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.
Its amazing really how the memory can cheat when it comes to things from your childhood, I mention in this review that this was one of my first exposures to pornographic material and honestly; when I think back to my memory of seeing this movie nearly 25 years ago now, I remember it being almost as strong as most of the hardcore flicks that now plague the net.
despite not really knowing/understanding what was going on at the time, the tameness of this film 25 years on actually transformed what I remembered as a pretty gritty and erotically charged picture into something laughable. I go into more detail in my actual review. But while I cant really “technically” fault the film. the fact that it sets up SO much promise and delivers on literally almost non of it is frankly insane.
I mean…with the best will in the world, most erotic softcore films at LEAST have the decency to show a little T&A. this film (if memory serves) has one or two blink and you’ll miss it shots of ass, and an sound barrier smashingly brief glimpse of some boobs. Its at this point I feel the need to remind you dear reader. that this is a film about a demon who shags people to death…
As a closing note, I recently managed to uncover the title of another softcore flick I saw a clip from back when I was younger. my entire memory of the film was a scene of a woman being screwed through a partition in a wall with the intent on getting pregnant by the mysterious sperm doner. after that image sat in my head for decades AND with a variety of film buffs being asked about the scene (which I described in vivid detail, to which they had no clue), last year I finally put it to rest. I had in fact seen a clip from the 1999 art house porn film “Romance” which…is probably not a film that a small child should have been watching. but; these are life lessons I guess…
So! a new seasons upon us once again, and I couldnt think of a better way to kick off the second half of our 5th anniversairy celebrations than by an INCREDIBLY unusual sci-fi horror movie thats almost 95% shot entirely in front of a green screen. Now, you may think that a movie that did something like that would look fairly horrendous, and dear reader you’d not be that far off the truth.
For what we have here is an experiment that, really would pre-date the era of “Green screen shows” by about 10 years. programmes like “24” and “Game of Thrones” have predominantly been shot entirely on green screen sound stages and then digitally constructed in the edit. But “Flight to Hell” was trying this on half the budget and half the space in the early 2000’s I cant say the results are a thumping success. but it’s admirable that such a feat was even attempted. especially given that this type of film making is now realistically the hollywood norm.
the closest I can liken this to is 2007’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!” and I say that, not in a dismissive way, but in a sincere way. It looks like its been purposfully styalised to look ULTRA fake, rather than it actually being a fair attempt to try and do “Big budget” thrills on a low budget…budget.
Its goofy, daft and all kinds of creative. I loved this movie, and I really have to thank PeckingforgoodTV for putting me onto this one, as, without his review of this. I’d have almost certainly never found it. definitely worth checking out.
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.
Triv’s Back! and we’ve decided to take a look at the AGFA’s FABULOUS job in remastering some of the weirdest and wildest Drugs PSA’s from the 50’s through to the 70’s. the sets over 3 hours long, so rather than run ourselves into the ground, we’ve decided to split it into 2 parts, part 2 will be coming towards the end of the year, but for now! dim the lights, grab your munchies and prepare to just say NO!
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.
Well, another year is winding up and once again we’ll be ending things on the channel with a good old fashioned spooky Christmas horror movie. Silent Night Bloody Night surprised me as being, not just a pretty decent christmas horror film, but a border proto slasher that full on predates “Black Christmas” by nearly 2 whole years!
Weirder still it was an early entry in the career of Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman who helped to co-produce the feature. and WEIRDER STILL! given the slice of fried gold that this film is. the fact someone let it slip into the public domain is frankly INSANE to me. this film should be held in WAY higher regard in my opinion…it may be far from perfect. but if it hadnt been for the fact that basically NOONE saw this film when it first came out. it could have easily kickstarted the slasher genre a full 10 years earlier than it did take off.
A great, solid little horror flick. definitely one to watch this festive season, I say go and check out Silent Night Bloody Night. a hidden gem and one of the true hidden slices of horror history!
And…with that we’ve reached the end of the 10th season. it’s been a hell of a ride (there’ll be a “Complete Season” post incoming imminently!) and i’ve loved every minute of it. thank you to everyone who’s helped make this year extra special! the 5th anniversairy celebrations continue on next year with season 11 (currently in production!) and it’s gonna be a big one!
So thank you for dropping by, have the very merriest of christmasses, the very happiest of holidays and the very brightest of new years! and we’ll see you all! in the future! which is where you and I are destined to be!
This was my first experience with a Ken Del Vecchio production. and by GOD i’ve never been so conflicted as to whether I want that experience to happen again. On the one hand, this films SO rediculous but aiming to be sincere that I kind of feel obliged to at least see what on EARTH this guys on about. On the other hand; this was quite possibly one of the worst christmas films i’ve ever seen in my life. it makes “We Wish You a Turtles Christmas” look like “White Christmas”, it makes “Alphas Magical Christmas ” look like “A Christmas Story” it’s about as close to a christmas film as I am to being a millionair playboy (not very…)
Im just…astounded by this thing. and while I dont really have a lot more to say about it than what my review covers. Im even MORE astounded that it hasnt been picked up more intensly. you’d think with a bait title like this, it’d have filmies like myself swarming over it…but at the time of writing, im the only critics review submitted for this on IMDB and ratings remain at a relative low…I kind of want more critics to cover this thing, just so it can be outed as the piece of garbage (in my opinion) that it is.
As i’ve always said, ideally; you DONT want to be featured on my show, because being featured on my show is seldom good news. and MAN if this film doesnt live up to that…
Of all the film I covered this season, probably the film that surprised me the most was “Driller Killer”. Generally when I go into a film with established expectations I usually come away either dissapointed or bitterly angry that a films been missold to me. But “Driller Killer” actually had the opposite effect on me.
After being told by at LEAST half a dozen people that this film was a “Slog”, was “Unremarkable”, was “A one watch film” my expectations were VERY low for this thing. I was expecting 80-90 minutes of unrelenting gore, little to no plot, sub part direction. just a gory trash film designed to shock for the sake of shock.
But what I actually found was quite a nuanced film that, while not shying away from gore, manages it in a very effective way. Using it sparingly and instead preferring to focus on psychodrama and the relationship structure between our core characters. this was actually a pretty decent little drama/thriller and had it had literally ANYTHING ELSE as a VHS cover in 1984, it’d probably have flown completely under the radar and gone unnoticed.
A raw and quite powerful watch. while I think the theatrical cut is about as much of this film as I can stomach. having an extrended cut on the Arrow Bluray is a very nice touch. If your coming to this film for horror, you’ll probably be dissapointed. but if your looking for a drama with bloodier elements I’d say this is actually a pretty solid watch.
These are the kind of movies that makes what I do worthwhile. White Glove Massive is a near perfect example of the kind of hidden gem find that I tend to stumble on once or twice a season that makes up for the many MANY hours I waste watching utter dross.
Obviously I explain why this film is so entertainingly awful in the review itself, and genuinely if it wasnt for the price point i’d probably be sending as many people as I could to amazon to grab this movie. I genuinely think it needs to be seen by more people. but at £20 (currently) just for a bog standard DVD copy with no extra features. thats insultingly high and WILL stop people from picking it up ultimately.
Couple of things I missed in my review that I’d just like to mention here:
*The film has deleted scenes that arnt included on the finished product in any way shape or form. there are at least 2 scenes that are shown in the films online trailer that ARNT featured in the final movie the one that jumped out to me unsurprisingly (being a sexist man bloke) is the shot of a woman taking her coat off outside in front of smiley and flinty to reveal shes wearing nothing underneith. theres also some shots from around the “Garages scene” with Smiley and flinty where Smiley puts a coat on his head that isnt in the final version either. I dont know about you lot. but I for one want to see the FULL uncut version of this movie now. #ReleasetheMASSIVEcut.
*Why did I choose to cover this movie? well. I choose to cover films generally at my own discretion. and my rule of thumb thats guided me so far is that, if the film charges for people to see it. I’ll review it, This is on the understanding that, if the film maker is expecting me to pay to view their product, I should be allowed to review and critique their product to see if it’s worth the price of admission. Because of this, I generally avoid talking about “Free” films, no matter how bad or entertaining they may be. the main reason being because i’d feel like I was punching down, they havent sought my opinion, they’ve just put something out there into the world for free. and because of that I dont feel comfortable taking a film that doesnt owe me anything apart. The ONLY exception I make to this rule is if a film maker contacts me specifically asking if i’ll review their film. At which point I warn them that im not going to give them an easy time, I will be critically honest, and I then ask them to check my content and if they’re happy for me to still talk about their film then I’ll check it out and see if its a good fit.
you’d be amazed how many get less keen on the idea once they know it isnt just going to be a free publicity trip.
Anyway! White glove massive! a film that if it was £10 cheaper I’d be sending you to their amazon page righty now! as it stands. it’s really not worth it! but hay! check out my review to find out why!