud hole and not show us. Show us! That made a cool movie suffer, so I have to give it a Bad. Boooo!

Jason: The first five minutes of this movie are so amazing that the rest of the film can't possibly live up to it. Boobs! Blood! Full female nudity! And then more boobs! Wow! I'm quite conflicted about what to give this movie actually. There's things I really like about it and things I don't. What I like: boobs, blood, a man-in-suit monster, and Serinda Swan . . . who is visually distracting. What I didn't like: we don't see the kills. Yes, there's blood. But we don't see the kills. Even the final fight between Lockjaw and the black dude is done off screen. It actually pains me, but I have to give Creature a Bad. Sad face is sad.

Absentia

Shawn: Shorts shitting entertainment? Hell yes. I’m glad I coined that phrase, and I'm owed a $1 every time it is said. There were some stains for sure. Pretty neat idea this movie was. It moved a little slow, but the character development was top notch. You actually got to know these people, without getting to know them. You actually cared a little. And it was definitely worth the payoff for me, as it was paced fairly decently. This movie was not what I thought at all, and it was unique. This little budget that could is, once again, the reason Jason and I do this. Fucking Good.

Jason: Talk about going into a movie expecting one thing and ending up with something completely different. Is this a story about a junkie's hallucinations? Is this a story about a grieving pregnant woman seeing things? Or is something far more sinister at play? And there is one shorts shitting moment after another along the way to finding out. Absentia works so well because writer/director Mike Flanagan knows what the fuck he's doing. He wrote a good script, he cast his actors well, and he knows how to make a good, scary film. Sure, some of it's slow, but I know it will stick with me. This is how you make a no-budget movie. Good!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Creature and Absentia

Hot chick? Check. B-grade monster movie? Check. Jason and Shawn are in The Basement? Hells yeah!

Clearly, fans know by now that it doesn't take much to get the Basement Dwellers into a movie. Some boobs, blood and a hottie or three and these guys are pretty much a guaranteed show. So it's no surprise they have the old-school monster movie Creature on the chopping block this eve.

How old school? The monster is actually played by a man in a suit. Take that, CGI! And the hotties who become prey to said low-tech beast are Serinda Swan (above) and Lauren Schneider. But, in the case of Creature, is a guy in a rubber costume and a couple of scantily clad babes enough to keep the Basement Boys interested for 90 minutes of so? Stick with us!

Then the Dynamic Duo of Crap Cinema turn their attention to a supernatural scare film that's actually getting good buzz in the horror community: Absentia. Mike Flanagan's tale has won oodles of awards and been called "haunting and beautiful" by Arrow in the Head. Now it's Jason and Shawn's turn to weigh in.

Tonight's recording session will also feature the last review of the season by Mike S, another edition of movie news and some songs for your ear holes. Our mad tweeter will keep fans up to date on the action at @camethebasement. You can follow the tweets there.

And don't forget to tune in to 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca at 3 p.m. PST today for the radio version of last week's show.

Now for a look at our feature presentations:

Creature



Absentia 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Micro Review: Conan the Barbarian (2011)

A far better film than it has any right to be, Marcus Nispel's retelling of Robert E. Howard's tale doesn't even try to outdo the 1982 version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead, it holds true to the Howard material while telling its own story in brutally violent fashion. In fact, it's the non-stop violence and bloodshed that keeps this movie afloat. There's copious amounts of blood, beasts and boobies to satisfy exploitation fans. In no way does Jason Momoa's Conan replace Schwarzenegger's interpretation, but he still does a fine job in bringing the barbarian to life. And who doesn't want to look at Rachel Nichols for about two hours? Whenever I'm in the mood for rampant carnage, I'll throw this take on Conan in the player. A Good from me.

Twilight star menaced by Tasers, rats and Cronenberg

Love the Twilight movies or hate them, they've made Robert Pattinson a star. Now that the film series is winding down, it's time to see if the pretty boy who made vampires suck has the chops for a legitimate film career.

To Pattinson's credit, he's doing everything he can to erase his Edward image by starring in director David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.

Based on Don DeLillo's novel, Pattinson plays a nihilistic Wall Street whiz, who takes a 24-hour limo trip through Manhattan, doing various ungentlemanly things as he bleeds out his fortune in the stock market. This involves engaging in weird sex, brutal violence and being menaced by giant fucking rats. 

This is a return to the surreal, fucked-up style of filmmaking Cronenberg descended into between his horror films and the awesomeness that is A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. I wasn't much for this phase, but kudos to Cronenberg and Pattinson for taking some career risks.

The film, which was shot in Toronto last summer, co-stars Sarah Gadon, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, Paul Giamatti and rapper K’naan and is rumoured to premiere at Cannes May 23. Check out the teaser trailer and share your thoughts, Basement Dwellers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zombieland star moves into The Hive

Remember Abigail Breslin, the cute little girl who received an Oscar nomination for her work in the indie comedy Little Miss Sunshine before she battled zombies in the modern classic that is Zombieland? No? Then you are a true Basement Dweller.

Well, Breslin is moving further into the horror genre with her next project, The Hive, where she joins Oscar winner and Bond girl Halle Berry. Yes, we posted a picture of Berry instead of Breslin because we don't want to seem like a couple of pedophiles. Pervs yes, pedophiles no.

The Hive is directed by genre veteran Brad Anderson, who helmed Session 9, The Machinist and Vanishing on 7th Street. Berry plays an operator at a 911 call centre who must race against time to save a teenage girl menaced by a deranged killer. Logically, Breslin plays the teenager. But wouldn't it be really interesting if she played the killer? Indeed.

I like Anderson's work. So far his only real misfire has been Vanishing. The Hive's story does sound a bit pedestrian, but so did the premise for John Carpenter's Halloween. The film's success or failure will rest on the shoulders of its director. No pressure, Brad.

The Hive shoots this summer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catch five minutes of Lockout

The more I see of the Guy Pearce/Maggie Grace action flick, the better it looks. And nothing gives a geek a real feel for a movie than five minutes of footage.

OK, four minutes and 51 seconds. Sue me! I double dog dare you!

This footage certainly lives up to the Die Hard-in-space potential of the premise, which sees Pearce break into an orbital prison to rescue Grace. Because who wouldn't do that for her?

I like what I see here, a lot. We get a zero-gravity punch up for starters. And smartass remarks. Knowing this was written and produced by action guru Luc Besson helps, 'cause all I'm in the mood to see here is a big, noisy, cheesy action film. Hopefully that's what Lockout brings when it opens April 20.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The red band Piranha 3DD trailer

More boobs, more blood, Ving Rhames with guns for legs and The Hoff. What more do you need to know about Piranha 3DD?

Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D was a fun, sexy ride with ample nudity and gore. The John Gulager directed sequel looks to offer more of the same, which isn't a bad thing in The Basement's books. This time around the prehistoric fish travel from Lake Victoria to the newly opened water park Big Wet. What happens next leaves little up to the imagination.

Christopher Lloyd is back alongside Rhames. And The Hoff is joined to fellow newcomers Danielle Panabaker, Katrina Bowden and the insanity that is Gary Busey. I think he bites off a piranha's head, which guarantees my ass in a seat when Piranha 3DD opens June 1.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Because we can, the Prometheus trailer

We're pretty much last to the party when it comes to giving the full preview for Ridley Scott's Prometheus play. But we've pimped the film quite a bit on the site, and it only seems wrong not to, so we are. So there!

Scott claims his latest film "shares DNA" with his original sci-fi blockbuster Alien. If you pay close attention to this trailer, the parallels sure look far stronger than what the director is alluding too. And I say good!

Prometheus stars Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron in the story of a group of space explorers who set out to discover the origins of mankind. Big shit happens instead.

This looks awesome, IMO. And it could be a contender for one of the biggest films of the year. We'll know for sure when Prometheus lands in theatres June 8.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jason and Shawn review: 2-Headed Shark Attack and Robotropolis

2-Headed Shark Attack

Jason: I was pretty much done with Asylum movies until 2-Headed Shark Attack came along. Not that this is the Oscar winner of Asylum films, but it's a fuck of a lot better than 11-11-11, The Amityville Haunting or Mega Shark Vs. Whatever. For one, we get boobies! And girl on girl action. And some bloody and cool kills. Plus there's a 2-Headed Shark. And it attacks people. But what has plagued The Asylum in the past continues to do so here. At least one character just appears part way through the film. Special effects shots are reused over and over. You get my drift. And Carmen Electra, you have not aged well. You're my age, and I'm prettier than you. A Bad from me!

Shawn: Man, who didn’t crank a load off to Carmen Electra, back in the day? Truly! As the years went by, it kind a looked like they were a little hard on her. Still nice looking, but a second to Hulk Hogan’s daughter, Brooke, in this movie. And I’m pretty sure those were the most peculiar words I’ve ever spoke. I was pleasantly surprised by this flick, as on top of the cheapest effects on earth that even “youtubers” can do better than, they used some conventional effects too! Thanks. I definitely give this a Bad, but if you are a hardcore “BEEEE-er” (not beer), you may get a kick out of this. And boobs. Not Carmen’s or Hogan’s….but boobies, nonetheless.

Robotropolis

Shawn: This movie started out pretty alright. Decent news / investigative report style. But then it took a dive into a dumpster of shit. Truly. This movie had sooooooooo much potential to be awesome, and I wanted to love it. Really. But where I normally don’t let poor acting bother me, this movie had the WORST acting I’ve ever seen. It might as well have been a motherfucking musical. I have all kinds of hate for this movie. Why? Because they made cool robots go on a rampage! But had actors that must have ate the clam from a dead hooker. They tried to care, but at the wrong times, awkward awkward. UGLY. UGLY UGLY.

Jason: Love movies like this or hate them, at least someone is making films about killer robots! Hollywood sure ain't, but someone is. For a low-budget movie, this is pretty well put together. The special effects work. There's blood, dozens of robots, and some 'splosions. And it all looks pretty decent. But, because all the money went into the FX budget, the filmmakers sure had to cheap out on the acting. Ninety per cent of the performers seriously suck! Only star Zoe Naylor was decent, and she looks good. Despite the boobs and the blood, I gotta give this a Bad. I appreciate what those involved tried to achieve here, but the acting seriously hurt the end product!

Friday, March 16, 2012

2-Headed Shark Attack and Robotropolis

There's just something about the title 2-Headed Shark Attack that demands the film be watched. Not unlike a witness to a train wreck, one slides the Blu-Ray into the player, sits down, thumbs play on the remote and commences dying inside.

That's at least how Jason and Shawn felt sitting down to watch the latest offering from The Asylum, which stars none other than Carmen Electra in a tale of college kids terrorized by the titular two-headed beast. But the Basement Dwellers have endured Sharkopuses and Crocosauruses before, so just how bad can a 2-Headed Shark Attack be? Stick with us!

And because the boys are gluttons for pain, they've chosen the almost impossible to pronounce Robotropolis as their second film on the chopping block this eve. This hybrid of Terminator and Westworld actually promises to be a gory roboriffic good time. As good a time as 2-Headed Shark Attack? There's only one way to find out.

Add some music, stir with a segment called Movies That Never Should Have Been Made, and chill with movie news and this sounds dangerously like the makings of a podcast. As always, Mike S will be displaying his mad tweeting skills throughout the recording of this latest episode. You can follow along at @camethebasement. Tweet tweet!

And don't forget to tune in to 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca at 3 p.m. PST today for the radio version of last week's show.

Here's a look at our cheesy double bill:

2-Headed Shark Attack


2 Headed Shark Attack  |  Carmen Electra  |  Christopher Ray  |  Charlie O'Connell   | Movie Trailer | Review

Robotropolis

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Burton and Depp unleash Dark Shadows

And I'm left wondering what the fuck!?!? I remember the original Dark Shadows TV series and its early 1990s reboot as being moody soap operas about a vampire haunting his family home. This looks more like Austin Powers by way of The Addams Family.

Still, it does feature director Tim Burton's unique visual style and sense of humour. And there is little doubt Depp will bring it as the vampire Barnabas Collins. Still, I only laughed once during the course of this preview, and have no desire to watch it again or see the movie. But I post it here so you, fine Basement Dwellers, can make up your own minds.

The film stars Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pffeifer, Chloe Mortez and Eva Green . . . who certainly brings the sexy here. And we like the sexy in The Basement. Rrowrr! Maybe worth a viewing after all? Or a prolonged stint on Google images?

Dark Shadows hits theatres May 11.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meeting Evil shows the mean side of Samuel L.

Not that people are really interested in the warm and fuzzy side of the legendary actor. But the badassness that is Jules Winnfield is on full display here in this trailer for the new noir thriller Meeting Evil.

The film stars Jackson and Luke Wilson (yup, still alive) in a story of a man with nothing left to lose who meets a mysterious stranger and goes on a murder-fulled ride of transformation. Guess who Jackson plays. One hint: he's not the guy with nothing left to lose.

Chris Fisher directs from his own script, which is adapted from Thomas Berger's novel of the same name. Leslie Bibb, Peyton List, Tracie Thoms, Ryan Lee, and Muse Watson round out the cast.  

Meeting Evil sat on a shelf for a year and the trailer below doesn't blow me away. But Jackson does come across as genuinely, well, evil. Too bad the unfunny Wilson brother is in it. Wait, there really isn't a funny Wilson brother is there. Not a question. A statement.

Sadly, Meeting Evil opens May 4 against The Avengers. Watch the trailer and weep for this movie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A look back at Dark Fest 2012

Dark Fest 2012 has come and gone and Shawn and I are proud to report it was a success! There's a lot of surreal shit still reeling around in the grey matter but we figured the time had come to do some kind of post mortem here on the site. Hell, The Arrow already posted his :)

First off, thanks to the man himself, John Fallon, for coming out and supporting our inaugural festival. The Arrow stepped up, lent us a hand, and wowed an enthusiastic crowd that came out for the Deaden screening. Some dudes even travelled three hours to watch the flick and hear him speak afterward. It was awesome! A few lucky folks walked away with some Arrow in the Head swag too, which added a fun element to night.

Next up, a shout out to Skew writer/director Sevé Schelenz for taking it upon himself to attend the festival at the last minute. Dark Fest 2012 was his flick's first showing in B.C. and he was excited to see it play. Sevé and one of the film's stars, David Macauley, also chatted the film up with an audience afterward.

We learned a lot doing this festival. What to do, what not to do. More festival banners and posters for the films would be nice. More hot chick volunteers (hey, Shawn and I are THAT guy. Don't act shocked). Locking the films down sooner would be wise.

But we pulled this shit off! And people came. And they loved it . . . well, maybe not the “older” couple who looked traumatized by Hobo with a Shotgun. But most of the people reacted exactly as they should to this kind of movie. And they want it to happen again.

So it shall. Shawn and I are committed to another festival, even if we have to put one together ourselves. Cheers to the Kamloops Film Festival Committee for letting us come on board. Let's do this again some time!

Expect more in-depth chatter about Dark Fest 2012 on Saturday's podcast. There's a lot of thoughts still running through my alcohol damaged brain. As we are known to say: stick with us!

But before I sign off, thank you to everyone who came! For the most part you were people we'd never met before, and you rock!

Now some photo memories from the weekend:

Shawn and I show off the official Dark Fest 2012 banner. Thanks to Jen Poohachoff for the design!

Shawn and John test their might at The Noble Pig following the Deaden showing

Seve and David talk Skew

John enjoys his Hab's victory. I don't

Cleaning up after the festival. Note the world's biggest bag of popcorn.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Warner Bros. might raise The Dark Tower

Recovery from our Dark Fest 2012 weekend is not coming easily (fear not, there will be a debrief, both on Saturday's podcast and here on the site by week's end) but I've still managed to scrounge up this here bit of news that should please fans of Stephen King's Dark Tower novels.

We've reported here before about Ron Howard's doomed three-film, two-TV series adaptation of King's magnum opus, which Universal Studio's canned due to a variety of concerns. Well, Deadline reports today that the project may now be picked up by Warner Bros. with Howard still directing and Javier Bardem still in the role of The Gunslinger himself, Roland Deschain.

No word yet on whether or not the story will be told during a trilogy of films and two seasons of a TV series. This is an ambitious project, one that feels unadaptable. But I have to admit, I am curious to see if it can be pulled off.

Probably not, but we'll keep you posted.

Micro Review: Goon

Probably the best movie ever made about hockey, and it's as brutally funny as it is violent. There's as much blood and teeth spilled during the fights as there is in an average slasher movie and the games and combat are filmed with equal amounts of energy and wit. The first 20 minutes are the funniest I've ever seen put on film. Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber are brilliantly cast. Schreiber actually pulls off a Newfie accent better than anyone I've heard this side of the Prairies. And the beauty of Goon is that non-hockey fans will likely dig it as much as those of us who enjoy seeing someone take a puck to the head. Easily rates a Good from The Basement.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jason and Shawn review: the Dark Fest 2012 selections

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.

Deaden

Jason: Filmmakers who piss and moan about not being able to make a good movie on a low budget need to shut the fuck up and watch Deaden. This is a low, low budget action flick that delivers. It's got nudity, graphic violence, awesome kills and, for the most part, decent acting. Lead man and screenwriter John Fallon  might not have the hard look of the old-school action star, but he's got the physical presence and acting chops to do the job. And his script doesn't let him down. A Good from this Basement Dweller.

Shawn: This movie was fantastic! Sure the budget was smaller and some of the actors weren't awesome, but that didn't detract from it being entertaining, violent and full of action. Pull any punches? Fuck no! I can't believe how far this movie actually went. Good for you Fallon. Fuck Hollywood's pretentious asses. Too bad the industry hasn't grown a set of ball and given you what you need to do this kind of thing more often. A Good from me!

Skew

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 budget, odd duck of a movie. It was a bit uncomfortable, with a shorts shitting moment or two. But I wasn’t embarrassed by the stain it left. Not bad. Better than some big budget, found footage movies, and a way better ending. Decent into madness. Dig that shit a lot. Ugly feet, Bad movie.

Some Guy Who Kills People

Shawn: This was an awesome movie, straight up. I went in with VERY low expectations, because this was the same guy who made Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Which was a league of cool, on its own, but cool in a goofy sense. This movie was a whole different league. There were no mistakes in any part of the movie. Including the title. It was original, well shot, well paced and I found it quite satisfying. Hollywood-style sunset ending, but still a refreshing as fuck ride on the way there. Nice one! I’ll be watching it again. Good. Man, Stiffler's mom. Time has not been good to you!

Jason: Colour me impressed! To go from Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus – which is good in its own right – to this is impressive. Sure, the title might hint at a big cheese fest, but this is so much more than a movie about a guy who kills people. Barry Bostwick and Karen Black steal the show with their humourous characters and one liners, but Kevin Corrigan is just great as Ken. He's a sad character, tragic even, but highly likable. I also dug Ariel Gade as his daughter. If I had an 11-year-old girl, I'd want her to be like Ariel. What more can I say about this movie? Dude and I had a great time watching it. It's a surprise crowd pleaser that kept me guessing and laughing. Think feel good movie, only it's about a guy who kills people!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dark Fest 2012 has arrived!

Months of work and planning have come to an end. It's time to unleash Dark Fest 2012 from The Basement and onto the big screen at Thompson Rivers University's Clocktower Theatre.

What more can we say that hasn't been said? Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement along the way and to the Kamloops Film Festival Committee for allowing us to come on board and share the movies we love with the masses!

And an extra big thanks to John Fallon, The Arrow himself, for coming and supporting our little festival. All you Basement Dwellers are invited to come out and say hello to him and the rest of The Basement Crew during the next two days.

Also, we just learned yesterday that Skew director Sevé Schelenz is able to attend the fest this weekend! He'll be on hand to talk about his movie after it screens Saturday night.

Tickets are $8 at the gate and $5 for students who purchase in advance. You can get your tickets at TRUSU, Bookland and Movie Mart. 

Also, our special Dark Fest 2012 edition airs today at 3 p.m. PST on www.thex.ca, Shaw Cable 106.1 and 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops. Podcast is up tomorrow!

Here's the lineup for the films on the chopping block today and Saturday! Stick with us!

Hobo With a Shotgun (tonight at 7 p.m.)
2011 Canada
Directed by Jason Eisener, written by Jason Eisener and John Davies
Action
86 minutes
Restricted
A train rolls into its final stop. From one of the freight cars jumps a weary-eyed transient with dreams of a fresh start in a new town. Instead, he lands smack-dab in the middle of an urban hellhole, a place where the cops are crooked and the underprivileged masses are treated like insignificant animals. This is a city where crime reigns supreme, and the man pulling the strings is known only as "The Drake." Along with his two cold-blooded and sadistic sons, Ivan and Slick, he rules with an iron fist, and nobody dares beep with The Drake, especially not some hobo. Director Jason Eisener's blood-soaked flick is more than just a nod to the grindhouse flicks of the 1970s and '80s; he ups the ante in a major way, and Rutger Hauer's performance is a legendary display of brutal ass-kicking and meticulous name-taking.
"Sheer, mindless fun with oodles of over-the-top, stylized blood-'n-guts. Destined to become a cult classic that will have audiences laughing at it as well as with it."
- Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru



Deaden (tonight at 9 p.m.)
2006 Canada
Directed by Christian Viel, written by John Fallon and Christian Viel
Action
90 Minutes
Restricted
Arrow in the Head mastermind John Fallon pulls triple duty as writer, producer, and star of this violent revenge film about a man who sets out to settle the score for a terrible transgression. Rane (Fallon) was forced to watch as the members of the brotherhood brutally butchered his pregnant wife. Now the only thing he has to live for is the chance to watch them suffer, and he knows just how to make that happen.
"Deaden is a ballistic missle to the brain. It's a dark, vicious revenge flick that makes Death Wish look like The Breakfast Club. Fallon proves himself as not just a writer but an actor with a genuine passion that keeps you riveted to the screen even after everything inside you demands you turn away."
- Patrick Lussier (Director/Editor - White Noise 2 the Light - Dracula 2000 - Scream - H20)


Skew (Saturday at 7 p.m.)
2011 Canada
Written and directed by Seve Schelenz
Horror
90 minutes
Unrated
When Simon, Rich, and Eva head out on an eagerly anticipated road trip, they bring along a video camera to record their journey. What starts out as a carefree adventure slowly becomes a descent into the ominous as unexplained events threaten to disrupt the balance between the three close friends. Each one of them must struggle with personal demons and paranoia as friendships are tested and gruesome realities are revealed...and recorded.
"Director Schelenz does go for the quick 'BOO' a couple of times, but in other cases what he puts forth are scenes that affect the viewer on a primal level because of how wrong they seem. There are several scenes that will stick with you long after the movie is over."
- Sifu Scott, Dread Central


Some Guy Who Kills People (Saturday at 9 p.m.)
2011 USA
Directed by Jack Perez, written by Ryan A. Levin
Horror/Comedy
80 minutes
Unrated
Hollywood legend John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) executive produced this witty and gruesome tale of Ken Boyd, a 34-year-old small town loser who, fresh out of the looney bin, seeks revenge on those he deems responsible for ruining his life. This independent film stars veteran actors Karen Black (House of a 1,000 Corpses) and Barry Bostwick (Megaforce).
"Some Guy Who Kills People perfectly mixes splattery goodness and hilarious character interactions. (Director Jack) Perez contrasts violent gore with light-hearted family moments that makes for a very unique comedy that you aren't likely to get anywhere else."
- Bloody Disgusting

Thursday, March 8, 2012

First image from Johnny Depp's The Lone Ranger

OK, OK, Depp isn't actually playing the classic Western hero The Lone Ranger. That's actually Armie Hammer as the masked man. Depp is Tonto. In case you couldn't tell.

Director Gore Verbinski has take some liberties with the look of both legendary characters. Not being a purest, I'm not really concerned. I'm also not all that excited about the project either, but the casting is interesting and I don't mind what I see here. Judgement will be reserved for when some actual footage arrives.

My dad grew up a Lone Ranger fan and, by default, so did I. As long as this film doesn't make my old man roll over in his grave, I'll be happy.

The film is set for release May 31, 2013.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Micro Review: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

The first real epic fail by Guillermo del Toro, who co-wrote and produced this remake of the early 1970s TV movie of the same name. Working in the film's favour is a great, moody visual style care of director Troy Nixey and a suitably creepy back story. There's also boat loads of potential for one shorts shitting moment after another, but few actually come to fruition. A big part of the problem is we known right off the bat who the antagonists are and, let's face, little rat creatures just aren't that scary. Why it takes the stupid humans almost 90 minutes to realize that crushing them works is beyond me. Good cast and crew, but the film rates a Bad. If it hadn't been so damn pretty it could have been an Ugly.

A pair of hotties join Evil Dead remake cast

Clearly no one involved in the Evil Dead remake, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi included, took our advice and deep-sixed the idea. So Shawn and I have to be content with the fact that the movie is being made. And at least they are filling the cast with hot chicks.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed this day that Jessica Lucas (above) and newcomer Elizabeth Blackmore (below) will be demon fodder once a group of pesky kids read from the Book of the Dead in the Film District/Ghost House Pictures co-production.

They join Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Lou Taylor Pucci in the Fede Alvarez-directed film. The film goes into production next month in New Zealand. Resume not caring now.

The plot for the remake resembles the original, only Ash is now a drug-addicted chick. I know, I know. I didn't come up with the idea . . .

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The second Cabin in the Woods trailer

And that's all that really needs to be said. As far as I'm concerned, Joss Whedon's self-described loving hate letter to horror is the only movie I intend to venture into theatre's to see this spring (Avengers doesn't count. It's technically a summer movie) and the more I see from it, the more I want to see.

As we've mentioned before on this site, Whedon's film is a twisty take on the classic horror premise of five friends who venture to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of partying only to run afoul of something evil. We know the story, have seen it a thousand times, and can anticipate what to expect.

Whedon and director Drew Goddard intend to turn that premise on its head.

The Cabin in the Woods opens April 13 and stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford. Now check out that new trailer, Basement Dwellers.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Universal's Ouija rises from the grave

Further proof that you can't keep a potentially terrible movie down, Universal Pictures announced today that it's moving ahead with its based-on-a-board-game flick Ouija after killing the project late last year.

The film was going to be directed by McG on a seriously retarded budget of $100 million. The fact Universal would even consider such a grossly inflated budget for a project like this speaks to everything that's wrong with Hollywood. Obviously more sane heads prevailed, the budget was slashed by 95 per cent, and McG is out. 

Pitched as an adventure/horror movie about a group of twenty-somethings who violate the rules of the Ouija board an unleash a terrible evil, this abortion is produced by Platinum Dunes and Hasbro. No word yet on a director or when the flick goes into production.

None of this does anything to restore my faith in the stupidest movie idea this side of Battleshit . . . I mean Battleship.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Micro Review: The Thing (2011)

Third film adaption of John Campbell Jr.'s classic story Who Goes There tries to pass itself off a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 take, but is really just a shallow, lifeless retread. In fact, it's the prequel elements during the opening act and closing credits that work the best. Everything else is weak, from the CGI creature exploding out of the ice to the final showdown inside the alien spacecraft. The biggest crime? Creepily awesome practical effects buried under a digital shine. Fuck you, Hollywood! Leave the freaky monster stuff to the other guys. Bad.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

This trailer will land you in Agua Caliente

A couple of months back we sat down with actor Josh Hammond and shot the breeze about his upcoming comedy Agua Caliente, which he stars in, co-wrote and produced. Now we've got the trailer for this bad boy and we're going to share it with you, Basement Dwellers!

Agua Caliente is about a group of friends who are supposed to make a dramatic film called Breaking the Wind. Instead, they blow the film's budget on a booze and drug-infested night on the town. Fearing repercussions from the mobster who financed the project, the friends decide to make a horror movie using unsuspecting guests at a Halloween party to flesh out the cast.

Sounds like fun, and the trailer promises a zany good time. You can learn more about Agua Caliente over at its official site. We'll keep you posted on the film's pending release!


Agua Caliente Movie Trailer from Jessica Sonneborn on Vimeo.

Jason and Shawn review: Sinners and Saints and Texas Killing Fields

Sinners and Saints

Jason: This is a great action movie. A loving throwback to the hardcore, R-rated buddy cops movies of the late 80s and early 90s. Reckless cop with nothing to lose partnered with the stable family guy. Profanity and graphic violence ensues. Sold! We've got a great gunfight and a dozen or so F-bombs in the first five minutes. Then a number of stellar, old-school shoot outs, explosions and chases thrown in throughout. No shaky cam, just straight up action from people who knew what they were trying to achieve. Don't remake Lethal Weapon. Put Sinners and Saints in 3,100 theatres and make three sequels. I'd love to see Riley and Ganz kicking ass and taking names in a series of movies. Good!

Shawn: I'm reminded vaguely of a movie here. Straight-arrowed, black cop, assigned a crazy, nothing-to-live for, on-the-edge, ex-special forces partner. Sound familiar? Lethal Weapon maybe? Some Bad Boys and Boondock Saints mixed in. And voila. Awesomest movie in a long time. Sure it had a shortcoming or two, but that didn't hamper the experience for me. And if you are like me, you will like this. But don't jump to be like me. I am simple. Simple demands, though there were no boobies, there was violence. And this movie gets a Good, and more watches.

Texas Killing Fields

Jason: A movie that grows on you as it rolls along but never fully engages. This is a work where the parts are better than the whole, which means it's watchable but not completely satisfying. Big fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan and he does good work here. I can relate to his tortured soul and desire to do the right thing, even though the bodies in the fields technically aren't his problem. What is a problem are all the loose ends left by the time the movie plays out. Sure, the main story is resolved, but too much else is left hanging. The film is well made and well acted, but the screenplay lets everyone down. A Bad from me.

Shawn: Probably one of the more acclaimed movies that we’ve ever watched. Big names, likely a big budget. The movie was well shot, extremely well acted, well put together, well directed. There were a few slips in time that had me confused a bit near the beginning. However, there really wasn’t much wrong with this movie. For many, this would likely a perfect movie. I was decently entertained, but already knew the outcome, within about 20 minutes. It was also a longer movie than it needed to be. I didn’t mind the watch, but it wasn’t a Good. It was a Bad. For me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sinners and Saints and Texas Killing Fields

Action speaks louder than words in The Basement this week as the boys take a break from horror and dive head first into the realm of the action/thriller.

Excited? We thought as much.

First up, The Basement Dwellers take a trip into the gritty New Orleans underbelly with Sinners and Saints. Martial artist turned actor Johnny Strong (appropriate last name for an action hero) stars as a troubled cop who sets out to solve a series of murders only to stumble onto something much bigger. Sound like a bunch of 1980s action films? Sure. Do we care as long as shit blows up? No. What do Jason and Shawn make of this little seen action flick? Stick with us!

And hang tough for the second film of the episode: Texas Killing Fields. The thriller holds a special place in The Basement Dwellers' hearts as its the first film they were invited to a screening of. Sure, they weren't able to attend, but it's the thought that counts. The film stars Hollywood middle weights Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hit Girl herself, Chloe Grace Moretz in the tale of two cops trying to crack a series of unsolved murders.

Wait, don't these two movies sounds kind of alike? Stick with us! Again!

Mike S will be displaying his mad tweeting skills throughout the recording of this latest episode. You can follow along at @basementreviews. The boy knows his tweets. We mean it!

And don't forget to tune in to 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca at 3 p.m. PST today for the radio version of last week's show.

Now for a preview of the evening's fireworks:

Sinners and Saints



Texas Killing Fields