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)

Jack Frost (1997)

Rounding off both Season 5 and 2018; here we have Jack Frost. A film thats been on my radar more or less since it came out due largely to it’s prominence in several Nerdy “Forbidden Planet” esq stores that used to populate the market stalls and highstreets where I lived in the early 2000’s. the Holographic Box art that came with the VHS of this movie was very unusual for the time and because of that I’d always wanted to check it out (Even though I knew deep down that if they had to stress a gimmick like this this hard it probably wouldnt be very good.)

The reality is, this films quite enjoyable. its by no means a regualar watch, nor is it anything groundbreaking. But I can easily see myself watching this again this Christmas and it was good enough that I’d certainly be interested in picking up the sequel.

If you are interested in picking this one up Vinegar Syndrome are the current distributors for it and they’ve done a cracking job with the Bluray version, if you like your “Troma” movies or anything by “Full moon” I think you’d probably quite dig this one.

This review was intended to make it up to youtube on the 24th of December however due to ongoing issues in personal life involving my partner I was unfortunately at the hospital all through the day this was set to go live and I was unable to schedule it in advance due to repeated copyright strikes. As a result I had to re-edit this review on the fly between trips to the hospital to try and get it up before the year out. as a result this one came out on the 31st but does wish people a merry christmas and a happy new year (Well…at least I got the last part right).

 

(Personally…while the original poster was striking and got my attention. I think the new artwork for it (Pictured above) looks much more fitting)

Nick and Noel (1993)

I had a spot of unexpected success last year when I uploaded a review for a christmas film I had found on youtube that was produced in the 90’s called “Dot and Spots Magical Christmas Adventure” at the time I didnt think anything of it. It was a fairly bland if somewhat charming little kids christmas movie and that was about it.

That was until it started getting mad clicks. While we’re hardly talking viral numbers here when I woke up to find that one of my videos rather than normally getting the 10 – 20 views they normally acrew instead got closer to 200 views and growing. Well needless to say I thought I might as well hand in my notice at work and take on the full time youtuber lifestyle.

In researching exactly why that video was more popular than others I discovered that apparently that film was:

A – Astoundingly popular in Italy (Almost a christmas classic out there)

And B – Almost completely unrepresented online barring an itallian dubbed upload.

In short I’d inadvertantly landed myself the perfect storm…it didnt lead to anything. for about 6-7 months that video was my most watched one my channel. But out of an obligation to see if lighting could strike twice I decided to look into other films that the “Dot and Spot” animators had involvment in.

Thus we arrive at Nick and Noel. and…well it’s not as popular as Dot and Spot. nor is it as charming, nor is it as well made…and even Paul williams cant save this one. its a bland one in all honesty. and due to some growing pressures that started happening around about the time that I reviewed this one I honestly dont have too many fond memories about it. It’s just completely generic and forgettable. but Im sure my review will say more than I can here.

(So underwhelming…)