Finishing the Complete Tenth Season (2021)

So! We’ve hit a quite significant milestone. At the time of writing we’re now halfway through my 5th year of making content for youtube. and honestly; looking back im left with a simultanious feeling that this has just…always been the way things have been, while also thinking that no time has passed at all. it’s quite an unusual emotional response to describe honestly. I still recall back in 2018 when I was talking to Ben about plans I had for videos that “Wouldnt happen till 2020” and him looking at me as if I was absolutley potty to even BEGIN to suggest such a thing.

But the honest answer is; this channels kind of been my lifeline for the last few years. What started out of a genuine frustration at the lack of detailed information and an almost outright dismissal of bad movies and cult cinema as “Not REAL film” has, five years on, evolved into something much MUCH more than that. Sitting here now in 2022 looking back over the years, at all the absolutely astoundingly good friends i’ve made as part of this project, The film makers and people behind the scenes i’ve had the opportunity to connect with as a result of me reviewing a film they’ve worked on, and the people who’ve been reunited as a result of my simple efforts to try and prove that theres as much educational benefit in deconstructing BAD cinema as there is in deconstructing the mainstay “classics” has left me honestly quite speechless.

All I ever wanted to do was try and share my love and passion for these types of movies to a wider audience and, in turn, hopefully attempt to rebalance the discourse around film theory and studies. I wish we lived in a world where someone could, in a crounded film theory class, openly talk about the cinematography in say “Robot Ninja” or the directional choices in “Theatre of Blood” and be taken with a level of seriousness and acceptance that comes with namedropping things like “Apocalypse Now” or “Drive”.

That isnt to say that im putting those films in the same catagory as each other you understand. Rather; for years theres been a culture of snobbishness around “Cult” cinema in professional and academic settings simply because it either didnt attain mainstream success or it deals with themes that are unconventional from what elder academics would deem “acceptable” with only very few film makers (David Lynch, Jan Svankmajer, Robert Wiene to name a few) being allowed the air of dignity within an academic setting.

To me? if you only watch what academia and the mainstream culture consider to be “Good movies” you’ll ONLY make “Good” movies…and in many ways thats the problem. The history of counter culture cinema is a rich tapestry of experimental and arthouse, a sea of trial and error on various mixed media formats. it’s the story of “Fuck around and find out” to put it bluntly. and is probably responsible for greater changes in the mainstream than most professional critics and lecturers will EVER be willing to admit. And yet; it only ever seems to be “Skimmed” by the people in charge. referenced as an afterthought in the shadow of the “Tarantino’s” and “Von Trier’s”. Pilfered of its “Best bits” with 80% left to wither on the vine or end up the subject of countless articles of mixed quality that purely focus on “HOW CERRRAZY” the film is or how, while we do have to aknowledge that this weird film inspired a much MUCH better film. we also must feel embarrissment or even shame that this original film even existed at all.

Its a systemic problem that even I am guilty of from time to time, and the last 5 years have really been a lesson in reprogramming to try and shake off this “Two Tier” system that the film industry regularly imposes on it’s output. it shouldnt be a case of “There are good films…and those films” rather. There is just film. art. expression. and while we can collectively agree a sliding scale of budget, technicality and complexity I feel more attention needs to be paid to just what CAN be achieved with so little, rather than simply focussing on eyewatering budgets, pixel counts and CGI hoy polloi.

I spent a not insignificant time of Season 10 covering the world of SOV cinema. A much maligned field because of its low budget, dependency on horror, gore or titlation to get bums on seats and an overdependency on references to other movies to try and sell people on a sense of familiarity. Its equally been one of the most interesting, thought provoking and inspiring experiences i’ve ever gone through. these people were “true” film makers. visionaries. creative souls who tried their damndest to make what was, to them, the best damn movies they possibly could on budgets that wouldnt even cover a QUARTER of a modern shoots catering budget FOR A DAY. they HAD to be creative because there simply wasnt an alternative. and the results are a testimony to the craft that I feel should be better recognised by academic bodies and not simply dismissed as “Fodder for the experimental film crowd”

So I say “Make Bad/Cult film relevent” challenge the so called “Authority” explain your workings, change the discourse and help make the world of film a better and more inclusive place for people who dont just think with there wallet or ride the coat tails of passing trends. give Bad and Cult cinema a reverence BEYOND it’s disposability. Because I guarentee, the sooner that modern film makers start to look at BAD films as a friend and NOT a tool or an aesthetic. the sooner the current rut that hollywood and the film making system has found itself in will evaporate.

Season 10 was a season of growth and development for the channel. and while we’re still a rather small and plucky channel, we’ll continue to try and push the discussion as far as we can take it.

Heres to 10 seasons, 5 years, to the good times and to hopefully many years more.

Dan.

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.

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.

Finishing the Complete Seventh Season (2020)

Season 7 was all in, arguably, one of the most entertaining and fun seasons to work on for me in a while. While Season 6 had the freshness of starting from the ground up to some extent given I’d been on a reletively short hiatus. This season to me, really felt like it had some momentum behind it. The wheels were spinning as early as late October 2019 in writing some of these episodes (My review of “The Warriors” being the first one that made it into the can) but work would continue right up until mid/late march to ensure that everything could be done in time!

For the most part, this season was pretty much decided right from the off…or at least 2/3rds of it were already pre-chosen. Originally “The Warriors” was going to open the season until I saw Cozzi’s “Hercules” about 10-11 episodes into writing for the season and I realised that that would be the PERFECT way to kick off this seasons run. the 4 part “Sleepaway Camp” summer special also came about pretty much at the last minute too, As I’d wanted to do a month on the Sleepaway camp movies pretty much since the 2nd season of theses reviews but could never quite fit them in amongst the other bits and pieces i’d got going on.

Salo: The Musical” was another one that had been in the making for a year or two before I finally decided to pull the trigger. it’s easily one of the most time consuming videos I’ve ever made in relation to it’s length. it may only be a couple of minutes or so long. but I assure you it took damn near a month of solid writing, recording, performing and motion tracking (For reference; the average 15-20 minute review on here generally takes about a week to complete from watching to final upload)

My favourite review of this season? is probably either “The Perils of Gwendolyn in the land of the Yik Yak“, “Salo” or “Return to Sleepaway Camp” all three were total labours of love (And hate) and im So happy with how they turned out as an end result.

All in all, this was just a damn fun season to work on, and while the steam that made up the creative process may have just started to dry burn towards the very end (Try and show me a way to be enthusiastic about having to spend a week with “Return to Sleepaway Camp”) overall; this was a total blast! I met some super interesting people over the last few months including the team over at Mutantfam.com who’ve recently agreed to host my work in an affiliated capacity. The Guys over at “Survivors Guilt“,”Video Creep“, “The Channel 83 Podcast” (Who were a top bunch of lads and had me on there show!) “The Best Little Horror House in Philly” and GG over at the “Midnight Movie Monster” Blog! Not only have they helped keep this Schlock jock sane during the absolute “Deep Hurting” that these films can bring in, but they’ve even contributed to helping make my content better and are all great people you should definitely go and check out at the next convenience!

At the time of writing my office/entertainment room is under renovation. everything is in boxes packed away and it wont be until August before we’re ready to reopen the archive and get back on track with the edit schedule. However! that’s not to say that this season is necissarily “Completely”

EDIT!: ITS THE FUTURE! and im just popping back in to remove the “Coming soon!” mystery bumper that I ran at the end of this article during the summer to say…well; you guys. I did a sneaky and popped just one more review into the mix to round us up to a healthy 18. and it’s a doozy! a collab with another youtuber and a great way to see out the end of the summer! 1981’s “The Burning” revisited, rewritten, reviewed and re-packaged! So! if you saw this article before and thought it was only 17 times cooler than the average seaon…well; now it’s 18 times cooler than that!!!

Finishing the Complete Sixth Series (2019)

To say that it’s a miracle that this season even got made is an understatement in and of itself. When I first set out to make this I had no idea of the trials and tribulations that would unfold during this seasons run. It’s well documented at this point on this site but Season 6 was predominantly marred by the fact that my partner was taken seriously ill after literally writing the first 2 episodes of this season in September of 2018 (“One Dark Night” and “If Looks could kill“) We’re not talking (Bedridden) ill either; we’re talking full blown hospital level ill. and as a result writing for season 6 ground to a halt after episode 2 and Season 5’s Christmas specials (Which were in the midst of being edited) were put on the backburner to the point that I was literally finalising the edit for “Jack Frost” the day before it was actually set to upload. Which was just insane as I normally edit about 2 months ahead of the actual upload schedule as a rule.

By the end of 2018 all work had stopped on producing new episodes and I was solely caring for my partner and trying to cling onto my Job as a wave of redundencies had recently hit the company. Luckily there seemed to be a period of calm around the beginning of March and by the end of that month I’d actually found a brief window of time to sit down and actually start making notes for a new review (Alongside reworking the two I’d written the previous year to freshen them up a bit) From there my partners health improved, work stabilized and I was finally able to get back on the horse and ride for season 6. and I REALLY didnt want to let the momentum stop once it had gotten underway. pulling a few late nights and making some quite difficult decisions I steamrolled through the first half of season 6 (Up toSilent Running) with little to no trouble. As autumn rolled through things began to get a little more complex, Halloweens kind of a big deal for me and my partner so there was a lot of planning around september time. and then Christmas pretty much starts from November 1st these days so there were a lot of things to circumnavigate at this point.

Still; we battled on and other than 1 or 2 very brief moments of “Squeaky bum time” (Memories of editing “Vamp!” 2 weeks before it was set to go live spring to mind) it was otherwise one of the smoothest runs to the end of the year that i’ve experienced since starting this channel. Christmas was more or less all tied up by the last week of November and i’d started writing season 7 by mid November (which is very shortly due to finish writing and start recording/editing)

I cant honestly say I have fond memories of this period of time. But as I said at the top of the post. im grateful for everything that’s happened while we made this. It’s the longest season we’ve ever done clocking in at 26 episodes + a crossover special and this season introduced me to some ace people like the guys and gals over at the “Inside the Nutshell”. It’s let me watch and talk about some weird and wonerful movies and in hindsight I had fun with this season. even if personally I was suffering a bit.

(Everyone loves the longform stuff. and some of these are absolute classics! I hope you enjoy this marathon of sleaze and weirdness.)

Finishing the Complete Fifth Series (2018)

Well… to say this season had been a turbulent one behind the scenes would be a bit of an understatement. effectively as of April 2019 this has been the last full season that I have been able to produce. I have mentioned quite a few times that I’ve had to step back from making reviews at this time due to personal reasons. These are predominenetly down to the health of my Partner who has unfortunately been on a decline since September 2018. As a result of that coupled with an incredibly unfortunate run in which I basically went from November to February jumping from illness to illness it effctively forced my hand in what time I was able to dedicate to actually making these.

Production pretty much completely ground to a halt in the first week of December when I spent the majority of my time either running my partners house or taking her to the hospital and because of this it led to several rushed releases that were exaserbated further by youtubes copyright strike system meaning it could be days before I had the time to actually go and fix things.

I was given a brief reprieve in early March 2019 when my partner seemed to be showing signs of recovery, this lasted for about a week and a half before it all came crashing down again but in that time I was able to have the freedom to actually get back to maintaining my site, clearing up my youtube channel and updating all my links across my social media platforms. it also gave me the time to archive all of my work properly and even start working on some new material.

Now I cant sit here and tell you that Season 6 is going to be imminantly out. The reality is that Im working in dribs and drabs as and when time can allow and it may be the case that only 1 season gets made this year. but as of AprilĀ  2019 I have recorded 2 new episodes (But havent edited them) I have written 2 new scripts ready to record and ive put plans in place for another 3 reviews and a couple of themed months I’d like to get in to. I dont know when these will make it up to youtube but I just wanted to reassure anyone who cares that things are still being worked on. Though I’ll do another full update on that when im in a better place to be able to talk about timescales.

In the meantime here is season 5! a season I went into with no idea what I was letting myself in for! seriously when I sat doown to write my notes for “Kiss meet the phantom of the park” I couldnt have dreamed that I’d be sat in front of my computer on December 23rd desperately trying to edit together a copy of Jack Frost ready for a next day upload, all the while keeping in touch with various relatives and doctors. I dont tend to work like that nor did I honestly enjoy the experience.

Thats not to say I hate this season. I loved working with Alex Kay on my review of “Stingray“, I loved speaking to the team behind “Witches Night out” and “The Gift of Winter” and this season marks the end of my “Teenage mutant ninja Turtles Quadrilogy ” Something I was very proud to have achieved. It was my biggest season in terms of stepping up my game and it was also the first season to not feature the official “Fourscore 2” theme, a decision I made basically as I wanted to try and move away from relying on Copyrighted material when it was unessicary.

So here’s to season 5! Arguably one of the most stressful seasons (and I sat a degree in film production) I’ve ever produced and I think some of my best work. Please enjoy andĀ  hopefully I’ll have more news for you soon!

(Everyday is the Best day)

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing the Complete Fourth Series (2018)

Series 4 was a sturdy season if ever there was one. While I have quite fond memories of the opening half, the latter half to me did seem to drag a little. Though this was almost entirely my own fault.y’see when I was structuring this season I made 2 seemingly small mistakes which completely through my season off kilter. first and foremost. I overproduced. there was a “Red Triangle” episode that was supposed to be part of this season. But due to my collaboration with Raymond it ended up being pushed off the schedule and into Season 5 (You’ll see it in November)…but that threw me out by nearly a week due to the time it took to make the episode.

The other issue that I encountered was that I had assumed that “Armed Response” was some kind of cop drama…it wasnt. it’s a martial arts movie. and I didnt realise it was a martial arts movie till I was sat watching it and it had been locked into the schedules. meaning that an entire months worth of videos was almost entirely made up of martial arts/action movies! which kind of began to grate on me a little bit (Im having similar problems with season 5 at the minute as I’ve discovered I have a few too many kids films in the mix for my taste personally)

Ignoring that though Season 4 has some gems in there in my opinion. “Tales from the Quadead zone” was a brilliantly fun little film to sit through, I was able to continue my reviews of the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, I covered “Braindead“! a Peter Jackson Classic! and I had my mind fully rotted away by “Bikini Model Academy” and it was an out and out pleasure to be able to work with my “Comedy dining experience” partner in crime Ben in producing my first year anniversair special on Public Information Films (PIF’s to you and me)

This was also the season that would see the launch of “The ______Comedy dining experience” and im hoping there’ll be more of these in future! so do keep your eyes peeled!

All in all, I liked working on this season…half of it was done while I was in a very mellow place and half of it was done under some very heavy stress…whether that shows or not I cant really say…this is also the last season where I really get a say on whats being reviewed until 2019 at least…what with Halloween and Christmas on the Horizon…so savour it! it’ll be a while till we’re back on the freewheeling days of pick what you want!

 

(It’s a shorter run than normal, but I like to think that just means the quality is more concentrated)

Finishing the Complete Third Series (2018)

Series 3 I think is the season where I finally managed to get the majority of my ideas consistently down. Unlike the other two seasons which were learning curves using trial and error both in my pacing and in the design of the channel. It was season 3 where I personally feel I really got down exactly what I was trying to do and was able to keep the quality levels up a bit (Most would disagree)

I think personally there were some pretty good episodes in this run. I personally had a lot of fun editing my reviews of Gammera, Terror in Beverly hills, Ring of Terror and Australian Web of Fear. But it was also nice to be able to get to grips with unexpected movies like Balance of Power and Francesca.

This was to me a season of growth and while I dont necissarily have a lot to say about this season in terms of how its turned out when compared to previous seasons. It definitely set me up ready to go with some very useful skills that I would take into season 4. In fact at the time of writing this article Im very nearly finished with season 4’s writing and it’s been a blast to work on almost as much as this season was.

It was the longest season to date and it’s also got a special place in my heart.

(Fun Fact: I originally edited Gammera to include the old intros from season 2 before re-editing them at the last minute for the newer titles)

Finishing the Complete Second Season (2017)

Thus brings to a close the second season of this show that I worked on. and quite honestly?; I think i’d consider this one my most progressive season that I’ve done to date. Not only did this season really let me hone my pacing skills a bit better (Something I really struggled with in the first season) but it let me experiment a bit more in being more creatively minded with my editing techniques and it was a real crash course in sound mixing.

While I can only apologise for some of the sound balances through this season (In particular my “Dawn” and “Day” reviews are pretty inaudible in places due to peaks in the music track I used that I didnt spot until the video had already gone live) By the time of the seasons close I feel I’d more or less got the balances right and at some point in the future I may well revisit a few of these season 2 episodes and address some of the issues I’ve spotted going through them.

But im very proud of this season because for the first time I felt like I had something tangible in the making that I could share with friends, or show to strangers without being worried of being attacked for the quality of the material. I mean, Im always learning (Even today I learnt something very interesting about VHS transcoding which will come in very handy when I finally get onto Season 5) but this season was largely guided as well by the advice and suggestions of you, the audience reading this.

It was during this seasons run that I started to set in motion some radical changes that would appear in season 3, and between the movie suggestions from some of my long time viewers (A serious thanks to you guys. you’ve really helped me keep going through the highs and lows) and the help of fellow youtuber and expert on all things SEO “Alan Spicer” I really feel like I’ve been able to put my reviews out there confidently.

This season built on the last one and set the frame work for what was to come. my first livestreams happened in this season, as did my first use of “Holiday branding” and my first forray into message boards and reddit (Something I’d never dared to do before) it really helped build up my confidence and I think this was a valuable learning season.

 

(Personal favourites included my halloween specials, my puppet master review and “Christmas Evil”)

Finishing The complete First Season (2017)

With Love Camp 7 being uploaded to this site that brings a close to my first Season of reviews on youtube. I originally intended each season of my show to be 12 episodes long with a week break at the end of each season acting as a stop gap to allow me to gain a weeks worth of time with which to either write or edit more episodes without fear of having to upload 1 or 2 in that week. However when I did the maths on this it quickly became apparent that if I had settled on 12 episodes a season I’d very quickly run into silly amounts of seasons in a very short period of time. Not to mention that at 12 episodes a season there wouldnt be enough to fully fill out a 52 week run properly.

It was because of this that I decided from Season 2 onwards to make it an 18(ish) episode run meaning there’d be longer seasons and more scope to distribute the episodes in such a way to make them run through the year.

I like to consider my first season a kind of “Testing the waters” time for my format really. I wasnt really sure how I was going to tackle my style, delivery or how these should be precisely edited. With bigger more professional productions I’d usually plan that side of things out merticulously but with this first season I decided to just play around and see which bits worked and which bits didnt (Something I hadnt done since my days as an experimental film maker nearly 4 years ago)

This was a really fun season to make and while I dont specifically touch on very many (If any) mainstream titles I do feel like I cut my teeth here. Season 2 would bring in some quite drastic changes to the format but at this point we say goodbye to the original opening titles and a total refinement of both my scriptwriting and editing processes. By the end of this season I’d gone from writing notes on my hand an hour before I went to record, to making notes, formally scripting and actually refining my dialogue in my audio editor rather than just cutting the lot together and hoping for the best.

So here is the playlist link to the entire of Season 1; It may not be the best but it was definately a fun journey!

(The Journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step)