I am such a horror nerd. Last year to commemorate their 300th issue, Fangoria put out a list of 300 lesser seen horror flicks for the serious fan. I have seen all of em except 2. I’ve spent the last 10 years watching every “classic” horror flick as well as whatever all the new flicks that have come out. Recently though i’ve become burnt out on the genre. I can’t even look at new zombie flicks anymore. I dunno what it is. All of a sudden my urge for gore has been replace with watching hidden gems in other genres. One thing hasn’t diminished though. My love for DIY horror. The big budget stuff is kind of a bore but show me something a couple dudes cooked up in their back yard on a budget smaller than my bank account and I’m there. And VHS flicks? Shit, you’ll have me salivating. So when I got the package in the mail containing Camp Motion Pictures’ The Basement it was like Christmas had come early. The packaging itself is worth the price of entry. Housed in an old school big box VHS format the cover artwork is pitch perfect. Hell even the horrible hairdo of the woman is period correct. Within the box I found a 3 dvd set including the films The Basement, Captives, Video Violence, Video Violence 2, and Cannibal Campout. Also included is a blood red VHS copy of The Basement! Extra cool!
The Basement is a “lost” (read: never released) super 8mm film made in the 80s by Tim O’Rawe of Ghoul School fame. An anthology containing four stories showing the evil future’s of 4 folks trapped in an abandoned building, the film is low budget greatness. Monsters abound here including a man eating monster in a pool, zombies, a mummy, demons and more. The film is gory and cheesy and so much fun! Its the sort of DIY that inspires me to create films of my own. Not because it’s so bad but because its obvious the people had so much damn fun making it. A labor of love for sure the film is nice and short and doesn’t skimp on the grue. The best part though is the terrible dubbing. See back in the days of yore folks shot on film. Film does not record audio. One must have a separate audio guy to record during the shooting. Most super low budget flicks didn’t have the money for on site audio recording though. Such is the case here. All the voices and sounds had to be dubbed in post and the acting is hilarious! The first story had me rolling. I also have to say that I actually dug the music. It suited the film well and never distracted from the cheesy wad proceedings. Thank goodness Camp Motion pictures released this grimy old gem.
The Basement is really for a select audience though. If your favorite horror movie was made in the last 10 years and the Evil Dead is too “old and crappy” for you then stay away. But for those of us that have seen just about everything else and appreciate crusty old cheap flicks, this one has gold written all on it.
I’ve already reviewed, and enjoyed the Video Violence films and Captives is the lost film from the same director, Gary Cohen. Shot on video, this one’s about a group of degenerates taking over a house and keeping it’s residents well…captive. Just like with Video Violence, this one’s pretty nasty. It also has the same actors!
Although the premise and the initial setup is rather brutal the execution of the film is on the dull side. There’s just too much damn talking and little actual action. This one’s more of a proto-Funny Games and doesn’t go full tilt into tortureville making it a zero budget pot boiler. Sure some of the action in the movie is pretty visceral but overall it doesn’t hold a candle to Video Violence, though it is head and shoulders above Video Violence 2. I just didn’t have the attention span for this one.
Finally we have another shot on video flick from the 80’s, the awesomely titled Cannibal Campout. This one’s about a group of fun loving teenagers that cruise into the woods looking for a good time but only find a couple of rednecks that love to eat humans. Sound familiar? Ok so this one’s not the most original film in the world but it was fun to watch. Some of the best blood I’ve ever seen just happens to be in this little flick along with a few tasty gore gags. Ultra low-budget to be sure but still a fun ride.
So there you have it. 5 films and 1 VHS for the price of one DVD. The Basement and Video Violence are worth it alone and Cannibal Campout is like a little bonus.