“The Monster Club” (1981) Comedy Dining Experience

Well Halloween may have been and gone, but that doenst mean I cant bring this little slice of horror to the table! and WHAT a recording this was. we ended up talking for almost an hour before we even hit record and almost as soon as the credits had finished I was immediately dragged out of the house to move a sofa. Total. CHAOS. and it turned into one of my favourite recordings.

Special thanks to Triv of Trivial Theater for joining us on this months recording. if you enjoyed her presence you can find WAY more of her stuff by clicking here.

Theatre of Blood (1973)

Perfection. thats all there is to it, I consider this to be one of my (if not my) favourite horror film ever made. I have nothing more to add to that other than. this halloween, go and watch “Theatre of Blood” total. underrated. CLASSIC.

The original 2 posters for this film I dont really feel are all that representative of the films contents, that and they just, wern’t that visually appealing. in fact the original Landscape poster for “Theatre of Blood” is downright ugly in my opinion. But the version seen above was made up by Arrow Video for their Bluray release and not only do I love the minimalist take, I feel it much MUCH better represents the film. Its still not quite as good as it should be for a movie of this quality. but it’s easily the best so far.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Well! we’re in full motion on this whole “Month of Vincent Price” Malarkey and with only one more movie to go we arrive at the ever incorrigible “Abominable Dr. Phibes” a film that get so SO close to being my all time favourite Vincent Price film. I mean; it pretty much has everything. weird and over the top deaths, Price getting a real scenery chewing and somewhat cmapy role decent visual effects and an aesthetic thats quite literally timeless. I really REALLY like Phibes. but it’s just…not quite perfect for me.

I feel like a lot of this film gets bogged down in the policing segments, which feel a little too close to cop TV shows in the UK from the 1960’s. While it has all this weird and zany good stuff going on, I do feel in places it is missing that “Oomph” y’know? that zeal. that fire that takes a movie from just being really good to something that stands head and shoulders above it’s peers. is this film Iconic? absolutely, how do you forget a film featuring a killer frog mask, a clockwork orchestra and Anton Phibes himself!? but is it the best Vincent Price film? to me? no. it’s up there. but I think i’d prefer “The Tingler” and of course…theres our final film in this series to cover. which undoubtedly very much IS my all time favourite Vincent Price film.

As an aside, I havent seen “Phibes Rises Again” partly because, I want to save some new Price for days to come. I know right now, if I wanted to, I could freebase ALL of Vincents work over a weekend. but then; what would I have to look forward to in future? So…for now it sits on my shelf sealed and ready to be spun when I need a pick me up that only our Vincent could provide.

THIS. is an iconic poster. and I only just realised when writing this page that if you look at the outline of the profile of Phibes and his wife on this poster. it’s a love heart. Excellent poster design despite what I said about “House of Wax”

The Tingler (1959)

As we continue on with our look at the life and times of Vincent Price we arrive at this…MASTERPIECE. of cinema. Im not kidding when I say “The Tingler” is probably one of my favourite films thats widely classed as a “B-movie” I personally dont really consider it as such, as a “B-movie” somehow instills the sense that the quality is somehow lesser than an “A-movie” and watching “The Tingler” and contrasting it against GENUINE “B-movies” of the time it’s easy to see that this thing is FAR more advanced than a B-movie. this isnt “Robot Monster” level trash, this isnt “The Mad Monster” level Schlock. Is it campy? absolutley. but it’s directed more than amicably and the cine throughout is decent with some nice ideas that are well implemented.

And while some of the practical effects ultimately do let this one down a little bit, its not bad enough that I could penalise this picture. it’s just a damn fun, slightly silly, quite well made Columbia picture that I feel gets lumped in with a bad crowd. So what I’ll say here is, if you’ve never seen “The Tingler”, go and watch “The Tingler”. I think it’s arguably William Castles best movie, and probably my 2nd ever favourite Vincent Price role.

I really wish that this thing would get a re-release in cinemas with percepto in tact. what I wouldnt give for a night of Castle films with the gimmicks put back in…but still, one day my dream may come true. for now though, “The Tingler!” a film that, not too long ago got a VERY nice bluray restoration and is currently available on Google TV and Amazon Prime. if your looking for a halloween movie to rock your world this year. you my friends have found it.

House of Wax (1953)

So this halloween marks my 5th anniversairy of doing halloween specials and literally ever since my 2nd set of reviews i’ve REALLY wanted to cover the films of Vincent Price. BUT! I decided it was probably best to save such a series to films to cover until a milestone, something to help really push the boat out and celebrate with. and so! we’re here! and kicking things off we have 1953’s “House of Wax” which is a more than exemplary watch that more and more people seem to be finding each year.

I really enjoyed this one and equally I do have a bit of a soft spot for the remake which, while not having the “class” and attention to detail that this movie has, is enjoyable in a grindhouse and exploitationey way. they’re very different films, but I enjoy them both in spite of their diversity.

Of course, with it being such a big special occasion I realised I couldnt do this one alone! and so I drafted in help from my good buddy Chris over at Channel 83 to help me really give this film the love it deserves! and I highly recommend checking Chris’s work out! you can get to his site here and im sure you’ll find plenty to love 🙂

Anyway! pop a black cat on your shoulder, eat a pumpkin and strap yourself in for the start of our month on Vincent Price!

I love the artwork, but i’ve never been too big of a fan of those kinds of posters where it’s just the artwork plonked on a white poster. I just feel like so much more could have been done really. the art looks amazing though.

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.

The “Hocus Pocus” (1993) Comedy Dining Experience

Happy Halloween everyone! Yes it’s late, Yes it’s nearly December. but goddamnit I have to catch up on this damn website one way or another…ANYWAY. This was the VERY LAST commentary that Me, Ben and Laura recorded together before Covid hit the UK in such a way that a full scale national lockdown was called. In fact this is a rather special recording in the sense that it was done literally the night before I was told I would be working from home for the foreseeable and only 4 days before the national lockdown was called. We spent the evening together, ate pizza, hung out, drank and laughed our asses through what was probably the last group get together we’re likely to have this year and for the forseeable.

While their are more commentaries on the way its been a bit of a trial and error process to get them done, in the interim we trialled doing these remotely with mixed results due to lack of hardware. one episode worked fine, one episode had problems and one was unusable. Between you and me, when the restrictions were at their lowest and we were allowed to meet indoors in groups of 6 or less Ben was also able to pop round to get 3 more recordings done with me which should take us up to February at least. But as a way of safeproofing the show going forward, just before the 2nd lock down kicked in 3 days ago (Thursday the 5th of November) I managed to secure a 2nd hand laptop that with a bit of TLC and some part replacements is now running better than my own work laptop and Bens now hooked up and *Touch wood* should be able to record remotely MUCH MUCH more smoothly than before.

We’ll know the answer in a couple of days when we do a full audio test. but for now. thats the basket we’re putting all our eggs into as it’s looking unlikely we’re going to be able to meet up again until early next year at the soonest.

Anyway; I’ve gone a bit too much! here’s Hocus Pocus! we had a real blast doing this one, and we spend the majority of it talking about our old halloweens. which was really nice.

The Poster for this movies brilliant. but this promo shots most excellent too!

Creepshow (1982)

This ones been a LONG time coming. nearly 3 years in the making (I’ve wanted to do this since Season 3!) Collaboration is something I enjoy, while it’s nice to have the goals and dealines flexiable and fluid while working alone, theres something of a thrill of getting together with a person or two and hammering out something that feels like a more well rounded criticism. in the past I’ve worked with 1 or 2 people who have all been absolutely delightful. but I often wondered how far I could take working with groups of people. and Creepshow being a port mantau seemed like the perfect opportunity to try and set the high bar.

So I scoured the internet for a year or so and found 6 critics who I felt could really genuinely do this film justice. and they’ve all been absolute SAINTS in helping me pull this together, each and every one of them bought something new and interesting to the table and each and every one of them im very proud to have had the honour of working with them. while my own contributions pale in comparison to theirs, I thought it best to step back a bit to let the review really breath.

I initially wanted to make this review feel a bit like a “Special edition” comic book with different contributors all having different styles and bringing their own flavour to the party. I took their contributions and ran it through my usual editing structure and with some heavy inspirations from pop art and the 90’s CITV series “ZZZAP!” it all slowly came together.

Im not going to lie, while my written contributions were a little shorter than normal on this one. the amount of editing this took to bring to the screen was quite intense to say the least. in total the whole project took 4 and a half months to complete from initially pitching to the first contributor (The Crypt keeper) to final export and upload. This was one of the longest single edits I’ve ever had to work on with TONS of motion tracking to animate the Keeper alongside digital moves and other tricks of the trade to help animate some of the more static transitional scenes. it’s easily the edit that’s given me the most sleepless nights and it’s easily the longest single movie film review I’ve released to date!

So I’d once again just like to take the time to thank each and every one of the people who contributed to this special. I really REALLY hope you dig it:

Channel 83 (Fathers Day)

Raymond Smith (The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill)

Video Creep (Something to Tide you Over)

The Best Little Horror House in Philly (The Crate)

Ciara Selene (They’re Creeping up on you)

AND! The Crypt Keeper! played by Brent from the youtube channel Hero’s Horror’s and Cats!:

And if you wanna know how my Halloween went? Well; I was still in lockdown, I inadvertantly ended up with severe dehydration, I ate a sausage roll. drank 2 liters of water and 2 beers and spent the day working up the volition to eat ANY of the £15 worth of sweets I bought in prep for a massive marathon and I ended up eating non of it. The missus wasnt very well in the afternoon and bailed on the evening by 8pm and My playlist was as follows:

Garfields Halloween Adventure

Freaks

Young Frankenstein

I Drink your Blood

Happy Death Day

Scream

Paganini Horror

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

I never much cared for this poster. I always personally preferred the comic book style version.

The Halloween That Almost Wasnt (The Night Dracula Saved the World) (1979)

So; there was a slight delay in getting this article up and written and the main reason for that is because I’ve spent the last two weeks in isolation. now the merciful thing is there was nothing wrong with me, but im currently staying with my mum and sister as my Dad is classed a vulnerable person (he has COPD) meaning if he caught anything during this pandemic he’d probably be dead. so he’s stopping at my place while I stay with my mum and sister, mainly because we’re all outgoing for elderly and vulnerable people and it makes sense for the people who are going out to stay together.

Anyway 2 weeks ago my sister tested positive for covid having had non of the symptoms associated with it (She had a headache, a blocked nose and a tiny sore throat) so me and mum went to get tested as a precaution and we found out we were negative for it. my partner (who’s not doing to great right now) decided to go and stop at her sisters for a few days to destress and get her life back in order and during the isolation period I asked if I could stay at her house knowing I was clean as I figured it was probably safer for me to do that than isolate in a house with someone who definitely DID have the virus. So! for the last 2 weeks apart from a playstation and my phone I’ve had no access to my setup to be able to write these or record/edit anything. it’s been nice to have a bit of a getaway but in honesty I’d rather not repeat it again as I spent most of the week living off tins and freeze dried food…which has probably not been the best for my health.

Anyway; this is my favourite movie I found during the writing of all of these halloween specials. if I had to choose 1 to watch at halloween it would definitley either be this or “Garfields Halloween Adventure” both are oozing with charm and charisma, both are very entertaining and both have tremendous rewatch value. im super glad I tuned into this one and im hoping the next time Halloween comes round, you do to.

This is a bit of a hodge podge poster, and I Think it’d probably look a lot better in colour.
But I’ll tell you this; I’d LOVE that art as a sticker for my laptop. I think it would look ace.

Garfields Halloween Adventure (1985)

Last year was my first time watching “Garfields Halloween Adventure” it was buried in amongst my most treasured copy of “Eddie Spaghetti’s halloween compilation tapes” and I absolutely fell in love with it pretty much there and then. So I knew this year when it came to taking a bit more of a family friendly look at halloween specials. that my spirit animal would very much have to make an appearence, while it wasnt necissarily in the running initially (In fact; it was the last one I chose to run for halloween this year) im very glad I ultimately chose it, as It really is a wonderful little special that still holds up remarkably well even to this day.

Short and sweet, it’s slowly crawling back out of obscurity and entertaining a new generation. and really? I think that can only be a good thing.

There are many fan made posters out there for this TV special. but for my money, this ones the best!