Little Heros (1999)

It took me a while to get around to the other feature shown on the prism leisure ultra cheapo kids double pack collection which featured the worst film i’ve ever seen “Lets Ruin Dads Day“. Indeed I put off talking about “Little Hero’s” for so long purely because I couldnt face seeing what film would be deemed “On par’ with such a terrible terrible movie. Which I think is why Im so non plussed about this movie. it’s not offensively bad, but you definitely could do better.

Its a rip off film at it’s heart mainly happy to try and suck any life it can get from the Home alone movies or the “Talking animal” genre which became very popular in the early to mid 90’s but by 1999 was most definitely on the wane.

Honestly; if you never saw this movie you’d never miss it…which is probably the most damning thing I can say about it. it’s impact in the world is as such that if it completely vanished off the face of the earth tomorrow. Probably only half a dozen people would even notice or care.

the cardinal sin is “Thou Shalt not Bore” and this films predictable plot, bad acting, below standard slapstick and generally poor production values (Made only worse by the blatant pizza hut promotional pieces) just left me waiting for this film to end.

I will do the sequels at some point…but at the minute my “To Watch” Pile is literally terrifying and I also am in desperate need of making a new blog for the site…so it may be a while before we find out how good the script was that a studio decided “Little Hero’s 2” was a good idea.

(This film didnt have a film poster (As far as I could find). So here’s the DVD cover. I dont know what im looking at…it looks like someone just took random stills/promotional work and laid them over someones shed…to me; its an offense to the eyes)

You Can Read (The Complete Series) (1988)

I’ve been trying to find the best way to approach talking about “You Can Read!” (The 1988 Orbis Video released Edutainment series) for a long time now. In fact since I first found out the series I’d watched as a kid was called “You Can Read” I’ve always wanted to cover it on this channel. But I wanted to make sure I did it right (Or at least as right as possible given the spotty information thats available online about it) indeed it was literally only a couple of days before I was set to record the audio for this episode that I even found out that 3 years prior it had had a full DVD re-release in Malta.

Theres literally no information about this re-release online barring a Facebook page and a throwaway article buried deep in one of the lesser known tabloid sites. and finding that article was completely by chance. And apart from a handful of people who have commented on the facebook page to say the first 2 volumes were messed up (They’d apparently been authored as CD-Roms rather than DVD’s) it’s almost impossible to find any “Real world” evidence that these DVD’s actually exist at all. Im not denying they exist you understand. it’s just that outside of that facebook page’s own advertisements I havent seen one photograph on instagram, google or social media in itself of a member of the public owning a copy of these movies. Which does rather lead me to believe it may be a scam of some sort…but then…this is too obscure to really be proper scam material…or maybe it’s just obscure enough?…

Either way this series was a major impact on my childhood and adulthood, I was rediculously pleased to grab not only a copy of this on tape…but a copy that I actually owned as a kid and even though it’s only worth a couple of quid tops. it’s my most prized possession in terms of VHS. Probably only just being pipped by my original “Video Nasty” era release of “Tenebrae”

(All the VHS artworks look odd, they have a very basic design but they’re probably the most consistant thing in this series…)

 

As usual whenever I cover something a touch obscure Im usually immediately met with the problem of there just not being a high enough resolution image of the box art for the film im trying to cover. “You Can Read” is no exception. and the handful of covers I’ve been able to find online barely break the 500 pixel region…So here’s a 3k scan of the cover of Volume 3: Me I hope you enjoy the attention to detail.

You Can Read

 

Nick and Noel (1993)

I had a spot of unexpected success last year when I uploaded a review for a christmas film I had found on youtube that was produced in the 90’s called “Dot and Spots Magical Christmas Adventure” at the time I didnt think anything of it. It was a fairly bland if somewhat charming little kids christmas movie and that was about it.

That was until it started getting mad clicks. While we’re hardly talking viral numbers here when I woke up to find that one of my videos rather than normally getting the 10 – 20 views they normally acrew instead got closer to 200 views and growing. Well needless to say I thought I might as well hand in my notice at work and take on the full time youtuber lifestyle.

In researching exactly why that video was more popular than others I discovered that apparently that film was:

A – Astoundingly popular in Italy (Almost a christmas classic out there)

And B – Almost completely unrepresented online barring an itallian dubbed upload.

In short I’d inadvertantly landed myself the perfect storm…it didnt lead to anything. for about 6-7 months that video was my most watched one my channel. But out of an obligation to see if lighting could strike twice I decided to look into other films that the “Dot and Spot” animators had involvment in.

Thus we arrive at Nick and Noel. and…well it’s not as popular as Dot and Spot. nor is it as charming, nor is it as well made…and even Paul williams cant save this one. its a bland one in all honesty. and due to some growing pressures that started happening around about the time that I reviewed this one I honestly dont have too many fond memories about it. It’s just completely generic and forgettable. but Im sure my review will say more than I can here.

(So underwhelming…)

 

We Wish you a Turtles Christmas (1994)

Y’know…when I first started reviewing the Ninja Turtles Movies back at the start of last year I was actually quite surprised at just how well made they seemed to be…and while I had reservations about TMNT 2 and I found TMNT 3 to be only marginally better I never quite expected to end the year with what was arguably one of the strangest and most terrifying movies I’ve seen in a while…

To say “We wish you a turtles Christmas” is a fun little video for kids greatly underestimates the power that the information stored upon the magnetised tape wields. this is not a film. this is a life experience. I have to consider my life in two halves…Pre “Turtles Christmas” and Post “Turtles Christmas” and I feel like both lead very distinctly different tones. I can now no longer hear “The Twelve days of Christmas” without wanting to end each verse with “And a Pizza with Pepper- ro – knee!” Nor can I ever think of the song “To grandmothers house we go” without thinking of sewers and pure nightmare fuel.

if your smart you’ll avoid this movie. if like me your a glutton for punishment and you enjoy the masachism that comes wth watching the total and unapologetic capitalist festive nihilism that is this unbridled screech into the darkness…then by all means be my guest…but dont come crying to me when you have to consider your life choices…

 

(…Horrifying…)

The Gift of Winter (1974)

While the promotional artwork is a little on the misleading side (All the character designs featured in promo posters and on the DVD for this are based on the  “Witch’s night out” Art style) it is important to remember that the scale of operations for this short was almost as equally small.

ultimately I was a little bit underwhelmed by “The Gift of Winter”…on the one hand it still has that charming vibe that Witch’s had…however the quality of the animation is so rudimentary and basic that it totally took me out of the experience. I do kind of feel if they reanimated this special while keeping the original audio that it may ultimately be a more “complete” feature. and while the charm is distinctly there I just cant completely get behind this one.

I would argue that this isnt so much a christmas special more a winter special (Though there are alusions towards Christmas made near the end) but it takes what is ultimately a dark and somewhat grim time of year and makes it altogether a much more pleasent time of year. and for that I can wholeheartedly get behind it.

 

(Seriously; this artwork is terrifically misleading)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)

Well! I thought it best to round off the trilogy before the year was out having covered TMNT 1 and TMNT 2 It seemed only natural that the 3rd one be the closer!

I have had so many discussions about this movie since I posted my review for it and what surprised me is given the tidal wave of hate that this film gets its actually quite interesting to see how many people actually got in touch to tell me that they loved this movie or at least that it had it’s own unique charm and vibe to it.

I’ll be honest, to me it’s hardly the best film ever made. but it has a style unto itself and quite honestly I found it enjoyable. I mean…after this the whole franchise goes down the toilet for a few years…but as far as last Hurrahs go they could have ended things much MUCH worse…

(Arguably one of the more surreal film posters when taken out of context as well…)

A Boy and his Buzzard (Charlie and the talking Buzzard) – (1979)

It was the cover that pretty much sold me on this one. As soon as I pulled it out of that box of tapes I knew immediately that I wanted to get to this film as soon as possible. and thus I fell victim to judging a tape by its cover. This film is terrible. absolutely terrible. it’s long winded, short on plot and point and purpose. it only exists as a means of killing time and quite frankly the only reason I still hold it in my tape collection is simply because I cant find anyone else out there who has a copy of this. they may have it under a different name or with a different box art but apart from a low res ebay listing of the cover from a few years ago this is the only copy of this film that I can find.

Since editing this video i’ve also not been able to find a sausage of information in regards to Silver Screen Promotions. as far as I can tell this is their one and only video release. So if you are australian or you know of other Silver screen releases please do get in touch (If you have photos even better!) as I’d love to know what on earth this company were thinking when they decided that this would be a good film to shove out on tape to the masses.

Absolute rot.

 

(That cover is pretty cool though…though if perspective is to be believed that Buzzards bloody huge!)

 

Also! because I know you want this and because as I mentioned there is no record of this VHS cover in high quality please find a ultra high res scan of the cover that I made for this videos thumbnail and enjoy it in all it’s…weird glory?

Boy and his Buzzard

Dont Look Under the bed (1999)

This was one of those reviews that I feel was kind of Skewed by hype. Y’see had I gone into this movie without the 300+ youtube critics who’ve already spoken about this film claiming it’s the “Scariest Disney horror movie ever EVER!” then I’d have probably come out the other side of it maybe a bit more positive about the whole thing.

Equally however, had those 300+ critics not posted their thoughts on this I would have never have heard of this film and it almost certainly wouldnt have ended up being an episode of this show.

The reality is, this is just a bit middle of the road. theres some really nice ideas here but they’re seldom acted on and in many cases feel more like missed opportunities rather than carefully honed hits.

It does somewhat surprise me that this film hasnt seen anything in the way of an official release and seemingly it hasnt been rebroadcast in quite a while (Though it has at least had 1 HD screening that I could find) I think kids would probably really get into it in all honesty…it just wasnt really for me…

 

(Sadly this one doesnt have a “proper” poster or artwork so this advert for it will have to do…It kind of serves it’s purpose but I think they could have maybe been a bit more…creative.)

Witches Night out (1978)

Well! it’s halloween again! and that means that once again I get to dip into the archive of all things spooky and pull out a few choice selections to highlight and hopefully help you guys in making your halloween go with a bang!

Last year the theme was Zombies (In particular Romero’s “Of the dead” series) and this year when put to a poll you lovely lot voted that you wanted to see a “Halloween highlights” run…I think going forward I may end up doing a themed year, then a non themed year and so on…it’s nice to work to a theme but equally this has been an absolute hoot and it’s unearthed a load of extra goodies that im now saving till next time!

Kicking things off this season we have “Witches night out!”  a special I’d only heard of last year funnily enough around about the same time I uploaded my first halloween special! since then it’s sat on my shelf gathering dust but I made it my duty to watch and talk about it this year, and it’s not without good reason! it’s short sweet and very very wonderful!

Halloween is one of my favourite times of years…it’s basically christmas but without the stress that comes with christmas. it has all the joys of nostalgia for childhood and tooth decay that comes with eating offensive amounts of boiled sugar. Pure bliss!

I do hope you enjoy my season this year! theres some great little movies coming up and im sure you’ll find one that’ll make your halloween!

(Seriously the theme tune to this special is absolutely out of this world!)

The Incredible Voyage of Stingray (1980)

Well…this ones over half an hour long…I really dont know what else you’d like me to say about this movie in all honesty!

It was an absolute pleasure working with Alex on this project, the guy has a real passion for all things Gerry Anderson and I genuinely hope I get the opportunity to work with the man again in future (We are currently planning some other events in future) and I learned so much about British Science fiction that i’d never known before.

I’ve always personally been way more into my Stingray and Joe 90 than my thunderbirds related stuff. but to be able to sit down as an adult and actually apreciate these for what they were. great little pieces of science fiction was really a great experience to have. and one that i’ll hopefully be able to experience again sooner rather than later.

I may well cover more of these TV movies in future (they’re all available on VHS at this point) the biggest issue is simply finding them and not having to cut an arm off in order to pay for them!

But yes. Enjoy this for what it is…a pretty decent little TV movie thats maybe a little dated! and I’ll see you all next week for the big Halloween celebrations!

(The VHS cover isnt all that inspiring in honesty…but once again I made a Hi-res capture because noone else has ever bothered to seemingly)

 

Stingray.jpg