Filmmaker Alex Wesley (AKA Alexander Sharoglazov) has been on the movie industry scene for a while, scraping up budgets in his homeland of Russia to pull off his innovative films. To underground horror fans, Wesley has a number of flicks under his belt, including the impressive Zombie Infection (2011) and Demon Mind (2017). His latest film, Freak In The Basement, is close to getting released by Terror Vision Productions in Belgium. Indie filmmaker Rob Ceus (Slime 2017, Bride Zombie 2015, the upcoming Zombies From Sector 9) is going to do a run of Freak In The Basement on his label.
Alex Wesley has always managed to get cool cameos in his films by some underground movie greats. In Freak In The Basement, he has Joel Reed (Bloodsucking Freaks 1976), Andreas Schnaas (Violent Shit 1989) and Henry Bromley Davenport (Xtro 1982), among others. Freak In The Basement follows a simple yet rather twisted plot, especially in the last half of the movie when things really go off the rails into crazy territory. The film follows a man named Nicolai Sctulman (Wesley) as he tells his story to a psychiatrist, breaking down the events that have lead to his own madness.
The story begins with Nicolai renting a garage to a woman who doesn’t cough up her rent. The woman, who is obviously out of her mind, rubs some sort of substance on Wesley’s mouth, which causes these crazy, euphoric effects on its subjects. She tells Nicolai that it is the sweat of a monster living in the basement of her garage home. Nicolai kills the woman and turns into a murderous monster sweat addict, killing people to feed to this the flesh-hungry creature in exchange for its excretions.
The movie then proceeds with Nicolai luring in various friends and neighbors to their deaths, including his own girlfriend (Marina Sergienko), who had also become addicted to the sweaty drug. In the last half of the film though, everything gets even stranger. I won’t spoil it. You’ll have to watch it yourself to see what I mean.
Freak In The Basement definitely has its own style, which is why I appreciate Wesley’s work. His films are always unique, have this great atmosphere and make full use of some great, desolate locations, despite the lack of budget. For me, his crowning achievement was definitely Zombie Infection, just due to the way it was shot and its style. Freak In The Basement boasts some great makeup effects work and the actual freak looks absolutely horrifying.
Freak In The Basement does have its downfalls. The budget definitely restricts a lot of elements and it shows. The grammar and structure of the English subtitles are poor, looking like the Russian language was copied and pasted directly from Google Translate. But all in all, this is a small complaint.
If you are familiar with Wesley, you will know what to expect from his films. They are very low budget, but he achieves some great things with what he has to work with. I commend him on not faltering and continuing to make the movies he wants to make. Freak In The Basement is a fun and entertaining romp with some nice makeup effects work and even some cheesy Ed Wood sci-fi thrown in for good measure. Keep an eye out, as Rob Ceus will have a limited DVD run available soon. You can contact him personally on Facebook if interested, as he is very responsive to messages.