Chick Boxer

I had a rather pleasent surprise while these reviews were going live. JR Bookwalter the man himself was doing a live stream Q&A for a new release for makeflix and I dropped in to ask a question about whether he’d ever consider getting back into directing (his answer was “never say never!” so here’s hoping for the SOV 12 pack in 2024!) but while watching he mentioned in passing that he’d actually been checking out a couple of these reviews as they dropped! which…well I was honestly quite beside myself as, while I have had the odd director, DOP, Cam Op or in one specific case producer drop by to tell me about how their movie sucked, or that they were grateful for my honesty. i’ve never had someone say that live, on video. TO ME.

Anyway; I mention that because this was the review he referenced specifically when he said he’d seen a couple of the reviews I’d done. and…if you’ve seen my review of this in advance of reading this post. you’ll know that I was not a fan of this movie…didnt care for it at all…hates a strong word but I do believe I said this movie was “The kind of film you take to a bad movie night when you dont like anyone in attendence.” which was then quoted in a tweet by J.R Bookwalter himself. POSITIVELY I might add!…but still. he hates this movie. I…didnt care for this movie. most people i’ve shown this film to (Because im an evil fuck) hated this movie. this is not a good movie. the poster and title is about as good as it gets.

In my minds eye I imagined Chick boxer to be a kind of gritty “Rocky” type flick. y’know, a young girl is bullied or harrassed or…I dunno SOMETHING happens. and she decides to “Get tough” cue several training montages and eventually said weedy girl is now a martial artist taking on the scum of the streets vigilante style, with the papers and police not really knowing what to make of her. almost like what was done in “Robot Ninja” but without the super hero costume and the scene where a guy removes and inserts weird tubes into his arm.

Instead we got…well I’ll let the review do the rest of the work.

This cover is the best thing about the movie. and it took nearly 30 years for it to happen.

Finishing the Complete Eighth Season (2020)

Given what was going on at the time this season was being created its a miracle that you’re even seeing the below playlist quite honestly. Season 8 was the first season to be full written during the Pandemic (I believe the first script was written some time in April and the last script was finally penned in October) and; though I think back on this season from the comfy room of 2021 with the sense that it was all “Too Easy” when I actually stop and think what was going on, it definitely seems to be quite the opposite.

For a starters, there was the pandemic. Which; well, it was good in some ways…through April,May and June I was pretty much stuck in a national lockdown with nothing to do BUT write and edit these scripts. That and working from home allowed a greater flexibility in my working hours allowing me to work scriptwriting and editing into my lunch breaks.

The downside to all this however was that the lockdown effected my partners health quite severely, leading to a number of trips to the hospital and, not wanting to go into too much detail, but a few very important people in our lives had to move on to new ventures (They’re not dead! we just cant really be involved with them anymore!) which really didnt help the mood.

Then from June to September I was in the middle of renovations. and Ladies and Gents. Let me be frank. I know these renovations were a long time overdue (at least 15 years overdue) I know they desperately needed doing, and now im sat here in a lush, gorgeous new space writing this out Im happy I did what I did. at the time I was in abject misery. I ached pretty much non stop from stripping wallpaper, taking light fittings out and carrying heavy flat pack furniture and hard wood exceedingly and almost comical distances. I loathed having to sofa surf during a pandemic because the room where my Bed is was being used as storage. I detested the fact the the weather was a near constant 36-40 degrees celcius and that buildings in britain are built to keep heat IN not let it OUT.

In fact; the only good memory I have of the summer of 2020 was that, at one point, the conditions of the lockdown lifted and I was able to take my car out on a quasi long distance run (like; 50-60 miles round trip) where the sun was delightful, the music was good, the roads were empty and I was living my best life for all of an hour and 30 minutes. The rest of it, was arse.

Equally; the Renovations ran drastically over. meaning what should have been an 18 episode run for this season ended up having to be cut down to a 16 episode run + 1 collaboration. which was not ideal…but luckily I’ve been able to carry over the 2 dropped episodes into Season 9.

So September rolled around, I jumped on my machine, edited together the first 6 episodes of this season and then my harddrive exploded. as in, literally shut down. couldnt get anything on or off it that was bigger than 2gb in size. it was dead. and…for a time I panicked. I panicked violently because on that drive were all 17 audio recordings, 6 edited episodes and all of my current branding material.

Mercifully, through a mixture of cloud storage solutions and periodic backups I was able to recover, relink and rexport ALL the original premiere pro files. which meant in as little as 5 days I went from losing everything to being back in the race. and…mercifully at least, from there things went very smoothly. the last 2 episodes written and recorded were “Garfields Halloween Adventure” and “Silent Night Deadly Night” which were both done in October, both recorded at my partners flat in a hurry and both edited on the hoof to try and get them out the door and into the schedules (I really hope it doesnt show)

Season 8 was an absolute Journey to complete and when a collaborative effort involving 7 people is the EASIEST part of editing for the season. you know somethings not quite gone right. It was a good one in terms of the films I got to see though, “Truck Turner” is probably one of my all time favourite Blacksplotation films, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” was a hoot of a first time watch, Reviewing AND doing a commentary for “Robot in the Family” was brain meltingly entertaining and whats more. I got to experience all of these wonderful film moments with friends. which…at a time when isolation is one of the biggest by-products of this whole blasted neusence. was incredibly life affirming.

So this is me; closing the door once and for all on Season 8. another chapter in TYTD History. Not to let the Ego run ahead of me, but I think seasons 7 and 8 have heralded some of the best work I’ve ever done. and I really hope Season 9 and 2021 keep that momentum going.

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Well! We’ve done it again! another year has reached it’s end and with it, we have the final review of the year! I hope each and every one of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I spent the day with the missus and my parents, we had a lovely dinner, played some board games till the evening and then had a small buffet that put us into a food coma well into Boxing day!

While I wish i’d had the time to relax and savour my time off (I had 19 days leave from work this year and it REALLY flew by) I’ve spent a lot of time working on next years season over Christmas and as of today (Jan 2nd) we’ll officially start cutting for the new series! Im hoping to have at least one rest day before I go back to work. but for now. im super grateful i’ve been able to get so far ahead! so do keep an eye out for the new season when it lands in February (At least…im hoping it’ll land in February)

I watched this movie for the first time this year, for the purpose of this review. I wrote the script some tim in late July/Early August and I was fortunate enough to pick up the lovely limited edition box set of this movie and it’s sequel from 101 films almost as soon as it was announced. they’ve done a genuinely lovely job in cleaning this movie up and it was a blast to actually watch it around christmas time, in the vibe, in the festive atmosphere. I think it’s probably one of the better christmas horror movies i’ve seen. While I’d probably hesitate to say it OG “Black Christmas” good. it’s definitely up there! and I hope you consider giving it a go some time!

Anyway! Im going to be hard at work editing Season 9 now for at least the rest of this month, there’ll be a few commentaries uploaded in the mean time while im away. and, as always, i’ll be in the comments on every review i’ve done to date. So if your new to the site. please feel free to reach out and say “Hi!”

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and fruitful 2021 and lets all just…HOPE. that it is only a shadow of the year we’ve come from!

LOVE this poster. Controversial? Absolutely…But it bloody works!

The Night B4 Christmas (2003)

Sooooo…Im going to be honest here. The Holidays kind of got away with me this year. Given that it was supposed to be a super quiet isolated christmas. I think it’s probably been busier than any christmas i’ve had…mainly because, for some reason, I’ve been nominated the “Dedicated point of contact” for 2 households.

What that means in real terms is I’ve been looking after my partner and my parents for a good chunk of the festive period and…in blunt terms. I’ve spent more time at the dump this christmas than I have in front of movies. it’s been manic. that’s probably the best way to describe this years christmas. Very little actual christmas celebrating and a hell of a lot of sitting around waiting for stuff to happen and sitting in traffic.

This has nothing to do with the below review. but because i’ve been all over the place I just havent had time to update the site as I normally would and honestly? this is one of those reviews where I pretty much say everything I need to say in the video. theres no real afterthought on this one.

In fact; as part of some of the admin I’ve been working on over Christmas, I rewatched this one while it uploaded to a backup site. and I still 100% agree with pretty much everything I said in this…which, given this was written back in July is always a nice thing to find out.

I still say go and check this one out, dont be put off by the animation. I genuinely think this ones got it’s heart in the right place *mostly* anyway! more christmas chat to come in my “Silent Night Deadly Night” review which is going to be loaded up to the site very shortly!

It’s not often I get a poster that is simultaineously EXACTLY perfect in summing up what this film is about, while also being it’s biggest advert for avoiding it. shame really…

Alphas Magical Christmas (1994)

I dont really know what I expected of this special in all honesty, One quick glance of the cover and I was convinced I was getting into “We wish you a turtle christmas” terratory. But honestly? when alls said and done. I found this movie to be a totally hollow experience.I’ve had a few months seperation from this review now by this point, and all I can honestly say is; “Well; it’s a thing that exists!”

It’s probably the best and worst example of “The Spirit of Christmas” because on the one hand Alpha is a charitable and loving robot who just wants to celebrate christmas with his friends. on the other hand all his friends are SO egotistical that they expect presents of Alpha, but dont get it anything in return. Alphas christmas basically consists of slaving away through all of christmas eve and christmas day and it’s big reward for exerting all that energy is that it gets to see 3-4 of the power rangers. All im saying is that the rangers who didnt turn up to wish Alpha a merry christmas may want to check the brakes on there Zords next time they hop in for a spin.

This really is a low point in the world of Direct to VHS specials…and more worryingly, I feel like I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. in either case. sit back, relax, and enjoy hearing a robot massacre christmas carols for 28 minutes. god even thinking about this tape now makes me want to go and get drunk…Merry christmas.

This cover is the perfect representation of what you’re getting into…you just need to airbrush out like…3 of the rangers and it’d be perfect.

The Story of Christmas (1994)

Christmas 2020 will probably go down as one of the best and worst christmasses within living memory. Lets be honest; while it’s nice to see relatives and loved ones at this time of year. Theres a certain delight that comes with the idea of staying in all christmas, knowing you dont have to go anywhere, knowing you’ve not got anything to do and knowing you dont have any obligations to anyone or anything for anyone or anything.

This year I have 19 days off work. and apart from 3 of those days where I may get a text message asking me to do 10 minutes of emergency work. I have ZERO obligations. and Im feeling damn good about it. I’ve recently finished writing for next years season and im currently script editing (I hope to have that done by the 12th and definitely before the 16th. Im recording between the 16th and 19th of December and then I have 2 weeks clean to do with as I like.

I’ve decided on Booze, movies and fast living. and I Honestly cant wait! its such a nice and relaxing contrast to my usual christmasses where I spend the week leading up to christmas travelling up and down the country visiting family members and the 2nd week being pushed into their houses to play party games…theres only so many games of Charades with the same people one person can take in a week before it looses it’s appeal and my extended family arnt exactly willing to try new things (The ‘Jack Box’ series of online board games go down a treat with my close family, noone else will go near them though mistaking them as a thing of evil apparently…)

But non of that this year! ohhhhhh no! im going to enjoy a fine single malt, watch the complete works of Norman J. Warren (1978 to 1987) and eat my weight in cheese. the missus is doing similar (we live apart currently) and I for one cannot wait! GOD im so excited!

Oh yeh…this films rubbish. it’s the story of what happened to Jesus AFTER he was born. and while the actual biblical telling is action packed and a non stop thrill fest. this film somehow manages to make it boring. and I cant begin to comprehend how they’ve done it. but dont let me here try to convince you, check out my review and judge for yourself! and Merry christmas!

This was sold in Boots…how good can it be? (Not very…Boooooooooo….)

Black Christmas (1974)

I loved this movie. thats all I have to say really. Dont watch the 2006 “Black Christmas”, dont watch the 2019 “Black Christmas” they’re both a load of bollocks. THIS. This is a damn fine movie. it kickstarted the slasher genre in the US, it’s witty, pacey, entertaining  Well written with likeable characters who have complex backstories and interesting plot threads and it’s genuinely eerie in places. it’s well shot, the direction and cine for the time is original and does a lot of things that Hollywood wouldnt jump on for a good 5-10 years thereafter. it’s one of the few films that; when the end credits ran, genuinely gave me chills. I am not easily stirred. Im not easily effected by movies. This film made me feel something. it’s that good.

In fact apart from a couple of poor lighting choices and a couple of tonally out of place characters who are dispatched of rather quickly I think this is genuinely the best christmas horror film I’ve ever seen. thats all I have to say about this. The review below will suck this films dick some more. but yeh. I felt I needed to reiterate exactly how awesome this film is.

Unfortunately if trends continue this year as they have the last couple of years noone will really see this video. it’s an unfortunate side effect of uploading around christmas eve/Christmas day time. Everyones incredibly busy with family, friends and other such business that in the youtube industry I might as well “Dead” my channel from the 20th of December through to February and I probably wouldnt miss any views or subs…bizarrley while traffic is reletively high at this time of year (Due to so many people being off or looking for stuff to watch while the family slowly drive them insane) almost non of it finds it’s way to my channel at this time of year. An example being my Christmas Evil review which after 2 years of being online as of today has only just reached 22 views…which came as a shock to me when I just went to look it up because up until September this year it only had 11 views…so I guess search traffic is up this time. Another example being my Jack frost review from last year which faired somewhat better (but not by much) as it was uploaded on New years eve and was my last video on my channel for a while.

This isnt to moan about my stats (Hell if I have multiple blogs planned about THAT!) but it’s more to say that if you’ve taken the time to click on this post you’re probably one of an absolute minority. and the fact you’ve taken time out to watch this (especially if it’s at christmas time) genuinely means more to me than any other videos I upload at any other time of year. even if it’s out of season. these videos never get much attention. So I really want to personally thank you for taking the time to watch this. I like to think that even if only 5 people watch this video over the christms period. That if I can make those 5 peoples days that little bit more interesting or just stop them being driven mad my relatives. even if it’s just by telling them about a film they’ve just GOT to see. I’ve served my purpose as a critic.

Go watch Black Christmas. It’s really good.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year from all of us here at TYTD Towers. We’ll be back with a new season in February/March time. and in the mean time. Make 2019 count.

– Dan

(This poster…this fucking poster. Fuck. grim m8.)

Christophers Christmas Mission (Sagan Om Karl – Bertil Jonssons Julafton) (1975)

This one really was a difficult watch in all honesty. it’s a testamony to how pre-conceived opinions on what a film is about can drastically effect the overall enjoyment of the piece. In the UK this was genuinely marketed as a movie for young kids. the cover for the VHS and DVD releases were both incredibly kid friendly (See the poster at the beginning of my review for a better idea of exactly how kid friendly it looked) and the back of the box was colourful and written in a way to make it easy for kids to get an idea of what this is about. all mentions of Socialism and communism or our lord Jesus christ is omitted in the blurb on the back of the case for this one and Bernard cribbins is mentioned multiple times as a means to try and sell this to them.

Genuinely; I think Abby home video bought this and didnt realise what they’d got their hands on till it was too late to back out of it…either that or they planned to put this out as a kids film knowingly with no regard for what it actually is about…which just plain sucks in all honesty. I think in the hands of a decent distributor (And with a decent remaster and maybe a couple of extras) this could really make a rather lovely set. Im not one for talking about “Dream releases” for content here but I think I can make an exception with this one as it kind of feels right to give it a decent release. Here’s what I’d do with it if I got my hands on it.

*4K Scan of the original film elements followed by a full remaster (clean up, colour grade and levels check)

*Both cuts of this film (Both the english Cribbins version and the original Swedish release with subs) available on the disc (The English version to be recreated using the 4k swedish scan as nothing is significantly altered and only a scene or two have been removed so it would be easy to resynch the english dub track)

*Commentary with Cribbins + A couple of film critics (Im looking at you Kim Newman and Alan Jones!) to talk about the history of this film, the animation style, why the themes of the film probably didnt take to a british audience and any juicy tidbits about Per Ă…hlin and Tage Danielsson

*A documentary following the production of this feature + a brief history of it’s broadcasting history both in Sweden and the UK

* (If possible…hell it’s my fantasy why not) An isolated Score track…for all that lurrrrvely Jazz and Bossa.

*a mini Documentary about politics in christmas movies. dealing specifically aroun the socialist themes raised in this feature and a discussion on whether Christmas is more personified by the Left or the Right.

*old promotional materials (TV spots, radio spots if their are any,) both from the UK and Europe

*A NICE. Bluray cover. using newly drawn artwork thats fitting for the 15 – 30 year old audience that this film is clearly based at.

*Reversable artwork containing the original Abby home video release cover artwork…Okay im joking…but what I would like is:

*Reversable artwork that uses it’s swedish title alongside some of the original promotional artwork (See the image used in my thumbnail of this review)

Obviously this release will never happen in a million years. but this movies got such a decent and wholesome message I really wish it would. it’s charming and to see it have such a shoddy release history really is a proper downer. Still…at least we got the chance to have it localised. had it not been I may never have heard of it.

(The animation still creeps me out a bit…it reminds me a bit of Wondershowzens more abstract animation sections)

Prancer Returns (2001)

This was not a good movie. it wasnt quite the worst I’ve ever seen. but it was pretty bad. We’re talking just south of Clarke Paylow bad. which is pretty bad. this film isnt badly made…I mean it’s badly cut and tinted (In my opinion) but it commits the cardinal sin…it’s really boring and it just retreads existing ground that the first film covered. it’s a needless sequel. it literally serves no purpose other than to exist…and to me thats a real downer….

I think I thrash this one pretty consistently in the video below…but if you want an even shorter review than that. You’re unlikely to fall onto this one in the wild. and if you do. run the fuck away from it. it’s almost Hallmark christmas movie bad.

(The cover is literally the best thing about this…and even thats a bit rubbish…)

The Bears who Saved Christmas (Holly and Christopher) (1994)

This movie brings to a close a 3 year trilogy of Film Roman (and film roman esq) Christmas movies. Starting with Dot and Spots magical Christmas adventure, and then last year with Nick and Noel. These tend to be the most common animated non mainstream kids films out there. And honestly? most of them could go in the crushy bin for me.

I think out of all of them Dot and Spot was probably the one I enjoyed the most, Nick and Noel was okay but a little bland and this film has way too many problems despite it’s mightily impressive cast list. Holly and Christopher are just a bit creepy to me and in general the bears who saved christmas is just a pretty mediocre christmas special.

I dont want to be a scrooge about this but honestly; there is much much better out there. You can do better and deserve better than these movies. I dont know if there are any more film roman christmas specials out there. honestly I havent looked that much further beyond these three films…there has to be more surely?…surely.

 

(There are no good covers for this special…and it never got a poster…so…bleh. this’ll do)