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Showing posts from September, 2011

Comparision and Contrast: The Blob(s)

I understand comparing two movies made 30 years apart isn't exactly fair. For one, there are huge differences in the technologies and sensibilities of the film makers. That means a movie made in the 1950s will look and feel different than one made in the 1980s. There's also a big difference in the budgets available to the independent filmmaker and a big Hollywood studio, no matter the era. This can impact the finished product but, as Shawn and I have said time and time again, any good, passionate director and crew will overcome the budget constraints through sheer imagination and will. With that in mind, I've tackled the classic 1958 sci-fi horror The Blob and its 1988 big-budget remake and submitted, for your approval, my thoughts . . . as that's what we're want to do in The Basement. The Blob (1958) An alien life form crashes in a small American town and consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. The plot for the original Blob is shit simple, a

Death is no escape in Ghost Hunted

One thing we love to do more than review movies is promote projects from up-and-coming filmmakers. And we've got a groovy little number for you to take a gander at tonight. One of our Twitter followers, Franklyn of Cypher, has gone and made a movie called Ghost Hunted that he's looking to complete post production on and get onto the festival circuit. And, with a wee donation, you can help make that happen. To learn more about how to do that, click here . You can do your part to make an independent filmmaker's dream come true. There's not a lot of information available about the film as of yet, but we've included the trailer below 'cause the material pretty much speaks for itself. If you dig shows like Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters, and always wanted to see shit go wrong on those programs, this is the movie for you. I know it looks like the movie for us here in The Basement! We look forward to giving the final film a watch! In the meantime, press play

Video hasn't killed the radio stars As Darkness Falls

Before TV, movies and video games were all the rage, radio reigned supreme. And a new production company intends to bring radio drama back into the mainstream by mixing modern technology with everything that made the medium so cool to begin with. Formed by Dana Perry-Hayes and John C. Alsedek, Blue Hours Productions describes itself as plucky purveyors of retro-themed programming for radio, TV and the Interwebs. We've got a feature interview with Alsedek in the can for November, but he and Perry-Hayes are ready to launch their first production, the radio anthology As Darkness Falls, in a couple of weeks. The program is a throwback to classics like The Shadow, Inner Sanctum and Lights Out!, with each 24-minute episode eschewing cheap scares for skillful acting, character development and strong plotting. The program will be available from Speaking Volumes ( in MP3 downloads, audiobooks and syndication. We've got the preview trailer below, and boy do

Teaser trailer arrives for alleged scariest movie of 2012

A movie's got a lot of stones when it claims it's going to be the scariest of any given year months before it even comes out. But that's what the makers of Six Degrees of Hell have done. We first wrote about the film here , and are now proud to bring you official footage with the below teaser trailer. Some would attest the presence of Corey Feldman makes the movie scary enough. But the premise of director Joe Raffa and writer Harrison Smith's film has promise: Feldman is Kyle Brenner, a paranormal investigator retracing the steps of a friend and associate who has gone among the missing against the backdrop of horrific events at a creepy hotel. The hotel in question is the very real and supposedly very haunted Lake House Hotel of Horror in Sayorsburg, PA. As for the trailer, it doesn't show much but does build a nice intensity toward the end. We in The Basement will see Six Degrees of Hell, but will hold off on further comment until a full-length trailer surf

Just so you know, John Dies at the End

For the record, director Don Coscarelli makes some very odd movies. Odd but cool, I might add. I mean he's the brainchild behind the Phantasm series and Bubba Ho-Tep for crying out loud! And now he's at it again with a big screen adaptation of David Wong's novel John Dies at the End. Judging from the trailer, this looks like some weird shat taken to the next level -- an interesting mix of early John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. Kinda. You'll have to watch and see for yourself. The film stars Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Angus Scrimm, Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Doug Jones, Glynn Turman and Daniel Roebuck. The plot, in a prolonged nutshell, is as follows: " It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is

A book reading From the Grave

This is for our young fans in Los Angeles, New York and the Bay area of California (represent!), as you're all cordially invited to attend a reading from a book written From the Grave . . . and just in time for Halloween. Our good, and very dead, friend William Castle has informed us Basement Dwellers that his new novel From the Grave: The Prayer will be read by his very own flesh-and-blood daughter Terry Castle at Stories Books & Cafe in Los Angeles (Echo Park) on Thursday Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. From the Grave: The Prayer was written for young adults, so all ages are welcome to come and enjoy the reading and other Halloween tricks and treats, including a look at how to make fake blood using the Castle secret family recipe Other gigs for From the Grave: The Prayer are scheduled for Books of Wonder's Chills and Thrills for Young Readers in New York City on Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. ( events.asp ) and Book Passage in Cortes Madera, CA, on Oct. 21 at

Be the first to experience Inner Fearence

UPDATE: As of Oct. 2, below are updated links to parts one and two, with improved sound and special effects! Enjoy! Had an email arrive in our inbox yesterday that read just like this: "This is for all you horror fanatics in The Basement Inner Fearence "We just want to communicate."-A Horror Short Will go public on October 1st, 2011. Here's your exclusive chance to see it 2 weeks early. Check out both parts if you dare...It's a Halloween special just for you..." So we did, and now so shall you! A family affair made with one camera for $100, this 28-minute horror short plays with traditional narrative and the found-footage genre. It has some genuinely creepy moments and a cool premise that begs to be fleshed out into a feature film. Writer/director Michael Mowder Jr. did what most movie geeks only talk about -- he made a movie. Give him a budget and some professional actors and he could be on to something. But enough jibber jabber, watch this

A wee something for our tween readers

Ask any horror fan when they got into the genre and the answer will take them back to when they were kids. As kids, we had a love/hate relationship with fear. We hated being scared and loved it at the same time. And, no matter how many sleepless nights a horror film gave us, we always went back for more. So when a horror icon known for her sexy, sassy attitude decides she's going to take a shot at a series for younger viewers, it's news we say! Brooke Lewis is following up her successful 2009 Ms. Vampy web series with a new inspirational series aimed at young girls. Titled Ms Vampy's Tween Tawk, Teen Talk & In Between Tawk, will discuss body image, self-esteem, peer pressure, caring about what others think of you, being popular, facing your fears, following your dreams, boys and Twilight. All noble and important topics . . . except for Twilight. But that's just us. Brooke directs, produces and stars in the series, as well as executive producing with Todd Tu

Ti West's The Innkeepers attracted to Magnet

If you ask me, I'd say horror wunderkind Ti West is batting 1,000 with his recent offerings House of the Devil and Cabin Fever 2. And I'm pretty sure Shawn is with me on that. The writer/director has his own unique style and can walk the line between slow-burn scares and balls-out campy gore. And we're anxiously awaiting the release of his latest offering The Innkeepers, which has been making the festival rounds to mostly positive reviews. Well, our wait will soon be over now that Magnet Releasing has picked up the film for a theatrical, VOD and DVD release. What's it about? Check it: " After over one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good. The last remaining employees --Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy)—are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. As the Inn’s final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage “ghost hunters” begi

Personal horror strikes in Seizure

If there's one thing we love to do here in The Basement it's promote new talent and the movies they make. We normally do that through our news and reviews, but today we actually get to show you something. Seizure is a short film from Night Walker Cinema, an independent horror movie studio dedicated to making smart, scary and thought provoking films. Those are three things most people don't associate with the genre, and kudos to them for wanting to make it so. Written and Directed by James Neff and Joseph Dean Martinez and starring Brian Ardolino and Danica Deering, Seizure is about Jordy King, who has spent years trying to convince his loved ones he's not crazy. With only a phone number and answering machine to reach him, his family is gravely concerned he's stopped taking his medication. We'd tell you more, but at a little more than two minutes, you'll just have to watch and see what happens to Jordy for yourselves. I'll admit it took a couple of

Jason and Shawn review: Super

Super Shawn: Sat down with Anthony Michael Bosa to watch Super. We weren't expecting anything fantastic. In reality we were thinking it would be much like Defendor: fooled by previews, yet again. And, based on the people involved in this movie, my expectations were low. So that helped the enjoyment level for me. I actually was quite amazed the places this movie went. Kudos to them. A lot of the circumstances and situations were amusingly uncomfortable without being criminal. That I liked. I liked this movie a lot and I hated this movie a lot. It wasn't uber emotional either was mostly bland feeling .Yet it was still entertaining enough to pay attention to. That said, I MUST give this movie a Bad. Jason: Where do I even begin with Super? On the one hand it's a balls out black comedy about super heroes. On the other it has something to say about life and how we need to live it. But the laughs and messages are mixed into a cold, morally confused story that c

Next on the chopping block: Super

School's back in and the nights are getting cooler, which can only mean one thing -- the summer specials are coming to a close. And we figured there's no better way to wrap them up than to make fun of some super heroes, especially after the glut of comic-book movies that came out these last five months. Super comes from the twisted mind of James Gunn, who made Slither a couple of years back. It stars Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page as a couple of very real world super heroes who tackle a local drug dealer, played by Kevin Bacon. There's a been a few dark super hero comedies lately, including Kick Ass and Defendor. But how does this mix of brutal violence, black humour, satire and gritty reality fair compared to the rest? Stick with us! The September Special lands Sunday morning on iTunes, Facebook , podOmatic and right here on the blog. The summer specials are stripped down versions of the radio show. Just a review and some lively banter. Jason and Shawn will be back

Saw helmer tackles The Jersey Devil

Darren Lynn Bousman is best known for directing Saws II through IV and making Shawn angry with Repo: The Genetic Opera. But he's actually been working hard in the horror genre with the unreleased Mother's Day remake and the upcoming 11-11-11. And, just because the dude obviously likes to stay busy, he's lined up The Barrens for his next project. The film stares True Blood's Stephen Moyer as a man who takes his family on a camping trip in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where he soon becomes convinced the legendary winged monster known as the Jersey Devil is stalking them. The Jersey Devil hasn't been well served on film, with only The Last Broadcast and The 13th Child doing the legend justice. Say what you will about the Saw movies, and I'm not a fan, but Bousman does know how to direct. Hopefully he can make the beast convincing and scary. Bousman told Variety that "I don't want to turn it into a cheesy creature feature. It's about the character

Found footage goes alien with Area 51 Confidential

I've kind of had it with the found-footage subgenre. Sure, it worked with The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and [Rec] but now it seems like every wannabe with a video camera is trying to cash in, further proof that we're all not meant to be filmmakers. I'm not implying that's the case with Area 51 Confidential. But the below trailer has many of the problems that have plagued these films so far, not the least of which is the shaky camera work. But I'll reserve judgement until I see the film, and we love to watch movies from new talent in The Basement. Presented as a military training video for new hires at the facility known as Area 51, the film follows a handful of individuals -- a broadcast journalist, a documentarian, a teenage girl from Roswell, an army Colonel, and a man who had previously been thought missing for a number of years -- as they awaken in the desert area surrounding Area 51. Bad shit happens from there. No word yet on a release

An audience reacts to John Carpenter's Halloween

In an era when most people don't venture out of their homes to watch movies, it's nice to be reminded of the communal experience of seeing a movie in a crowded theatre. I've become one of those people who rarely hits up the local cinema anymore, mostly because of the crowds. The current movie-going public doesn't respect the "process" of watching a movie. They talk, text and tweet their way through the film, almost like the film itself is an afterthought. But when a movie works and the audience is engaged, catching a flick in a theatre can be a transcending experience. And few genres work a crowd like the horror genre. When horror clicks, it works over its audience, as the example below testifies to. I never got to watch John Carpenter's Halloween in a theatre. I was far too young. But when people who saw it during its theatrical run are interviewed, they say it played like gangbusters. Well, someone found an audio track of an audience reaction to th

Slime City Massacre goes digital

UPDATE! We just received word today (Oct 28) that Slime City Massacre's limited theatrical run starts in select cities today! The same day we get to chat with Brooke in The Basement for our Halloween Spooktacular 2! Check local listings to see if it's showing in a theatre near you!! The biggest benefit of being in The Basement is meeting all kinds of cool people, and few have been cooler than Brooke Lewis! I spent the morning interviewing Brooke, who won The Golden Cob Award for Best Scream Queen for her performance in the 2010 sci-fi/horror film Slime City Massacre, for our upcoming Halloween special on Oct. 28. We had a blast. She's funny, sexy, talented and pulls no punches . . . everything a Scream Queen needs to be. Fans are going to have a great time this Halloween. Slime City Massacre hit DVD in May courtesy of Shriek Now. However, IndieFilmNet's new Cinema Meets Horror midnight movie-flavored series is about to release it in as many as 60 digital theater

Update: new release date for Texas Killing Fields

A few weeks back we told you about the upcoming thriller Texas Killing Fields. The film, directed by Ami Canaan Mann, daughter of acclaimed director Michael Mann, follows a small-town homicide detective (Worthington) and his partner, a transplanted cop from New York (Morgan), as they track a sadistic serial killer dumping mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh called The Killing Fields. Well, we've received information that the film's release date has changed. Turns out Texas Killing Fields will now open in select theatres on Oct. 14. Judging from the trailer below, this looks like it could be worth the watch. As we've said before, Jeffrey Dean Morgan usually adds class to the movies he's in. Shawn and I will certainly give this one a watch, and share our thoughts with you ASAP.

Micro Review: Blitz

A very different Jason Statham movie. Sure, he plays the toughest of guys and puts foot to ass several times in this cops versus serial killer movie. But this isn't the kind of glorious over-the-top action fest one expects from Hollywood's only working badass. Blitz is more drama than action film, and Statham gives one of his better, more polished performances. I also liked Aidan Gillen's psycho killer and Zawe Ashton's junky cop. This is a solid movie, well made and sharply written with more going on than meets the eye. And I really enjoyed the London setting. That's London in the U.K., not London Ont. Those who only want to see Statham punch and kick things will be disappointed. Us fans who want the man to have a long career in the movies will dig it a lot. Blitz rates a Good for me.

Back to school Trick 'r Treat style

Waaayyyyy back when our little podcast was just a podcast we reviewed Michael Dougherty's brilliant horror anthology Trick 'r Treat and fell in love with it. And there's few people we've introduced it to who haven't been captivated by its perfect mix of horror, humour and fun. While we wait not so patiently for a sequel, even if it is direct to video, we've got this cool short courtesy of to tide us over. The video features Sam, Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat mascot. It's a quick hit, but it's got much of what made the feature film such a hoot. Enjoy! And remember: less than two months until Halloween!

He knows if you've been bad or good . . .

. . . And it appears this killer Santa doesn't care, You're toast either way! This Dutch film, from director Dick (The Lift, Amsterdamned) Maas, is another spin on the killer Santa genre recently touched upon by Rare Exports. And it's further proof that one can never have enough movies about a pissed off St. Nick as the preview below looks totally badasss. The film is currently available for rent or download at Sundance Now and is making the rounds at film festivals -- including this year's Toronto International Film Festival. But what's it about? Check it: Sint (Saint) re-imagines jolly old St. Nick as a murderous bishop fulfilling a grisly prophecy under the December full moon. The trailer explains it a bit better, but it's got subtitles so you'll have to read it. I'm talking to YOU Shawn! We'll be checking this one out when Season Two kicks off in a few short weeks.

Listener Alert: Trespass

The Basement would be nothing without it's friends, fans and followers. And we love it when listeners send us stuff to post on our blog or mention on our show. DJs Club over at podOmatic dropped us this tidbit about the upcoming thriller Trespass. We could ramble on about it, but we'll let him give you the deets about the film, which hits theatres next month. And check out his blog here ! Trespass is an upcoming American psychological thriller directed by Joel Schumacher. It will star Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman as a married couple taken hostage by extortionists. Shooting on the project began in Shreveport, Louisiana on August 30, 2010. The film will receive a festival premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film is set for release in the United States on October 14, 2011.

Episode II Flashbackness

Episode II: The John Fallon Interview, Bitch Slap and Rampage A special flashback edition featuring our interview with actor, writer, stunt man and film critic John Fallon, better known as The Arrow of Arrow in the Head, part of the Movie Network. Jason and Shawn also put two movies on the chopping block: the T&A exploitation film Bitch Slap and the psycho-with-a-gun revenge epic Rampage. You can hear it here !

Arnie, Bruno officially on for Expendables 2

And it won't just be a cameo this time either. Word has it from Deadline and Moviehole that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back in more substantial roles for the uber sequel.  And hey, we're down with that. Who wouldn't be. It doesn't get much cooler than this! But that's not all, an official cast list says Walker Texas Ranger himself Chuck Norris will join the carnage along with the Muscles From Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture will also return. Leading the team again is Sly Stallone, but as we've reported before in The Basement, he's turned the directing duties over to Simon (Con Air) West. We know this is more of a Hollywoodesque story, but The Expendables films are independently produced. And it's our blog, so we can do what we want yo!

Episode I Flashbackness!

Episode I: Centurion and The Disappearance of Alice Creed Presented for your listening pleasure: an encore presentation of the first episode of Film Reviews From the Basement. Films on the chopping block include the Romans vs. Picts epic Centurion and the kidnap thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed starring Bond babe Gemma Arterton. There's also movie news and music from Marilyn Manson and Shinedown. You can hear it here !

The Aussie teaser for The Human Centipede 2

We're not huge fans of Tom Six's The Human Centipede: First Sequence here in The Basement, mostly because the movie didn't turn out to be as jaw droppingly disturbing as it was pertained to be. Once you get past the fact that it's about a shit-in-mouth human centipede the film is more meh than ick. For some reason The Human Centipede turned out to be a cult hit and you know what that means, we get a Human Centipede 2 with the subtitle The Full Sequence. And if people thought the first film took things too far, check out the synopsis for the sequel: "A man becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film in the series, The Human Centipede, and uses sandpaper to pleasure himself while watching the film. He decides to create a human centipede of his own, this time comprised of twelve victims as opposed to the first film's three. He uses his human centipede to his own sexual delight, taking sexual pleasure in watching the victims of the ce

Micro Review: Priest

A frustratingly simple-minded film that raises a bunch of interesting ideas and then discards them in favour of unoriginal bone-crunching violence. We've seen a lot of this before -- the dark, futuristic city, barren wasteland, and creepy monsters -- and none of it is used effectively here. Attempts are made to elevate Priest into new territory, but director Scott Stewart and writer Cory Goodman were intent on making more of the same. The only interesting aspects are Karl Urban's over-the-top villain and Lily Collins's cleavage. Otherwise, pretty boring stuff. A Bad from me on this.

Retro Review: Black Rain

This 1989 cop thriller isn't one of the decades most well known action films nor does it have much to distinguish itself from the genre other than its Japanese setting. But it is a great reminder that 80s action films are still the best action films around when it comes to having a workable formula and "realistic" violence. Even the martial arts on display here is of the variety one would encounter on the street. Trust me! It also reaffirms that Ridley Scott is one of the best directors the medium has produced and Michael Douglas is one of Hollywood's original badassess. And what happened to Andy Garcia? He was a break-out star here. Black Rain is formulaic stuff, but it's Good formulaic stuff.

Season One flashbackness

You know what's better than the first ride? The second. Which is why we're going to give new listeners the chance to catch all 28 episodes of our first season (first season of the radio show that is) over on our Facebook page as a lead in to Season Two, premiering on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops and Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. PST. Why? Why not! We've gained many new fans and followers these last few months and want to give them the chance to hear our show before it disappears into the ether. That's right, Season One will cease to exist by the time Season Two starts airing. Why? Because we're running out of storage space over at podOmatic dammit! The first episode will appear Monday Sept. 5 with postings every day until they've run out. As they are posted to Facecrack , they will vanish from podOmatic and the embedded player to the right to make room for our new Season Two editions. As for Season Two, Shawn and I are firming up the films we're going to re