Finishing the Complete Eleventh Season (2022)

Well! when it came to the 2nd half of our 5th anniversairy celebrations, I decided to try and do a bit of everything. Part of me wanted to cover movies i’d wanted to do for years (“Flight to Hell“, “Cannibal Girls“, “Camp Blood“) Some were movies i’d promised id do in the future, and then totally forgot to do in the future (“The American Ninja 4“, “Cyborg Cop 2“, “Alien Species“) and some were first time watches that arrived on short notice and genuinely caught me off guard (“Gatwick Gangsters“, “Night of the Demon“, “Dont go in the house“). Hell, we even rounded off the TYTD Reviews episodes by revisiting our very FIRST video for the channel “The Dragon Lives Again” hopefully finally doing justice to a film I’ve long admired and wished my review of could have been better.

It was a celebration of the old, and a look forward to the future of the channel. With this series marking a few milestones, it being the last season edited in 1080p,the last season edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, The last to use the branding we’ve been using now since 2020 across all fronts and the last season predominantly recorded on my focusrite condensor mic, a mic thats pretty much been what you’ve heard me through since AT LEAST 2020, which also made a few on and off appearences between 2017 and 2019 too.

What does the new season hold? well as seen in the review for “Dont go in the house” i’ve had a systems and kit upgrade on almost all fronts! including a new machine, a new mic, new lights for the packaging shots, new editing software and some other new tools to help give a bit more variety. As such we have new branding across all our main shows, we’ll be solely uploading in 4k going forward with better quality sound and visuals, faster processing power means it takes less time to export and convert reviews now, and as such it means we’ll be able to *hopefully* turn things around a bit quicker which’ll give me some time back to be able to enjoy a sunset or eat a well prepared meal!

There have also been some changes that are not quite as pleasent to announce, but here we are. After 2 years or so of monthly uploads and over 50 feature length commentaries, “The Comedy Dining Experience” will be swapping back to an irregular upload schedule, as it was when we first launched in 2018. Part of this is down to the amount of time it takes to edit the commentaries, part of it’s down to lower uptake than our other shows (we’ve had some episodes record less than 20 views after 3 weeks of being live in some cases) and part of it’s down to both myself and Ben just being absolutely ram jammed with stuff going on at the minute. Im in the middle of writing/recording and editing next years episodes (and I still have stuff to finish with Season 12!) and Bens recently had several good news stories that means he’s a lot busier than he was at the moment.

What this means in practical terms is that the Comedy Dining experience isnt going anywhere, it just means that, for the moment at least, it’s going to be on pause while we sort life stuff out, and when it does come back it’ll be likely an “As and when” affair rather than a regularly scheduled “thing” which will allow me more time to work on and refine our reviews, and it means we wont be oversaturating the channel too.

What it ALSO means is that we can do other fun things like monthly game night streams (we’ve done 3 so far and a pilot) AND it’s meant I can start an official Discord from which we’ll be hosting various watchalongs, games nights and other good stuff, alongside chats on everything from good and bad movies to music and weird youtube oddities, so do please tag along for that!

Season 11 marked a change in the wind for the channel, and with Season 12 currently rolling out weekly, I hope your enjoying the direction we’re taking the channel in, I had an absolute blast working on this season, I think it’s one of my favourites i’ve worked on alongside Season 10 and the chance to work and hang out with so many interesting people in collaboration has been an absolute delight. I couldnt have asked for a better 5th year on the platform.

The Dragon Lives Again 2022 Redux (1977)

Look…I had to okay? I just had to. My first review on the channel WAY back in 2017 was “The Dragon Lives Again” a film I chose mainly because it was (at the time) my all time favourite good/bad movie. and while I’ve grown and diversified in all the time i’ve been doing this, my love for this film has honestly not deminished one iota. I LOVE this movie, for its big, stupid, bizarre, copyright infringing heart and soul it manifests and everything it stands for.

Obviously with it being my first review on the channel and the 2nd ever review I wrote for this thing! (the first being a pilot episode I wrote and partially edited that…didnt feel right so I scrapped it.) after 5 years it waaaas beginning to look a little creaky. at the time I wrote the review I wasnt as honed on research as I am now, I didnt have nice lighting kits or a studio grade mic or a decent machine to edit on, I didnt structure my scripts, my work around pacing and my channel branding was frankly atrocious, I put ZERO passion into my delivery on the mic… (the things you learn as you grow)

I worked with what I could at the time, but generally I kind of treat my work at this point as two “eras” the first being Seasons 1-5 Basically everything from the first review up to “Jack Frost” which was a learning curve and as such things are very much a “Work in progress” and then from Seasons 6 to the this review I kind of feel like I had chance to stop, recharge, rework my content, improve my methodology and develop into something that today im beyond happy with. it feels like my work from Season 6 has led to now and my revisiting this video.

So much has been discovered about “The Dragon Lives Again” in the 5 years since my initial review went live, better quality copies of the film have surfaced, theres more information around how it was distributed, not to mention that theres generally just…a TON to talk about in this film that in my original review I absolutely failed to do. I didnt want to do a 2.5D remake of my original review like I did with “The American Ninja 2” because I felt more needed to be said. So this is a from the ground up redo. taking on what i’ve learned and putting it into one of the most comprehensive reviews of this movie that I could possibly aim for. we’ve come full circle and this era of TYTD is now coming to something of an end. I feel a lot happier about things with this movie now having proper representation on the channel, and I hope you enjoy it.

As for the future? well; in the time that this review was completed and uploaded i’ve upgraded my mic, my computer, my editing software and much much more. it’s a new beginning, and I hope you enjoy where we take the show going forward (Dont worry, we arnt shaking things up THAT much…consider it a polish and shine rather than a ‘ripping the heart out’ moment)

So! To ‘The Dragon Lives Again’ the film that launched the channel and forever may it sail!

The poster is SO badass, I just wish there was more high quality promotional material from this film available because as it stands ALL my editing work for promotional materials for this movie had to revolve around this poster and low res screengrabs…poo poo.

Phantom of the Ritz (1988)

This was actually a pretty rare opportunity for me, I often cover obscure and somewhat forgotten movies, but it’s VERY rare that I cover a film thats been forgotten so much so that it has an almost non existent online presence. I could find almost NOTHING on this movie in terms of interesting facts or trivia. I couldnt even honestly prove that this thing ever played in theaters.

The only thing I could confirm is that it got a US and UK vhs release and then after that it literally fell through the cracks of history and dissapeared seemingly forever. it currently has 78 ratings on IMDB. I think the only film i’ve ever covered with lower scores than that is “Riverbend” and even that now has risen to 118 ratings since I first covered it. I guess…what im trying to say is, this film is LONG forgotten and VERY unlikely to get a re-release. and I think thats kind of a shame, this isnt a fundamentally bad movie…it IS bad…but WAY worse have managed a dvd AND bluray release…so…if any distribution labels are reading this, maybe take a look at “Phantom of the Ritz” it’s a kinda sorta, not so bad movie thats pretty rubbish.

I love this poster work too….I mean, it says NOTHING about the actual film…but it does it with such a level of STYLE!

Cannibal Girls (1973)

So I’d been talking to Seth from “The Hellbound Horror Show” for a number of months on the possibility of collaborating on something in the near future. Seths been a champion of the channel now for quite some time and I really love what he does too, but it was finding JUST the right kind of flick that overlapped our styles just about right, and eventually we settled on a Cannibal double feature! We would do “Cannibal Girls” over on my channel and “Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death” over on his channel at some point (TBA)

I had an absolute blast doing this with Seth and I really hope we can get it all together again in future! While the death of Ivan Reitman was incredibly unexpected and unfortunately well AFTER we’d already shot and recorded everything for this episode, I still tried to at least pay something of a tribute to the man himself with the opening memorial card.

Cannibal Girls is a great movie and I highly recommend you check it out. But dont just take my word for it here, let both me and seth talk you though this absolute slice of insanity!

(Seths youtube channel is available here)

Could you FIND a more perfect example of 70’s splatter horror and gimmicksploitation in one poster. No. no you cant. I rest my case.

The “Tommy” (1975) Comedy Dining Experience

This week! Dan and Ben take a look at *arguably* one of the better known Ken Russell movies and one of Ben’s all time favourites as we discuss “Tommy” an absolute blast of a movie that gets surprisingly dark for a movie that quite frankly is so high energy and colourful.

Im not joking. recording this with Ben reignighted my passion for Ken Russell movies, By sheer chance a week after we recorded this I managed to talk to a bootlegger who was able to provide me with HD copies of “The Devils” and “Lizstomania” and I also managed to grab “Altered States” and “Lair of the White Worm” frankly, im in on Russell in a bad way at the minute. But im LOVING it.

I was a fan years ago, but i’d forgotten just how wild and fun his movies could be. and I HIGHLY recommend checking his stuff out whenever you get the chance.

A Ted Called Gooby (2009)

This was one of the earliest films I found while going out Hauling. I’ve literally had it sat in my “To Review” pile for AT LEAST 4 years, but its almost always been one of those movies that has *JUST* missed out of being covered every season for the last 3-4 seasons. It was the cover of the DVD release that really drew me to this one. I just find it simultaineously TOO polished and a bit TOO awkward.

Anyway; heres Gooby. a movie that left me feeling more underwhelmed than anything else, it was too good to be laughably bad and too bad to be acceptably good. it just flutters around the “Meh” grey-zone.

Promo material for this film is SUPER thin on the ground. I really wish there was more stuff to pick through.

The “Things” (1989) Comedy Dining Experience

Basically; I subjected Ben and Laura Blind to “Things” because im a sadist who enjoys dumping people into ice baths and watching them wail (in a filmic sense)

After the screening Laura vowed to never do a blind commentary again and Ben wouldnt make eye contact with me. Im not allowed to blind screen again for a while and collabs with Laura have to be to a certain standard going forth.

Personally; I think they should both thank me, given that they’ll now almost certainly never see a film worse than this…unless I find it.

The “Mac and Me” (1988) Comedy Dining Experience

So; for this one, we basically nicked the “Black spine” concept from Red Letter Media…yes its a blatent steal. No im not feeling guilty for having done it, No, RLM didnt invent this idea and yes im happy to keep doing it. My co-host mind…is VERY much less inclined.

I chose Mac and Me because I thought it would be a fun little watch. I wasnt sure if Ben had seen it before and this one fits the Comedy Dining Experience bill perfectly, too well known to really deserve reviewing. too obscure outside of the US to ignore and too blatantly an advert to have any merit in breaking down. it’s the perfect movie to get some people around with some beers to take the piss out of it. I cant speak for Ben. But I had a real blast with this one.

The “A Hard Days Night” (1964) Comedy Dining Experience

Okay; so in my rush to try and catch back up with updating the site with all our latest stuff I kinda sorta forgot to update our comedy dining experience section. I know, slap on the wrist, naughty boy, dont do it again. Well, I can only profoundly apologise for my neglegence and try and fix it by blasting through a few of these all in one go to try and catch back up.

And kcking things off, we have a fan request courtesy of one mr GDAWG. Bens wanted to do Beatles movies for years. So this really has been a planet aligning moment for all involved. So pop on your beatles cut. grab your left handed bass and check out this very clean old man as we take a deep dive into one of the more bizzare moments of the beatles career.

Finishing the Complete Ninth Season (2021)

Season 9 was one of those seasons that feels “Right” to me. I mean that very much in a spiritual sense. theres no real metric that can be used to measure whether something is objectively “good” or “bad” but what I mean is that to me, it feels like all the pieces fit together perfectly, it feels like each review contrasts or compliments the other. with every season I do I often feel like there’ll be at least 1 or 2 episodes out of the two(ish) dozen I make where I either dont feel I got a grip on exactly HOW I wanted to present the review, or I’ll feel like technically I was a bit off the mark.

But this season, every review I feel like I got exactly what I wanted out of it, we had some stinkers, we had some hidden gems. but, to me, it feels like the work I’ve put in to slowly reshaping the series somewhat (Work that first began waaaaay back in Season six) has finally matured into a format that, for now at least, im pretty happy with. I feel a lot more confident about this run of reviews than I have with any other previous run, and I feel a lot happier with my work load management and attitude towards how I run the process. genuinely, the last 12 months worth of writing and releases have been some of the most enjoyable I’ve done in the 4 and a bit years of working on the channel.

Personal highlights of this season for me were “Nutbag” a film that genuinely caught me off guard for just how amazingly bad it was. this is one of the few times where BBFC suggested edits have actually massively enhanced what would otherwise be a fairly drab affair, Deathrow Gameshow a film that totally surpassed my expectations, and I feel utter remorse that I didnt crack this one open much MUCH sooner as it’d been sat on my “To Watch” pile for WAY too long. My special video essay on a recent Bootleg Video Nasty haul was a definite highlight for the year and got quite a few people talking about their own experiences with Nasty’s which was nice. and the opportunity to collaborate with old friends like Raymond and new faces like G.G Graham were frankly an absolute delight.

This season for me will probably be fondly remembered as a time capsule of a 6-8 month period where things, while still rather grim beyond the walls of my house, were alright. and I hope that comes across in these reviews.