Well! It’s the end of the line! and we crash out in a ball of flames so spectacular that it damn near made J.R quit the industry all together and led to several actors never working again. HUZZAH!
Seriously; this films an absolute train wreck, no ifs or buts about it. it’s a FUN movie. dont get me wrong I enjoyed the absolute crap out of the sheer BALLS of this production. But i’d be lying if I said that it was a desperatly flawed production that literally could have been so much more. Having watched the table read for the script that ultimately got thrown out for this film. I’d be lying if I said I didnt want to see that version moreso than this one. But…im glad we at least got the opportunity to see what might have been via the wonderful work that J.R and Makeflix have done to bring this set to life.
It’s miraculous that that this film exists quite honestly given EVERYTHING that went on behind the scenes and given the amount of stress that was ultimately put on J.R I totally understand why he stepped back from directing for a time after this. but being able to see it years later. while it IS bad, no doubt about it. I can at least appreciate it for what it stands for. this was a film that was made from nothing. it’s goofy, cheesy and those title cards and credits will be the death of me. but it got MADE. J.R got it over the line and it got into Video stores. thats amazing. so I hope despite my negative criticism of the film in the review below. that you still at least keep that in mind.
Since these reviews went live Makeflix have also announced that all of these movies in the SOV six pack will be recieving solo releases in the near future. while I dont have an exact ETA, my advice has always and will continue to always be. Keep an eye on Makeflix. they’ve got some great stuff in the pipeline.
Now this. This charts the point where I feel that J.R and what was left of the cast and crew realised the SOV six pack project was well and truely on a hiding to nothing. Not only did the budget get DRASTICALLY cut to a little under $1250 PER PROJECT. but it was still the middle of a freezing Ohio winter and deadlines for these projects were rolling closer and closer.
Its understandable after the work on Chick Boxer and Maximum Impact pretty much lost J.R most of his crew, a chunk of his cast and at least a writer or two that the cart was now pulling the horse and not the other way around. I dont doubt J.R’s proficiency as a director one bit. These films would have never seen the light of day if he wasnt short of legendary in the directors seat. But it’s clear to see at this point that the project was running away with itself and things were starting to reach a head.
I mention in my review that I had a similar experience to J.R when it comes to this movie as I to made the stupid STUPID mistake to go and make a movie outdoors with a skeleton crew in the middle of a freezing winter for about a week with minimal to no supplies, and honestly the stress and the weather damn near drove us all away from ever doing anything film releated ever again. So I can only IMAGINE what J.R was dealing with when not only was he dealing with that level of craptitude but that he also had Home Cinema Video breathing down his neck to deliver a finished product. I mean, I can only compare his experience to mine, and I at least had the relief of not having to work to deadlines.
Anyway; Galaxy of the Dinosaurs is a cheap but cheerful affair. it really did give me “Red Dwarf” vibes based on the script, and I think this movie may actually be my favourite script purely from a tone and dialogue standpoint out of any of the movies featured in the six pack.
Given that Maximum impact was recorded in the same block as Chick Boxer its not surprising to hear that the film suffered similar issues to Chick Boxer. now it’s not a technical disaster like Chick Boxer is, but it DOES suffer from the issue of it being recorded around christmas time. So even though the “Professional” film makers had all piled into this project to get the job done. they were still having to deal with the uphill battle of having to contend attention wise with chirstmas and everything that came with it.
That not only mean dealing with actors who were too busy shopping to remember their lines, but they also had to deal with crew who had the same issue and plummeting tempratures across the board. it really was a terrible time to decide to make 2 movies back to back. But…these guys did it. It means that, no matter how bland or just…not quite there this film is. they still managed to power through and deliver an end product thats actually not that bad. looking back on the set i’d say that Chick Boxer was the definite low point of the set in terms of production quality. but if we plotted a graph it would show a “V” shape almost. and Maximum impact would be on the other side of that sharp dip. the films that came after this. in their own way are entertaining (if not technically lacking) but this movie? I can at least applaud it that its TRYING to be good. J.R and crew hadnt thrown in the towel, they wanted to make this work and despite its GLARING flaws. I think I have to applaud a film that tries over one that doesnt every time.
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.
And so we’ve arrived at the end of another season of TYTD Reviews. and ironically one of the first scripts I planned for the series WAAAAAY back in October 2020 ended up being the closer on this season nearly 9 months later.
I was first put on the case of the Wakaliwood scene during the summer of 2020 when a discord I frequent mentioned it as being something that’d really be my kind of happening. So; when the black friday sales came up for Vinegar Syndrome and AGFA I picked up their frankly next level package of “Who Killed Captain Alex” and “Bad Black” and it proceeded to totally blow me away.
I knew then and there that I wanted to cover one (or both) of these movies in the next season of reviews. The original plan was to review “Who Killed Captain Alex?” and then follow it up with a “Comedy Dining Experience” commentary for “Bad Black” but due to scheduling, planning issues and other boring things that always get in the way of a good time, we couldnt make it align up. which is a shame. I still plan to do SOMETHING with “Bad Black” I just dont really know exactly what just yet.
But yeh; Here’s the last review before our summer break. we’ll be dropping comedy dining experiences throughout July and August and there may still be one more surprise in store before we start on Season 10. all I’ll say for now is I hope you all have a happy and safe summer. and we’ll see you back for the next full season in August.
Finally! the middle classes answer to “Driller Killer” in all it’s mundane dullness. I feel like such a stooge in hindsight after releasing this review. A little context (And a mild spoiler about whats coming up on this channel in future months.) I hadnt seen “Driller Killer” before reviewing this movie. and, for all intents and purposes I hadnt really planned to watch it for a while because the majority of people i’d spoken to about it told me that Driller killer was a bit boring and the kind of movie that you’d only watch once and move on.
Anyway; decided for the upcoming 10th season of my reviews that I was going to watch “Driller Killer” to get it over and done with. and apart from the fact that I really enjoyed it WAY more than the people who told me it was rubbish made out. I was mortified to discover that “Driller Killer” appears to more or less be the groundwork for this movie. as in; the themes, narrative and a decent chunk of the plot seem to more or less be copy/pasted from “Driller Killer” into “Living nightmare” the only significant difference is whereas “Living Nightmare” follows a bunch of middle class yuppies as they deal with the day to day issues of owning an apartment the size of a bowling ally. “Driller Killer” aims more to cover people in poverty and on skid row.
In fact; the only significant difference other than the class in this film and Driller is that in this film the madness is put more down to ghosts/the paranormal, whereas in driller killer the madness is based on the circumstancial rot that poverty induces. other than that they follow eerily similar beats, and I really wish i’d known that going into this one.
As it stands I wrote this review back in Jan/Feb of 2021 and then didnt see Driller killer until June 2021 at least a week or two after this review dropped, it took me till about 50 minutes into Driller to very quickly realise i’d totally missed a trick with this review.
So. to clarify, not only is this film generally rubbish and not worth watching, it’s also a little bit theivey and you should go and watch “Driller Killer” if you want a similar experience thats actually much much better than this film.
I was genuinely caught off guard by just how good “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” was and is. I know thats a bit of a crap opener to a review. But it’s hard for me really to put into words at just how blown away I was by my first watch of this movie. it totally caught me off guard.
It was almost a perfect storm of emotion and circumstance that led to me being totally overwhelmed by this film. I watched this for the first time in December of 2020, after almost a year of COVID-19, isolation and detatchment from my family. My partner, who’s health continues to be an up and down issue was more or less rendered totally socially isolated for 3 months which had serious effects on her health and by December of 2020 she was very much in a low period of good health.
So after 12 months of utter world changing circumstances, where so many people had needlessly died and so much stress had been put on society at large. Watching this film at around 2am one eerily quiet night, alone. was simply too much.
Im not ashamed to admit I was openly weeping by the end of this film. by the final scene of the 3rd act I had become so invested in these characters that the ending hit HARD. and I completely lost it for the rest of the night. I immediately contacted some of my closest friends and family to check in on them, had some very lengthy and quite deep chats and after picking up the soundtrack for this film (which, in itself is amazing) I went to bed a changed person.
I’ve never quite been the same since, the film moved me in ways that other films seldom ever have. so I consider this a very VERY special work. I cant guarentee you’ll feel the film in the same way I did. but I can tell you that this film will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
So; Here’s a bit of a cards on the table “Confessions” moment. a decent chunk of this season is VHS based; and the main reason for that decision is because while I was doing the writing and planning for this season I was also unpacking all my belongings into my recently refurbished room (I started writing scripts for this season in October last year) so while I was putting everything back it gave me a bit of chance to try and have a clearout and of all the formats in my collection, VHS is the most bulky and the the hardest to properly store.
So; I kinda sorta used this season to do some spring cleaning on my collection so I could thin out tapes I thought I might not keep based on the title and box art. and honestly? it’s been quite effective for most of the choices this season. a lot of what i’ve watched has either ended up being gifted on to others or found its way to refuse. but this movie? this movie right here? I was genuinely surprised at how entertaining it was. As I say in the review it really does have a lot going for it.
I initially chose it because I had 3 of the 4 films in this franchise on VHS and I figured if I did one of these a season it’d probably be a good way to get rid of 3 “Meathead” tapes from collection pretty easily. But instead the opposites ended up happening. I genuinely cant wait to watch the second one of these later in the year and I’ve been keeping my eye on a bluray collection of these movies now since I saw this one. Im hoping the sequels are as entertaining (if not as good) as this first one because if they are. I literally have no hesitation on upgrading all these to bluray quality and having the set as soon as possible.
Genuinely entertaining, fun and Eric Roberts is frankly astonishingly good in this. if you dont have the 20(ish) minutes needed to get through my full review and just want a quick caption. BUY THIS MOVIE NOW!
One for the “Yikes” pile, this movie even now is just…leaves me with this sense of cringing discomfort. it’s one thing to make a drama about a 35 year old teenager trying to blow up a school and killing off the students. it’s another when your sympathetic to the killer. and this film really does genuinely try to rationalise that; had our main character not gotten TOO into murdering his peers. the school probably would have been better for it.
I know theres themes around corruption present and the idea that just removing the figureheads of corruption from a system without properly planning for the transition of power, merely creates a vaccume from which even worse corruption can spring forth. I get it. but I just find it incredibly problematic that the film at no point takes the time to point out that the main character in this movie (the one doing the killing) is wrong to have even done it in the first place. instead it really just leaves the viewer with the feeling that, had David just planned better for the aftermath, the murders would have been entirely justified.
This was one of the first scripts where I actually had to cut a section of the script out in post. I had initially recorded a section in the opening of my review where I took a bit of a deep dive into school shooting statistics with the aim of trying to figure out exactly why someone in 1976 would think that this movie was in ANY way a good idea. and my initial research revealed that basically the same amount of school shootings occured between the 1920’s and mid 1970’s as occured between 1998 and 2004. I therefore came to the conclusion that the reason why this film got made was simply a case that…well; not a lot of these really happened all that often, so my guess was that the producers thought they’d be safe covering this topic in this way as (at the time) it would have been about as common as a General election and probably would have been viewed by the public as one of those “It could never really happen to me” moments.
Unfortunately; just as I was working on the edit for this episode, a school shooting happened. and I re-reviewed my data and found a TON of scope for incorrect data and missed avaneus of exploration ranging from School massacres being listed seperately from school shootings in terms of collated data. issues with classifying what actually COUNTED as a school shooting and what was classed as a School massacre or just a targeted attack. issues with what qualified as a school attack (if people get attacked en mass just outside the school grounds. does it still count as a school attack?) and even variations on the attacks themselves. such as; what if it was a teacher that committed the attack rather than a student, what if it’s an entire SCHOOL that goes to attack another school? does that count as one incident or hundreds of smaller ones? and in one bizarre case from the 1920’s if a student accidentally kills another student with a hoe on school grounds, but then kills another student to stop them covering up the first murder. is that a massacre? or just a super awful story?
In essence. what I wanted to say was “Because of how few attacks happened between 1925 and 1975 the producers probably felt comfortable presenting the film this way” but honestly? after seeing all the variables I missed out. the datas a hot mess and I honestly dont know anymore. all I do know is they definitely could have handled this film more tactfully…that being said; I guess your more likely to get butts on seats with controversy and shock than you are with just being a clean cut drama.
Anyway; this movie hasnt aged well, but there are a couple of okay points with it. so maybe check out my review and decide for yourself 🙂
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.
OH! and because this films SO underrepresented online. heres the box art scanned in HD. because bloody hell there really is nothing out there.