Film reviewer finally out of the basement

There’s a sense of satisfaction when someone can cross something off their bucket list.

For Jason Hewlett, there’s something much more than his item being checked off — there’s the thrill of being on a movie set.

“You don’t want to be 70 and say ‘I should have done that’,” he said of his chance to fly to Montreal to be killed.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Hewlett, who hosts Film Reviews from the Basement with Shawn Knippelberg on campus radio station CFBX, is in Montreal on the set of Billy Trigger.

He has a bit role; he’s part of the gang that will die at the end of the movie.

The Canadian film stars John Fallon, who writes the blog Arrow in the Head (john-fallon.com), the go-to site for all things horror, Hewlett said. Fallon also wrote the script.

He was one of the first people Hewlett interviewed on his show and the two have become friends.

Last year, when Hewlett and Knipelberg added Darkfest to the Kamloops International Film Festival — a celebration of horror and B-movies — Fallon attended and spoke to the audience.

“So, when he called, I couldn’t say no,” Hewlett said. “This is a great thrill.”

The plot is basic action: Fred Williamson plays Pops, the head of an Irish gang.

Billy Trigger is Pops’ No. 1 enforcer and has been entrusted with the care of Pops’ mistress. Something goes wrong and Billy’s on the run, trying to save his own life, Hewlett said.

Williamson, a former NFL defensive back with the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, has an extensive acting career, including Starsky and Hutch and From Dusk Till Dawn. The movie also stars Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica) and Pia Metni (Mirror, Mirror).

Knippelberg, a musician, is writing the score for the film.

Christian Viel is directing the film. He also directed Deaden, which was shown at Darkfest, along with Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain, and the Recon series of films, as well as the French-Canadian television series 3 xrien.

Viel is also the creator of the online comic-book web series Heroes of the North.

Hewlett said his audition was pretty basic.

“Can I take a fall? Can I take a punch? I said yes and I’m in.”

Hewlett said the movie is expected to be  completed and ready for release sometime next year. He’ll be on the set for two days, having left for Montreal on Wednesday, Nov. 14 and heading home on Saturday, Nov. 17.

For more information on the movie, go here , here or here.




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