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 lol...in 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!!