Riverbend (1989)

Of all the films I ended up covering this season; “Riverbend” was probably the one that caught me off guard the most. Now I didnt think it was a perfect film by any measure. but the themes it deals with coupled with the utterly baffling to me concept that this has NEVER had a digital release (that I can see) just…well…it’s this kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

this wasnt a bad film by any measure. hell; if i’d have found it on DVD in my local CEX or charity shop i’d have probably been even more in love with it as a movie. But because I just kind of found this in a haul and because it’s SO poorly represented online (theres almost NO high res art for this movie available online and at the time of writing this it sits ona paltry 98 ratings on IMDB with only one on site review to add insult to injury! it REALLY feels like this is a forgotten movie. and thats genuinely quite sad to me.

Steve James would die 4 years after this film was made and this was seen as one of his big shots to break out of the sidekick role and into a leading actor position. and in this film he MORE than handles that role near perfectly. Unfortunately after this film, barring an appearence in a supporting role on an episode of “Pee Wees Playhouse” most of his roles up to his death were for direct to video fodder or forgotten TV shows. it really feels like some quite fantastic talent fell through the cracks here and the more I can do to put this frankly fantastic actor on a higher pedestal then hopefully the more people will see what they’re missing.

Obviously; when it comes to publishing these articles for my site I have no knowledge of how these reviews are going to perform on youtube. In the past i’ve had reviews I was sure were going to be big hits absolutely bomb out into obscurity (See: Christmas Evil) eqully i’ve had episodes that I wasnt too sure about that’ve gone on to rake in views quick and heavy! (See: Dot and Spots magical christmas adventure) but if I could wish ANY film Im reviewing this season success beyond what pushing im capable of doing. I think it would be this one. Because more people need to see “Riverbend” it’s really something quite special.

Almost all of the promotional material for this film is some variation of this photo backed by either a forest of the US flag. I personally think it’s pretty decent.

OH! and because this films SO underrepresented online. heres the box art scanned in HD. because bloody hell there really is nothing out there.

The “Caligula” (1979) Comedy Dining Experience – 500 Subscriber Special!

Well! we did it! a milestone I never thought we’d hit and we’ve smashed it! Im going to be honest here; when I started the channel I thought i’d consider myself grateful if I managed 10 subscribers. and; at most. I thought if I could hit 100 subs i’d have proven something to myself about my thoughts on film and cinema at large.

I have had mixed experiences in the past with “Filmies” I realise that I myself am in the minority of people who think bad films have something to teach us as much as good films do. University was a big eye opener for me as I realised that there were people who’s entire film diet consisted of “Only watching the absolute best” of anything cinema had to offer.

I found it a very beige experience.

and the more and more I spoke to people, the more and more I realised that. While their were people like me out there and a bad movie community in general. it was very much a bubble. and surprisingly difficult to enter short of traversing the minefield that is bad cinema at large. this coupled with a growing annoyance at the lack of resources to chart bad movies (as mentioned in my “About” section on this very website) and I decided that. in the absence of a clean and detailed documentation of this type of film. I’d have to try myself.

And I’ve loved *almost* every minute of it! it’s been hard. it’s been an uphill struggle. it’s put a strain on myself, my family and my friends at times. But I dont regret a minute of it. 500 of you fine fine readers subscribing to my channel is more than I ever could have hoped for. and the number is growing quicker and more consistently than it ever has before.

And so. to you. I offer you this special episode of the comedy dining experience as thanks. You will not BELIEVE the wrangling that went on behind the scenes to get Ben and Laura to agree to this one (Let’s just say im in deep with the mob now) but…fair play to them; they sat through the whole thing. for me…for you. Me and Ben have been friends now for very nearly 10 years and me and Laura have been together for almost as long as well. and a guy couldnt ask for 2 greater compadre’s to tackle this masterpiece in bizarre adult weirdness.

So…enjoy! and…I really wasnt kidding at the end of this. we WILL do “Cannibal Holocaust” if we hit 1k.

to your future and ours. we’ll see you there.

The “Jaws” (1975) Comedy Dining Experience

Belated! but not to be forgotten! this year we did a 2nd valentines special after the success of our “Pink Flamingos” comedy dining experience! Laura’s always a little shakey with flying solo on commentaries. but when I suggested Jaws as our Valentines watch…well…she was still apprehensive. But significantly less so!

So! grab your husband, wife, fiance, partner or body pillow. pour youself a nice tipple and settle in to over 2 hours of a couple of chum knuckles gabbing on about one of the greatest shark movies ever made!

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!!!

Celia (1989)

I dont really have a tremendous amount to say about this movie. Thats not me skimping out on juicy gossip about my “Amazing” history with this film. Rather; everything I really had to say about this movie is in the review and my opinions on it (at the time of writing this at least) havent changed a dot.

I originally got this in a haul of tapes, I thought it looked good and originally I intended to cover it back in Season Six But for time constraints I just couldnt fit it in. and Honestly? having finally watched it…Im kind of glad it didnt go in that season. I think It would have put me in a foul mood for the rest of the writing season to be honest…This was another one of the last scripts that I worked on (I believe this was 3rd to last…with the final one being the last episodes of this season) and I spent a good chunk of the credits swearing and pacing up and down because I couldnt quite believe what I’d just sat through.

As a Drama it’s middling and not really worth your time. As a Horror it’s downright awful. Dont bother with this movie. Next week…well; we get to have a LOT of fun 🙂

(All the posters for this movie are either SUUUUUUPER misleading or way too arty for what this film actually is…)

The Warriors (1979)

So! We return to the “Drive in double features” next week, but in between we have ourselves a brief intermission. I was definitely a latecomer to “The Warriors” considering most people i’ve spoken too seemingly grew up with it, it was only in 2019 that I finally sat myself down and gave the theatrical cut of this a spin. And I more or less fell in love with it. While the “Directors Cut” is definitely a significant step down in my opinion, The Theatrical cut is a version I’ll happily sit through again and again, and the fact I do have the option to own this digitally in the correct cut is at least some concillation from the fact that I cant own it physically (Without great expense).

This was the first review I wrote for this season WAAAAAY back in early October 2019. it was going to be the season opener right up until the second to last minute when I decided “Hercules 1983” definitely had more pull as a solid opener. it then quickly slipped from episode 1, to 5, to 10. I always feel the further into the production I get writing wise the stronger the episodes come out, but I also feel that it’s very distinctly a bit of a bell curve, with my early works being a bit scattershot, the stuff in the middle being my best pieces and the stuff towards the end feeling a touch rushed as I race to the finish line. So while im not saying this is a shit review for this movie, I do feel in hindsight I could have maybe been a touch more concise…but then; Im my own worst critic at times. we live and learn, and thats the important thing.

So; here it is! “The Warriors”, if you only read this brief lead in and nothing more. All I can say to you is, go watch “The Warriors”. it’s a campy, solid little picture that when taken at just the right headspace will probably become a firm favourite!

(Modern iterations of this poster lose the white border and just have the films logo in red at the top of the artwork…I personally find that version much more palletable. This versions the origianl though and it was so high res I simply couldnt say no!)

Mad Cows (1999)

It’s been a very long time since I covered a british comedy….in fact if memory serves the last one I covered would have been waaaaay back in Season 4 When I took a look at “Whoops Apocalypse” Reviewing comedies isnt quite as rewarding as the other types of films I talk about on here…for one thing if they’re bad comedies they can be incredibly painful to sit through in a totally unenjoyable way and in another being a rather passionate comedy fan. if I want to invest some of my time into talking about comedy, I want to make sure im covering something I’ll want to remember.

Mad Cows is not one of those movies…its not even close to being one of those movies. As mentioned I first heard about this film via Cook’d and Bomb’d a message board that specialises in comedy. This was listed by one of there users as one of the worst british comedies ever made. I still dont think its THAT bad…but my god…give this one a swerve if you can.

It’s not fundamentally awful it’s just the fact its so border irritating. Anyway; I’ve said my piece. i’ll let the review do the death blow.

(This isnt an official poster…the official poster was too 90’s…it said nothing about the film and looked garish…I Mean; this poster doesnt really say anything about the film either…but it’s closer than the official one…)

Slade In: “Flame” (1975)

It was Iain Lee who first introduced me to “Slade In: ‘Flame’ ” via his radio show a few years ago. If memory serves he dedicated nearly an hour of one of his shows to Slade, the band and this film in particular. mentioning that it was one of the best films he’d ever seen. So naturally I immediately went to look for a copy, at which point my testicles retracted into my pelvis as I saw the price was way more than I could ever afford.

I was incredibly lucky last year to score this film for a tenner. when; at the time prices were between 75 and 200 pounds for a copy. Since making this review the price has drastically decreased…it’s still a bit pricy for a nearly 10 year old DVD (Between 15 and 25 pounds at the time of writing) but if you like what you see in this review, I say go and grab it. it’s a really nice little movie…I’d maybe stop short of saying it’s essential. But Im happy that I have a copy and if nothing else it introduced me to the world of “Slade” which; well, other than that christmas song. there wasnt really a whole lotta Slade going on in my life.

I would genuinely like to see what a Bluray scan of this film would surface…it’d also be nice to have a proper “Making of” for this one, as while the hour long interview with Noddy Holder present on the disc is MORE than welcome…it’s only really one side of the story and it’d be nice to hear about the whole bands experiences (Or even the writers and directors thoughts…assuming they arnt suffering from a case of fatal death)

A great little film. genuinely. and one I’ll probably end up digging out again sooner rather than later.

 

(This poster is WAY too busy…but the DVD art is WAY too minimalist…it’s all or nothing with Slade…this was the learning curve I’ve been on.)

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 Åhlin 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)

Emmanuelle (1974)

It’s been ages since I’ve covered an “Adult” film on here…I think in part it’s because reviewing erotic cinema can be a bit of a challenge. The line can be so fine between erotic cinema and just flat out porn that it can be really quite debatable as to whether im making an accurate critical assessment of it. Well that and Youtube has a barmy everytime so much as a nipple flies past the screen (This weeks review has been age restricted out of common decency)

There are several erotic films that I personally hold in very high regard that others consider really quite tacky or just porn. I mention in the video that im a massive Tinto Brass fan. but whereas most critics site his earlier works (Movies such as: The Howl, Salon Kitty or The Key) as prime examples of explorations of relationships and eroticism I personally much prefer his output in the 90’s which is much more bubblegum but with a distinct tinge of nastiness behind it. Not malice for the acts. but malice from misunderstood characters who slowly over the course of the films either learn better and become accepting of the situations in this film. Or get punished for continuing to not accept the scenarios. Movies like “All Ladies Do it“, “Cheeky” and “P.O Box Tinto Brass” are all quite comic in places but equally do have some slightly uncomfortable moments within them that make them challenging and engaging movies.

Emmanuelle was a film that very much put me in mind of Tinto Brass. it kind of feels like the missing link between his more serious 80’s art films and his more “Puff piece” light hearted 90’s films. I really genuinely quite enjoyed this one. the ending was deeply unplesent and the mysoginy sprinkled throughout I could quite happily do without but sans those elements this is quite a reasonable exploration of sexuality. I really do want to get my hands on the sequel just to see what the series did next and I really hope they didnt just go “Full porn” too quickly. Having seen the Emmanuelle TV series (both “2000” and “In Space”) I can confirm that at least by the 1990’s it had gone full softcore porn…Dont get me wrong there were some interesting ideas in there from a science fiction perspective…but a few interesting ideas sprinkled into porn is still porn ultimately. Honestly? I’d be interested in finding this films tipping point. though I feel it may be a while before I get my hands on another one of these.

https://www.breach.tv/embed/de94a383cd258cea331b

[Due to several copyright takedowns by the melts over at “Studiocanal” this episode is now being hosted uncut on Breach.tv – Please click the above link!]

(There are 3-4 posters for this film, but they’re all either in terrible quality or explicit. This one was the only one I could find that was neither of these things…and even then I had to crop it…It’s not my favourite poster i’ve seen though…)