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.

The Dragon Lives Again 2022 Redux (1977)

Look…I had to okay? I just had to. My first review on the channel WAY back in 2017 was “The Dragon Lives Again” a film I chose mainly because it was (at the time) my all time favourite good/bad movie. and while I’ve grown and diversified in all the time i’ve been doing this, my love for this film has honestly not deminished one iota. I LOVE this movie, for its big, stupid, bizarre, copyright infringing heart and soul it manifests and everything it stands for.

Obviously with it being my first review on the channel and the 2nd ever review I wrote for this thing! (the first being a pilot episode I wrote and partially edited that…didnt feel right so I scrapped it.) after 5 years it waaaas beginning to look a little creaky. at the time I wrote the review I wasnt as honed on research as I am now, I didnt have nice lighting kits or a studio grade mic or a decent machine to edit on, I didnt structure my scripts, my work around pacing and my channel branding was frankly atrocious, I put ZERO passion into my delivery on the mic… (the things you learn as you grow)

I worked with what I could at the time, but generally I kind of treat my work at this point as two “eras” the first being Seasons 1-5 Basically everything from the first review up to “Jack Frost” which was a learning curve and as such things are very much a “Work in progress” and then from Seasons 6 to the this review I kind of feel like I had chance to stop, recharge, rework my content, improve my methodology and develop into something that today im beyond happy with. it feels like my work from Season 6 has led to now and my revisiting this video.

So much has been discovered about “The Dragon Lives Again” in the 5 years since my initial review went live, better quality copies of the film have surfaced, theres more information around how it was distributed, not to mention that theres generally just…a TON to talk about in this film that in my original review I absolutely failed to do. I didnt want to do a 2.5D remake of my original review like I did with “The American Ninja 2” because I felt more needed to be said. So this is a from the ground up redo. taking on what i’ve learned and putting it into one of the most comprehensive reviews of this movie that I could possibly aim for. we’ve come full circle and this era of TYTD is now coming to something of an end. I feel a lot happier about things with this movie now having proper representation on the channel, and I hope you enjoy it.

As for the future? well; in the time that this review was completed and uploaded i’ve upgraded my mic, my computer, my editing software and much much more. it’s a new beginning, and I hope you enjoy where we take the show going forward (Dont worry, we arnt shaking things up THAT much…consider it a polish and shine rather than a ‘ripping the heart out’ moment)

So! To ‘The Dragon Lives Again’ the film that launched the channel and forever may it sail!

The poster is SO badass, I just wish there was more high quality promotional material from this film available because as it stands ALL my editing work for promotional materials for this movie had to revolve around this poster and low res screengrabs…poo poo.

The Ninja Sqaud (1986)

I cant believe it took almost 5 years to get onto a Godfrey Ho movie! Since this review was published I have been made aware that I’ve covered a couple of movies that Ho was *rumoured* to have worked on and in one case a film he was responsible for supervising distribution in the west for.

But this is the first out and out indisputable Ho movie to come through the doors of TYTD towers and, while all the Ho tropes are here, it’s…not exactly his best known work. it’s a fine enough movie. I just dont really think it delivers the full Ho clout that say “Ninja Terminator” would.

That being said! I do hope to cover more Ho in future! going so far as to pick up Gold Ninja Videos “Ninja Vortex” set so that I can really bring out the best of Ho in future!

Really; thats one of the only problems with doing this channel on a weekly basis, given how long it takes to write, record and edit each episode I can only really produce 1 maybe 2 videos a week tops (and im stretched at that!) I also have a MASSIVE pile of martial arts movies to go through even with the 7 movie Ho pack out of the equation! I just wish I had more time to put to the channel honestly as some of these martial arts movies have been in my collection “to watch” since before I even STARTED doing reviews…anyway! Godfrey Ho! pink ninjas! its all good! give it a watch!

This poster says NOTHING about the movie. and because all the colours are kind of on the same side of the colour wheel it doesnt really make anything stand out. it just looks like a load of variations of red splatted on the poster. needs more distinction.

The American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990)

As part of the 2nd half of our 5th anniversairy celebrations, im going to be dipping into the vaults to cover some movies that, in the past, i’d promised to get round to at some point. and kicking this off we’re finally putting a lid on “The American Ninja” series. I’ve been covering the sequels now for almost as long as the channels been in existence. and with the exception of the first film (which I intend to do a ‘Comedy Dining Experience’ on at some point in the future) we’ve finally arrived at the final chapter here. and WHAT a dissapointing wind down it was.

Im not going to say much more because, honestly, my review here says all there is to say. But I will say that I still find it frankly ASTOUNDING that they had two decently sized action stars in this film and they utilised them in probably the most cack handed way it’s possible to handle these things. I left BEYOND dissapointed. but yeh! after 5 years! we’re bringing this series to a close!

I really like this poster, its such a shame it’s in NO way reflective of the film itself.

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.

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!

Best of the Best 2 (1993)

Oh how the mighty have fallen. I wanted to like this one, I really did. but honestly it’s a total nothing of a film. a totally wasted opportunity thats so forgettable, that apart from the colosseum sections and being angry that Eric Roberts got top billing despite barely doing ANYTHING for the vast majority of the runtime. I can bearly remember anything about this film.

The original film was quite a decent effort, and set the bar very high on a sequel. I didnt expect the sequel to do better than the original. but I didnt expect the quality to drop quite so quickly. This is a series where my excitement to see part 3 went from “Oh man I cant wait!” to “If I can be bothered… in less than 80 minutes.

To add insult to injury, I cant even really show you exactly whats wrong with this film as due to a spurious copyright claim by returning absolute bastard company “Lasso Entertainment” who blocked the video worldwide and abused the appeals process to make sure my review never saw the light of day. Fortunately I uploaded an audio only version, so while its not what I envisioned. at least you can kind of see where I was going (a fully uncensored version with video will be making its way up to breach.tv in the new year.)

The posters literally the best part of this movie, and is 10 times cooler than the film ever will be.

“The Dragon Lives Again” (1978) Comedy Dining Experience

Lets not beat around the bush, this IS definitely a James Bond movie. heres my evidence:

*Bond theme – Check

*James Bond is actually in it – Check

*James Bond does the gun barrell thingie – Check

*James Bond tries to shag everything that moves – Check

* James Bond uses the phrase “This fellow reckons himself a fighter, what a stupid jerk.” – Check AND check.

I will be taking no further questions on this, if anyone has any issues with this clearly factual claim. talk to my co-host.

Greatest. martial arts film. ever.