Customer Reviews: The Basement: Retro 80s Horror Collection
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on September 18, 2011
Man...where do I start?! I've been counting down the days for this release and it did NOT disapoint! For starters, this dvd/vhs(?!?!) set comes housed in a beautifully created "big box", just like in the "good ole days" of the vhs boom. I mean, this box is HUGE. When you open it, you'll see a dvd case (which holds the three dvds), as well as a bright red vhs for..."The Basement". Now, this film has NEVER EVER been released on any format, so seeing it see the light of day on vhs and dvd is incredibly cool in my opinion. Another reviewer listed the special features (which are outstanding), so I won't go into them. I will however say, my only gripe (which is incredibly, incredibly minor) is that all the special features from the "Cannibal Campout" dvd did not port over to this release, however the commentary did, so at least that's cool. I'm not going to review "Cannibal Campout" or the two "Video Violence" films, because they did get their own release. I will however, talk about the two films that are exclusive to this awesome box set:

This release also includes the "long lost" film, "Captives", directed by Gary "Video Violence 1 & 2" Cohen. It's nowhere near the gore quality of "VV", it's more of a home invasion/drama film, however it's surprisingly good. The acting is top notch, the fx (with what little there are in this film) are pretty good. What sells this film to me is the tension and the fear that surrounds everyone in the movie. Great, great low budget movie. The commentary on here, is pretty cool, however they don't talk AT ALL about the movie. They (Gary Cohen and a few other people who's name escapes me...many apologies), talk about the video boom of the 80s and 42nd street. It's a fun, fun commentary track...just not informative about the movie the beginning of the track they do call it a "podcast", so I'm assuming they did this for the Alternative Cinema website awhile back.

Now, "The Basement" itself is AWESOME! It's got tons and tons of the red stuff flowing to keep this gore hound happy. There's no nudity, no sex, just straight up gore, and you know what? I'm fine with that! "The Basement" is done in the style of "Tales from the Crypt" or "Creepshow", where a group of people get told their fates, and we see a few short stories. There's also a really cool cameo by J. R. Bookwalter (who directed the Super 8 opus "Dead Next Door"), in one of the stories. The commentary track on this one IS very imformative, and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.

All in all, an EXCELLENT package, and I can't recommend this higher than I already do. The box art is fantastic and it feels exactly the same as walking around the video store when I was a kid, seeing the big box vhs tape horror films.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! And thank you Alternative Cinema/Camp Motion Pictures for making this release!!
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on November 25, 2013
The packaging for this product is creative and unique. It brings to mind the old, huge VHS box's from the 80's. The movies are of course amateurish and campy but that's the charm about DIY movies. This set includes 5 crazy films on DVD and one on VHS. It includes: The Basement, Captives, Cannibal Campout, and Video Violence 1 & 2. These films are very entertaining even though they are very low budget. The acting is horrible but the special effects are awesome. They aren't up to Hollywood standards but they bring to mind the gory works of H. G. Lewis. This set contains a bucket load of blood and boobs that horror fans, especially fans of low budget horror, will adore. So crack open a beer, microwave some popcorn and enjoy the mayhem that is unleashed in this box-set.
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on April 5, 2014
So, let's get right to the point. These films aren't Academy Award winners, they are cheesy, B-Budget schlock, but that's why I personally liked them. I LOVE Camp Motion Pictures. They make some of the best independent Horror movies of all time. Four of the five films reviews can be seen elsewhere on Amazon, so "The Basement" is the most important one here. While the film isn't the greatest thing ever, it's a nice Anthology horror film. While there are some issues with the film, like some bad acting and some dubbing issues, it still has it;s charm. Instead of making a horribly par for the course slasher film, which was quite the thing at the time, they did something different, and I applaud them for that. Still, the film is a 2 1/2 or a three out of five star film. Not that this is a bad thing because for an Indie film, it was cool, especially for one that has been lost for over 20 years.

The star of the show here is the packaging of the film. The red VHS in the oversized VHS Big Box will instantly grab your attention. The artwork is fantastic and screams 1980's, and I LOVE it. Looks great on my shelf with my other original Camp Videos from the 80's and my Wizard Videos as well.The packaging definitely makes this a five star purchase. All of the movies on DVD also have extras and come in a nice DVD case in the big box with the artwork shrunk down for the DVD case and the discs themselves also have full cover artwork on the tops of them instead of the current silver tops with one color titles you generally see on the bigger budget DVD's these days. They really did an excellent making this release really special. All in all, it's a great release and sure to be a real collectible from the DVD Era once it goes out of print. Well worth the price of admission and even well worth a wtch through. If you like Indie films that are clever and fairly well done, check it out. I full on recommend this for fans of the genre.
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on July 25, 2011
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.
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on June 11, 2013
This set is very well done especially at the price. $21 for 5 movies on 3 discs + a VHS, at that price what is there to complain about really? I have purchased worse sets of modern horror with horrible compression and less blood than these. They have even included at least the commentary tracks for EVERY film and some cool artwork on the box with some pretty impressive DVD menus. These are fun and campy, yet some serious effects went into these considering that they were shot on VHS camcorders with little or no funding.

I will not say these are the best movies, but seriously people go watch some Youtube trailers first. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to put-together that "CAMP", "80's", "Retro", and "Lost Super 8 feature Film" = gory or silly nostalgia.

A good little set and at a welcoming price if you want to go bang for the buck rather than buy individual DVD's. For others who already have Vid Violence and Cannibal Campout, the price isn't too high for the double dip though i am not a huge fan of home invasion movies (CAPTIVES). Captives is still a decent flick with a interesting spin on the Home Invasion concept.

If i were to say one negative about the set is the lack of polish to our VHS. It is a bit straightforward and didn't offer anything like retro logos or coming attractions, it just went straight to the movie.
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on November 25, 2015
Great collection but the VHS was not the cool "blood red" color other people described. The one I got was a plain black one with a simple sticker, so that was a little disappointing (which is why I took of a star) but other then that its a cool and cheap addition to my collection (and the first VHS in mine).
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on May 4, 2013
The VHS is great and the movies are terrible, but they're supposed to be.

It's a great big box of VHS DIY horror, and fans will dig it up like a corpse. A great introduction to the Camp Motion Pictures label too.
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on September 10, 2015
There is something very romantic about watching these old 80s cheese masterpieces. I start these films and I'm instantly in a great mood. The music, the absolutely horrible acting and even worse special effects, but still..... so entertaining. It's awesome to me that these films are clearly made by groups of friend that one day decided to make a film. What a blast this would have been. Well worth the money, and as if it hasn't been said already, the packaging in phenomenal. Don't miss out on owning this. "Rub a dub dub...."
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on April 18, 2016
This is a five film collection with three films being connected to each other with characters. The first film "The Basement" is a short poorly restored film that is simply bad as we watch a number of individuals confess their future sins which involves killing and a supernatural element. "Cannibal Campout" was likewise not restored, but offered diverse characters in a truly campy and cheesy film. The other three films are basically about making and marketing snuff films which people can't differentiate from produced horror films. These films are restored, or perhaps didn't need restoration. The humor is again cheesy and campy.

Guide: F-word, sex, nudity. Near rape.
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on December 15, 2012
This is an interesting set, I wanted this set after seeing previews for Cannibal Campout and Video Violence, I did enjoy both movies for what they were, very low budget shot on camcorder independent horror from the 80's, which is basically what this whole set is, and every offering from Camp Motion Pictures as far as I can tell. These movies would likely not exist at all if it weren't for the huge clamoring to fill the shelves of mom and pop vhs rental stores in 1980's and whatever crazy title and cover grabbed the most attention was what was stocked and rented, home video equipment had made it cheap and easy for anyone to get into the movie business for the first time, and if you were a bit clever and a bit lucky you could actually get your movie on a rental shelf sitting next to E.T., these are a few such movies.
I'm a little disappointed with the print and or transfer quality of the movies, you really do feel like you're watching vhs tapes from 1983 that have been viewed many times, but I guess that's supposed to be part of the charm of the set. This set is packed with content, commentary and extras, and it does deliver on the 80's nostalgia factor for me. The packaging, although neat in concept, the disk holder broke as soon as I tried to remove the second disk, and having a vhs tape included is probably meaningless for most people. I do feel like the price is a little high on this set considering the movies themselves probably cost no more then $500 a piece to produce, and lets be honest they really aren't very good movies, but despite all this I found the movies right entertaining, I dig the nostalgia factor, and appreciate the effort of a company releasing a set like this in this day and age, and there is like 9hours of cheesy low budget retro 80's basement gore, so for me this set and a case of beer make for a decent weekend.
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