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.)

The “Bloody New Year” Comedy Dining Experience (1987)

Well! Happy 2020 everybody! to celebrate both myself and my comedy dining “Partner in crime” Ben decided to take a dip into one of the few New years horror films that isnt absolute and total garbage! So here’s a feature length commentary for “Bloody New year” it’s easily the most entertaining movie I saw in 2019!

Black Christmas (1974)

I loved this movie. thats all I have to say really. Dont watch the 2006 “Black Christmas”, dont watch the 2019 “Black Christmas” they’re both a load of bollocks. THIS. This is a damn fine movie. it kickstarted the slash genre in the US, it’s witty, pacey, entertaining  Well written with likeable characters who have complex backstories and interesting plot threads and it’s genuinely eerie in places. it’s well shot, the direction and cine for the time is original and does a lot of things that Hollywood wouldnt jump on for a good 5-10 years thereafter. it’s one of the few films that; when the end credits ran, genuinely gave me chills. I am not easily stirred. Im not easily effected by movies. This film made me feel something. it’s that good.

In fact apart from a couple of poor lighting choices and a couple of tonally out of place characters who are dispatched of rather quickly I think this is genuinely the best christmas horror film I’ve ever seen. thats all I have to say about this. The review below will suck this films dick some more. but yeh. I felt I needed to reiterate exactly how awesome this film is.

Unfortunately if trends continue this year as they have the last couple of years noone will really see this video. it’s an unfortunate side effect of uploading around christmas eve/Christmas day time. Everyones incredibly busy with family, friends and other such business that in the youtube industry I might as well “Dead” my channel from the 20th of December through to February and I probably wouldnt miss any views or subs…bizarrley while traffic is reletively high at this time of year (Due to so many people being off or looking for stuff to watch while the family slowly drive them insane) almost non of it finds it’s way to my channel at this time of year. An example being my Christmas Evil review which after 2 years of being online as of today has only just reached 22 views…which came as a shock to me when I just went to look it up because up until September this year it only had 11 views…so I guess search traffic is up this time. Another example being my Jack frost review from last year which faired somewhat better (but not by much) as it was uploaded on New years eve and was my last video on my channel for a while.

This isnt to moan about my stats (Hell if I have multiple blogs planned about THAT!) but it’s more to say that if you’ve taken the time to click on this post you’re probably one of an absolute minority. and the fact you’ve taken time out to watch this (especially if it’s at christmas time) genuinely means more to me than any other videos I upload at any other time of year. even if it’s out of season. these videos never get much attention. So I really want to personally thank you for taking the time to watch this. I like to think that even if only 5 people watch this video over the christms period. That if I can make those 5 peoples days that little bit more interesting or just stop them being driven mad my relatives. even if it’s just by telling them about a film they’ve just GOT to see. I’ve served my purpose as a critic.

Go watch Black Christmas. It’s really good.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year from all of us here at TYTD Towers. We’ll be back with a new season in February/March time. and in the mean time. Make 2019 count.

– Dan

 

(This poster…this fucking poster. Fuck. grim m8.)

Bloody New Year (1987)

This was probably my favourite older “Find” of 2019 I realise it wont be for everyone taste wise but it’s mixture of Campy horror, faux 50’s rock soundtrack and the genuine feeling that Norman J. Warren enjoyed his time making this. Really shines through with Bloody New Year.

We’ve done a full length commentary of this movie landing this new years. and I was shocked that my partner in crime Ben wasnt as enthralled with it as I was. he found it funny but he said it was more irritating than anything else…Which while not shocking did surprise me a little bit.

Either way. Here’s Bloody New Year…A film that apparently only looks worse over time.

 

(This VHS cover is so badass…all the other promotional material generated for this movie never really manages to land the campier absurdities this film offers…this VHS cover to me is the closest it’s ever come.)

XTRO (1982)

It’s Red Letter Media who should really get the thanks for properly introducing me to XTRO honestly…I had seen clips from this film before but I didnt really get a chance to properly understand the context of those clips until Mike, Jay and co properly broke this film down. It was after watching there overview of this movie that I knew I had to see it for myself.

And I really wasnt dissapointed…this films a real oddity. and it’s genuinely one of the hardest films I’ve had to catgorize for my channel really…I still have doubts about whether it should have been a “Red Triangle” episode or not…but I just dont think the films smart enough or tonally in line enough to be an out and out arty horror film…it’s just kind of…On the level. Which is fine! dont get me wrong if your looking for a movie to watch I DEFINITELY recommend you go and check this one out. But if you’ve had any prior exposure to this one beforehand. do lower your expectations. You may have it in your head that this films going to brilliant. It is enjoyable…but it’s not earth shattering. Your not looking at a top tier cult classic here…it’s definitely cult. but I think it’s got a bit more time to go on it yet before I can personally call it an out and out “Classic”

Enjoyable. This films enjoyable. I’ll probably watch it again. I still really want to get my hands on the Bluray for it at some point. but for now there are other pictures to be cracking on with. And im not in a major hurry to revisit this one.

I’ll repeat here what I said in my review (And im going to “Caps” it to be annoying) IF YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH THIS MOVIE, GO AND BUY THE BLURAY!. I really cant stress that point enough…this film looked fine on tape. But on Bluray I imagine its infinitely much more enjoyable!

(There are a couple of posters floating around for this one…neither of them really capture the true essence of XTRO though…I do realise that is a big ask.)

The “Manhatten Baby” Comedy Dining Experience (1982)

Back again just before the years out! Dan and Ben decide to take on a Fulci movie! but not just any fulci movie! arguably one of the strangest and biggest knock-off fulci movies there ever was! 1982’s Manhatten baby is far from a classic but it certainly gave us a run for our money (As you’ll no doubt see!)

(The poster makes this film look a hell of a lot better than it actually is)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

So just a quick post here; I was very graciously invited to take part in a collaboration with the team over at the “Inside the Nutshell” youtube channel. They’re a really good bunch of people and I was more than happy to take part! (They’ve also helped me with my review of the 1981 equal to this movie “Shock Treatment”) so be sure to check this one out!

You can check out their youtube channel here! and I highly recommend you do as they have some great stuff on their and some even more goodness to come! đŸ™‚

 

(Loving the Thumbnail btw guys!)

Vamp (1986)

Well! that’s it! Halloween 2019 done and dusted! and here we find the final part of our month on Vampire movies! I had a lot of trouble choosing which 80’s movie was “SO” definitively 80’s and a vampire movie…I could have done “Fright night” but I’ve only ever seen it twice and both times I watched it I got so absolutely fed up and bored of it that I couldnt bare to both sit through it again, nor end a plesent month on vampires with a film I was going to slag off (I will talk about it in the future though…dont worry about that!)

The Lost Boys was the other strong contender for this one but I felt it was too late 80’s for this kind of thing…it’s a good film (Of what i’ve seen of it) but it missed to many crucial elements of the early 80’s to make it an all incompassing feature. “Vamp” by contrast is 80’s to it’s marrow. it has the dark and brooding styalisation that would come to plague the late 80’s but it also has the charming and heavily art driven style that the early 80’s neuwave brought to the scene…add to that that it’s painfully self aware and a bit of a screwball comedy at times and I truely think this is probably the best all encapsulation of an 80’s vampire movie…it pleases neither side of the 80’s movie experience but it covers both.

I enjoyed this movie…and I really hope you guys do too! Happy halloween! and till next year! Unpleasent dreams đŸ˜‰

 

(There are tons of variations of the “Lips” Vamp poster…but I think this one kind of covers everything you need to know about the movie…)

Phantasm (1979)

So we kind of need to step sideways in order to move forward here with Vampire month this halloween. While it could be argued that cinema in general was shifting towards the late 70’s to the 80’s film format that made massive successes of movies like “E.T”, “The Goonies” and “The Lost Boys” it wasnt without seismic shifts within the industry and within specific genres.

I chose to talk about “Phantasm” as part of Vampire month because the Symbolism is there, the attitude is there, the “Vibe” (For lack of a better word) is there. it isnt a vampire movie. and yet it somehow has the ora of one. I really REALLY liked this movie. it was a fun and interesting side avanue into the Horror genre. At some point I will look at the sequels (Though by all accounts this series is a bit like the “Hellraiser” movies…in the sense that the less you know about the universe the better the movies are…

Who knows when that’ll be mind!? my “To Watch” pile is frankly absurd these days…all I know is: Go watch Phantasm…right now.

(Seriously underwhelming poster for this one sadly…Theres so much they could have done with the themes and look this film has…and they settled on “Throw fucking everything on the poster…the more it looks like sick, the more people will want to see it!” Dissapointed.)

Count Yorga Vampire (1970)

Picking vampire films reflective of their era has been a really difficult challenge when it’s come to this series. if it wasnt for the lack of interesting or developmental ones (See the 1940’s and a good chunk of the 1950’s) then there was just too many of them (See the 1980’s and 90’s).

The 70’s was a great time of change for Vampire movies and I felt, rather than just picking a generic “Middle of the road” film that was reflective of the decade as a whole instead I’d go for what was effectively the movie that began to modernise the Vampire mythos beyond the “Dracula”/”Nosforatu” formula.

I’d never seen Count Yorga before watching it for this review, and while I concede that there are a lot of the architypical elements present here that are well known the modernising elements are very welcome and really shunt the focus of what we’re supposed to be scared of away from the vampire on the whole and more towards the weirdness the Vampire itself can create.

Yorga isnt the best Vampire movie of the 70’s but most modern vampire movies have a lot to thank it for. Without it who knows how these movies would have progressed. I personally am looking forward to watching and reviewing the sequel at some point in the future (It’ll be a while mind…Im burnt out on Vampires at this point) but if the first film was anything to go by; the 2nd one should only be better still!

 

(The poster is very misleading…nothing like that happens in this film and it’s actually quite subdued)