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“Oh I really liked it, but I really don’t write reviews”…

-Penelope Spheeris, Director “Waynes World” / “Decline of The Western Civilization”

“This film is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and really brings back the early NY/NJ metal scene. Sort of like a page from an old “Aquarian Weekly” come to life on your screen! It's all here, the big hair, the shredding guitars, thundering bass and drums, and of course, the milk crates! This story is well told, and with a lot of heart.”

-Cheetah Chrome, The Dead Boys

“Born in the Basement exposes the inner workings of a band and serves as a primer not just for erstwhile metal-heads but for any band from any genre that cares to really want to know the dirty little secret of success in this business. That secret is that it always falls to one extremely dedicated band member to carry the passion, vision and has the intelligence to know where he/she came from and, most importantly, knows where he/she is going!”

-Jay Jay French, Twisted Sister

“Great job Rat! Watching this film brought back so many memories for me…from the whole "Old School" thrash scene that I totally grew up as a part of (going to L'Amour every weekend to see bands like Overkill, Anthrax, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, etc.) to the whole DIY mentality that was so important to building a band in those days (I also built Dream Theater between 1985 to 1988 the same EXACT way)…This is mandatory viewing for anybody in a band!"

-Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater

"Rat Skates is a great MC for the Thrash metal community! In "Born In The Basement", his attention to detail and resourcefulness shows that getting to the top of metal stardom is not merely a random luck of the draw but rather living and breathing metal every moment of your waking days. This is a wide-open, ballsy retrospect!”

-David Ellefson, Megadeth

“When I watched "Born in The Basement" I kind of relived my past. I saw some faces that I haven't seen in years and remembered a time when all that mattered was METAL. I really like this, I think everyone will as well.”

-Charlie Benante, Anthrax

“I get asked all the time how we made it… What did you do? How did you do it? What was it like back then and how was it different than now? Usually I have some stock cliché answer like; "We stuck to our guns and followed our hearts" and hope they're happy with that answer because to really go into the details and minutiae would take forever. Now I have a great answer to those questions…Watch “Born In The Basement”. This is an in-depth look into the scene we came up in and should be required viewing for anyone starting a band.”

-Scott Ian, Anthrax

“Great! Totally cool look at the very start of the Overkill and the Thrash scene. I learned a lot of things, such as I was not the only one making lighting rigs out of patio lights! Very, very good stuff, very entertaining, and 100% metal, in the most DIY sort of way! Just like we used to do! If you want something done right, well, you know the rest!”

-Gary Holt, Exodus

“Rat did a great job of showing the passion, dedication and sheer hard work it takes to get a band up and running - he certainly has that in spades! Brought me back to the days when we built a drum riser out of begged, borrowed and stolen wood! When we would walk from our house into downtown Newcastle at 3 in the morning - a 3 mile walk…with stacks of posters and a bucket of paste…and plaster them all over town (also never got caught!) It was also good that he brought out the exploitation bit - I guess we all got taken for a ride, while the “I won’t say who’s” of the world got nice & fat...This film truly captures all the DIY ethic and the beginning of the Thrash scene in the USA back in the early 80's...I'll never write off the lowly milk crate ever again!!!”

-John Gallagher, Raven

“I just watched the rough cut of this film and very much enjoyed it, funny and compelling. The whole history of DIY and commitment to the cause are great, as is the all the documentation (photos, flyers, etc). Congrats!”

-Steven Blush, Co-Producer/ Screenwriter “American Hardcore” (Sony Pictures Classics)

“With "Born In the Basement" Rat Skates traces his own journey from semipro skate-punk to drummer for “blood metal donors” Overkill, and in the process chronicles the development of the thrash genre as a whole. It’s an affectionate, at times humorous look at a vital moment in American music, as seen through the eyes of a thrash metal pioneer.”

-Richard Bienstock, Guitar World Magazine

“After being heavily involved in the making of the excellent “Get Thrashed” documentary Rat Skates, the ex-Overkill drum dynamo, still felt he had a lot to say about the origins of thrash metal and his own personal journey from the garage to the stage with Overkill. The two stories are inextricably linked and “Born In The Basement” tells them both with honesty, humour and never flagging enthusiasm. Rat is an articulate and passionate narrator and his words allow viewers to see the names and faces from the genesis of thrash as real people like never before. It’s a fascinating watch for any fan of thrash metal and an absolutely essential one for any Overkill devotee. Going right back to the beginnings of the Lubric*nts, the band that Rat and D.D. Verni played in before Overkill, no ex-member is overlooked and the spirit of endeavour, struggle and sheer hard work radiates from every frame. Rat Skates has approached the making of this film with the same drive and energy that he put into every aspect of Overkill and produced a DVD that is both completely absorbing to watch and totally commendable for its openness and honesty.”

-Chris Kee, Power Play / Zero Tolerance Magazine (UK)

“I really enjoyed this…very open, honest, and very real - and captures the era very well.”

-Malcolm Dome, Kerrang! / Total Rock Radio, U.K.

"The DIY diary of a thrash metal maniac, a bruising heartfelt drama of homemade spiked leather armbands and styrofoam dungeons”…Rat captured the spirit and crazy energy of the metal explosion in a personal, captivating way. It was really funny for me, as a kid who bought "Power in Black" and the Overkill EP, that what looked like such a slick machine was actually a shoestring operation. The animations and SFX are great, they really made me laugh and entertained me.”

-Ian Christe, Author, “Sound of The Beast”/ Sirius Radio “Hard Attack”

“This is a great documentary on REAL METAL: the ground-roots movement that worshipped UNIQUE Noise for what it was - GREAT FUCKING MUSIC!!! It's almost a How-to for even current bands to start out with only a shoestring budget. I learned a lot about the East Coast scene, which faced quite different problems compared to S.F. or L.A. Metal bands. Other scenes need killer retrospectives as informative as this DVD! Congratulations to Mr. Skates on this amazing study of a pivotal point in Rock & Roll.”

-Ron Quintana, KUSF Rampage Radio, San Francisco

“More than a documentary about a single band or genre of metal, Born in the Basement in an autobiographical story of one musician's drive to achieve his dreams on his own terms. The blueprint for the DIY attitude that the film provides will make old school metal fans remember the "good ole days" while new school fans should grab a pen and take notes.”

Rick Ernst, MTV-2

“Born In The Basement is a particularly nostalgic film for me; it shows how we used to do practically everything by ourselves without waiting for the obligatory manager who takes 20% of everything even if everything is nothing. Even with the Internet today with MySpace and all, Born In The Basement is a testament and a lesson to bands starting out now. Watch and learn.”

-Danny Lilker, Nuclear Assault

"Rat Skates a true metal historian! This is a candid journey of band member who truly appreciated all things he accomplished and enjoyed, and never forgot where he came from or what his influences were. I think it speaks to all those who grew up in the golden era of metal and should appeal to anyone today is a part of a band. Very well done!"

-Todd Gordon, Torrid Records

”I had to watch this movie twice!!! I found the story very informative, and detailed in the manner of how it was!!…Ya man, it took me right back to the days of that era, that has never felt the same since!!! Cool that this untold story is told…Overkill was his dream that he never should have walked away from. Also was cool looking back at all the still pics, and see Anvil's name there...the early days…Thanks for sharing it with me my brother Rat!!!”

-Robb Reiner, Anvil

“I Loved this movie! It not only took me back in time, it was a raw, ballsy, self-deprecating looking into an artists development. Great job! The is not only an insiders look at the beginning of Thrash but I'd recommend this for any new artist starting out as a "how to". I was glad to see that the years hadn't dulled Rat’s craziness or sense of humor!”

-Carl Canedy, Legendary Metal Producer/ The Rods

“After viewing ‘Born in the Basement’ a film/documentary based on the birth of the early underground thrash metal scene, as well as the beginning of New York City band, Overkill. This brilliant film was put together by legendary thrash metal drummer, Rat Skates. It is a priceless, handbook on how to start a band and succeed. I highly advise any musicians… beginners or veterans… to seek out and purchase this DVD. It is well worth the money. I already had a lot of respect for Rat even before I knew him. But this DVD has made me realize how important he is to thrash metal… Or any kind of METAL!! Before the music industry came up with the word “Do it Yourself” Rat was a one-man publicity machine! Whether recording demos and distributing them himself, or screening t-shirts, making flyers, and passing out stickers… Rat had the work ethic that it took to get his band to the next level! If I didn’t have the money to buy this DVD, I would go out and steal it!”

-Katon W. DePena, Hirax

“Some people pay their dues, some pay MORE than their share. Rat Skates is a card-carrying member of the latter group. "Born in the Basement" is required viewing for anyone seeking to begin a band (or involve themselves in any form of the entertainment business, for that matter). From the earliest days with his former band, Overkill, Rat has been on a tenacious mission to succeed. After leaving said band for "greener pastures", Rat has returned with a cohesive story which details the highs, and lows, of the road less traveled - the hard road to success. Depending on how one gages and defines the term "success", that is. After all, leaving your own band, after years of hard work, may not seem like a flawless formula for the average musician. Rat is not your average musician, though…and he is more than willing to show you some of his flaws. He is also a formidable speaker, a sharp-witted, articulate filmmaker, and someone who has earned and learned his deserved place in the business... the real way. He has put together a highly entertaining and informative piece of work here. "Born in the Basement" is a full-on success, from a man who is willing to look back, yet still has the ability to focus straight ahead. Turning what could have been a devastating negative, into a powerful positive. THAT is the true meaning of success. More power to you, Rat! Wonderful work…from the DVD content, right down to the actual packaging on the disc - "Born in the Basement" is the definitive primer for the next generation of DIY enthusiasts. This is no perfunctory slacker film. This is a great lesson for the uninitiated and well-versed alike. Go pick up a copy (or three), immediately.”

-Mike Hannon, Kick Ass Magazine



A&E Networks- The Biography Channel (The Metallica Story)

Rock-Un-Rold (Pilot)


Q104.3- Friday Night Rocks w/ Eddie Trunk (Part 1)

Q104.3- Friday Night Rocks w/ Eddie Trunk (part 2)

NY Independent Film Festival- IFQ Red Carpet

Last Bastions of Rock (Documentary)


Talking Metal

Rat on Hard Rock Radio


Reign in Blood (33 1/3) by D.X. Ferris


CONCERT.TV Comcast, Cox, Insight, Charter and DirecTV, CH 1829





The Metal Web

Live 4 Metal

Metal Core Fanzine

Heavy Metal Time Machine


Rock Hard Magazine- (Greece) Nov. 2007 issue # 26 page 96

Metal Hammer Magazine (Greece) June 2008 Issue # 282 page 72

Snakepit Magazine- (France) July 2009 issue # 17 page 63

Power play Magazine (U.K.) Sept. 2007 issue # 91 page 66

Metal Maniacs Magazine May/ June 2008 page 90

Revolver Magazine May 2007 Issue # 56 page 78

Zero Tolerance Magazine (U.K.) Nov/ Dec 2007 Issue # 020 page 107

Stygian Shadows Magazine (Hungary) April 2008 Issue # 13-14 page

Stubble music Magazine Aug. 2007 Issue 44 (inside back cover)

Metal Hell Magazine Summer 2007 Issue #19 (pages un-numbered)


IDA- The International Documentary Association