Finishing the Complete Twelfth Season (2022)

Season 12 was a season punctuated with several rather big moments for the channel, ones im very proud of. It was the season that helped us ease into monthly streaming, it was the season to feature our longest review (“Sweet Insanity” – Thanks to Peckingforgoodtv for being a good sport on that one!) it featured probably our most mainstream review (I Spit on Your Grave) and our most obscure review (Santa’s Pocket Watch)

It saw the wind down of “The Comedy Dining Experience” and probably our crowning achievement for the year, as not only did we smash through 150k views (for the 2nd time I might add) BUT! we also FINALLY hit 1000 subscribers after over 6 years of weekly uploads. It’s been a hell of a road, but its one im fiercely proud of, and one that I simply couldnt have done without the help of our wonderful viewers and the many friends and creators i’ve made along the way.

Latter in the year seasons (basically the September – December stint) are always a little less fun for me. Don’t get me wrong! they ARE still very fun, otherwise I wouldnt do them the way I do. But with the pressure to do spooky stuff at Halloween and Christmassy stuff at Christmas, it usually means that at least 8-10 of my 16-18 slots for the year are eaten up with a rigidly structured type of arrangement. one of the things I really love about the February – June/July run is the fact that it’s in total free flow. I can plan the season out months in advance, but all it takes is one release to creep into my radar and I can easily swap it into the schedules with no problem. With the September – December run, im not as carefree.

But this year was a little bit different, Being able to collab with so many wonderful people across this season really helped to keep things fresh and keep my interest on the ball. The fact this years halloween special theme was “Poundland Horror” meant I wasnt rigidly stuck to one genre for a full month and could relax into the season quite nicely. and even the christmas specials were perked up somewhat by being able to tackle movies like “Winterbeast” with George. It just made things a lot less dogmatic and more, just for the fun of it. Yes I didnt get to do everything I wanted to do this season, but I got like; 95% of it done, and thats good enough for me!

Of the two seasons that made up 2022, Season 11 was probably the most fun to work on, but Season twelve was almost certainly the most rewarding. The former was the last hurrah to my old system, and the latter was me basically relearning how to do my trade having upgraded all my kit over the summer. and Season 12b (Im not calling it Season 13, theres no way im cursing this thing right out of the gate) is going to be the biggest and longest season we’ve ever done to date! I honestly cant wait for you guys to see it when we premiere on Feb 3rd 2023!

All I can say is, Season 12 was a fun one, and I hope 2023 keeps that postive energy coming!

Santas Pocket Watch (Santas Time Piece) – (1988)

This films a total enigma, I honestly spent more time researching for it than the runtime of the film, the time it took to write the script, edit the script and edit the video for the review. theres literally almost nothing out there. But…this is the danger of what happens when things fall through the cracks. you end up with releases where theres not even a thread that could open up exploratory options. This films a total dead end and it’s a shame because its curmugeonly and charming in equal measures.

Dont get me wrong, it’s nothing amazing. But I feel it captures a warmth that you just dont see in a lot of contemporary christmas movies. So if you can find a copy (its pretty proliferated) and you can find it cheap, i’d say absolutely go for it!

I find it hilarious that the title of this film has next to NOTHING to do with this film.

*Sigh*… Nukie (1987)

…Look, whatever I say at this point is VERY likely to be overshadowed by the frankly ludicrous events that Red Letter Media have comitted in January 2022, auctioning off a sealed copy of Nukie for tens (possibly hundreds by the time the auction closes) of dollars after woodchipping 103 OTHER copies.

While I absolutely found tremendous catharsis in seeing that happen (please feel free to destroy as many copies of ‘Nukie’ as can be collected. At the same time, they absolutley havent helped my case here. The entire point of the below review was to basically say ‘Dont put this film on a pedestal. its actual garbage, its beyond boring, its beyond any form of actual critical note, just leave it and let it fall off the radar and into obscurity’

What they’ve done has now meant that that absolutely cant and wont happen, and that, if anything, it’s much more likely than ever to get some kind of Bluray release. I honestly have no further comment to make about this film than what I say in my below review. I wont be selling my copy of ‘Nukie’ to make a quick buck, nor will I be proliferating the “Oh man! it’s SO bad! YOU GOTTA SEE IT!” myth.

I repeat what I said in my review here; Nukie is an unremakrable film that should be forgotten and isnt worth your time. it’s not worth anything close to a ‘status’ and if you want affirmation that what im saying is correct, look at how much time the RLM guys ACTUALLY spent reviewing this movie. it’s THAT unremarkable.

GOD I hate Nukie.

Finishing the Complete Eleventh Season (2022)

Well! when it came to the 2nd half of our 5th anniversairy celebrations, I decided to try and do a bit of everything. Part of me wanted to cover movies i’d wanted to do for years (“Flight to Hell“, “Cannibal Girls“, “Camp Blood“) Some were movies i’d promised id do in the future, and then totally forgot to do in the future (“The American Ninja 4“, “Cyborg Cop 2“, “Alien Species“) and some were first time watches that arrived on short notice and genuinely caught me off guard (“Gatwick Gangsters“, “Night of the Demon“, “Dont go in the house“). Hell, we even rounded off the TYTD Reviews episodes by revisiting our very FIRST video for the channel “The Dragon Lives Again” hopefully finally doing justice to a film I’ve long admired and wished my review of could have been better.

It was a celebration of the old, and a look forward to the future of the channel. With this series marking a few milestones, it being the last season edited in 1080p,the last season edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, The last to use the branding we’ve been using now since 2020 across all fronts and the last season predominantly recorded on my focusrite condensor mic, a mic thats pretty much been what you’ve heard me through since AT LEAST 2020, which also made a few on and off appearences between 2017 and 2019 too.

What does the new season hold? well as seen in the review for “Dont go in the house” i’ve had a systems and kit upgrade on almost all fronts! including a new machine, a new mic, new lights for the packaging shots, new editing software and some other new tools to help give a bit more variety. As such we have new branding across all our main shows, we’ll be solely uploading in 4k going forward with better quality sound and visuals, faster processing power means it takes less time to export and convert reviews now, and as such it means we’ll be able to *hopefully* turn things around a bit quicker which’ll give me some time back to be able to enjoy a sunset or eat a well prepared meal!

There have also been some changes that are not quite as pleasent to announce, but here we are. After 2 years or so of monthly uploads and over 50 feature length commentaries, “The Comedy Dining Experience” will be swapping back to an irregular upload schedule, as it was when we first launched in 2018. Part of this is down to the amount of time it takes to edit the commentaries, part of it’s down to lower uptake than our other shows (we’ve had some episodes record less than 20 views after 3 weeks of being live in some cases) and part of it’s down to both myself and Ben just being absolutely ram jammed with stuff going on at the minute. Im in the middle of writing/recording and editing next years episodes (and I still have stuff to finish with Season 12!) and Bens recently had several good news stories that means he’s a lot busier than he was at the moment.

What this means in practical terms is that the Comedy Dining experience isnt going anywhere, it just means that, for the moment at least, it’s going to be on pause while we sort life stuff out, and when it does come back it’ll be likely an “As and when” affair rather than a regularly scheduled “thing” which will allow me more time to work on and refine our reviews, and it means we wont be oversaturating the channel too.

What it ALSO means is that we can do other fun things like monthly game night streams (we’ve done 3 so far and a pilot) AND it’s meant I can start an official Discord from which we’ll be hosting various watchalongs, games nights and other good stuff, alongside chats on everything from good and bad movies to music and weird youtube oddities, so do please tag along for that!

Season 11 marked a change in the wind for the channel, and with Season 12 currently rolling out weekly, I hope your enjoying the direction we’re taking the channel in, I had an absolute blast working on this season, I think it’s one of my favourites i’ve worked on alongside Season 10 and the chance to work and hang out with so many interesting people in collaboration has been an absolute delight. I couldnt have asked for a better 5th year on the platform.

A Ted Called Gooby (2009)

This was one of the earliest films I found while going out Hauling. I’ve literally had it sat in my “To Review” pile for AT LEAST 4 years, but its almost always been one of those movies that has *JUST* missed out of being covered every season for the last 3-4 seasons. It was the cover of the DVD release that really drew me to this one. I just find it simultaineously TOO polished and a bit TOO awkward.

Anyway; heres Gooby. a movie that left me feeling more underwhelmed than anything else, it was too good to be laughably bad and too bad to be acceptably good. it just flutters around the “Meh” grey-zone.

Promo material for this film is SUPER thin on the ground. I really wish there was more stuff to pick through.

Finishing the Complete Tenth Season (2021)

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.

Dan.

Annabelles Wish (1997)

Annabelles Wish was one of those movies that I saw a TON for a brief period in the late 90’s the marketing campaign for this movie in the UK was quite frankly insane. I remember WH Smiths, Woolworths and most places that sold tapes being absolutely rammed with it. I remember the channel 3 childrens block “CITV” having CHRONIC amounts of adverts running for this (probably because CITV was being run by “Carlton” at the time, which was also the company who distributed this film in the UK) for a good year or two it was nothing but wall to wall Annabelle. and honestly; at the time I thought it sounded like a load of old rubbish.

So to sit here nearly 25 years to the day of its release and finally watch this thing to see what all the hubub was about…well…as you can expect the sour laughs of a special that not only missed the mark but full on faceplaneted the concrete could be heard for miles around. This was amazing. a film that really truely tried to be sincere and heartwarming/Bittersweet. Inadvertently becoming DEEPLY troubling and quite confusing to boot! I had NO idea what to expect when I hit play. but I certainly wasnt expecting THAT!

it surprised, shocked and genuinely made me laugh at just how corny and awful it was…and for the last TYTD Reviews episode of 2021…well I couldnt have asked for a more perfect example of what this series is all about.

bloody hell…

This poster is a LIE and will be ceased by the workers as an act of defiance. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER COMRADES!

A Karate Christmas Miracle (2019)

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…

Merry christmas.

I want this poster, full size, as part of my christmass decorations. hot damn!

Jack and the Beanstalk (1974)

Well, it’s the start of the christmas season and the final run of reviews until we break for the new year, and to kick things off I thought i’d introduce my (predominantly American audience) to the great british pantomime!

If you ever get the chance to see one performed, I highly recommend it as I think everyone should see a panto at least once in their lives. the colour, the campness, the cameradere. it’s just a truely wonderful experience for all involved.

I havent had the chance to go to a pantomime in years, I think my last one was maybe in 2016…maybe even 2017. I basically had a string of years where I saw too many panto’s that just wernt particularly very good and it kind of tainted my experience on going. Thats the only issue with pantomimes really. you could see 5 good panto’s and thats great! but just 1 single bad pantomime is equally to seeing 10 bad pantomimes in terms of deep hurting it causes.

The closest I can describe the feeling of a bad pantomime is it’s a bit like being stuck with an insufferable comedian who keeps picking on you, but you cant just leave…and the shows between two and a half and three and a half hours. I had 3 of those on the bounce once over 3 christmasses and it was enough to totally kill my interest. but having been in lockdown now for over 2 years at this point. I really kind of miss the scene, the vibe and the general weirdness panto offers.

Covering Jack and the beanstalk here was my attempt to try and capture a bit of that magic back, or at least reaquaint myself with the genre of “Fairytale” kids movies that would usually be used in pantomime. and I think it’s genuinely been a quite lovely experience more or less from start to finish.

The missus recommended this one to me after I showed her my VHS copy in a haul I picked up a few years ago and after playing her a brief clip a memory unlocked for her and she begged me to watch it with her. needless to say I was not dissapointed!

This posters fine. WAY better than the VHS box art which looks like someone drew this poster from memory after only seeing it once 3 years ago.

The “Mac and Me” (1988) Comedy Dining Experience

So; for this one, we basically nicked the “Black spine” concept from Red Letter Media…yes its a blatent steal. No im not feeling guilty for having done it, No, RLM didnt invent this idea and yes im happy to keep doing it. My co-host mind…is VERY much less inclined.

I chose Mac and Me because I thought it would be a fun little watch. I wasnt sure if Ben had seen it before and this one fits the Comedy Dining Experience bill perfectly, too well known to really deserve reviewing. too obscure outside of the US to ignore and too blatantly an advert to have any merit in breaking down. it’s the perfect movie to get some people around with some beers to take the piss out of it. I cant speak for Ben. But I had a real blast with this one.