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.)

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.)

DOC-SHOCK! (Documentary Reviews)

A shorter post than usual from me this time round but I thought I would try something a bit different with this one. I’ve wanted to cover Documentary as a genre on my youtube channel now pretty much since I started it over 2 years ago. but whenever I’ve tried (And their have been many failed attempts) they’ve either come out WAAAAAY too short or I just wasnt happy with the end result. I always felt they were lacking…and while Im not going to say im exactly a beacon of high water level quality; I do want to make sure that im at least happy with what I put out.

And so the idea to compile a few of these was born. apart these reviews felt a bit orphaned. but together I feel like it forms a comprehensive look into some of the films I’ve wanted to talk about for years but never actually had the chance to. I didnt really get into watching documentaries until my mid to late teens (More often than not I was having them thrust upon me rather than me actively deciding to seek them out) so im not exactly brimming with documentaries to recommend. but I have a few I’d like to share (And this video did a bit better than I was expecting) so I may well do a DOC-SHOCK 2 (Electric Boogaloo) at some point in the future.

For now. I can recommend any of the 4 I speak about in this review and they’re all (For the most part) quite easy to find. I hope you get a kick out of them in the same way I did.

 

(Out of all of these my favourite poster has to be the Video Naties one. Though “The Nomi Song” also has a soft spot in my heart in terms of posters)

Shock Treatment (1981)

As mentioned in my last video review post here I’ve quite recently worked in collaboration with the team over at “Inside the Nutshell” to cover both “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Available here) and it’s equal “Shock Treatment” and here is the 2nd part of that.

Personally; whether it’s down to overfamiliarity with the former or whether the charm has just rubbed off I’ve found myself somewhat weining to Rocky over recent years…by contrast Shock Treatment feels like a booster shot in the arm of life! it’s so high energy, rocky and relentless I loved it on the first vieweing and fell in love with it on the 2nd viewing.

Im very fond of this movie and having been able to produce this review with likeminded friends my memories of this movie have only grown more and more positive. And I cant wait till I get to watch it again in future đŸ™‚

(Also how striking is this film poster!? Jesus!?…it’s not one i’ll forget in a hurry!)

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)

The Horror Of Dracula (1958)

I couldnt quite believe I’d gone as long as I had done without covering another Hammer Horror movie. quite honestly every season I decide I want to do a hammer film…but then like all things I work on I get easily distracted and before you know it im working on “Sharknado 77” or “Lets Ruin Dads day 2” or some other similar bollocks. In fact I havent covered a Hammer movie since season 2 when I covered “The Nanny” which was stonkingly good and terrifically underrated!

So when it came to doing a season on Vampires this halloween I put my foot down and said “No More!, Im doing a hammer movie!” and quite honestly 1958’s “Horror of Dracula” is probably one of my favourite hammer movies. I first watched it in Film studies many MANY years ago in college on a ropey VHS “Off Air” recording and was blown away…and the bluray only went further still to solidify just how totally badass this movie really is. not only is it one of my favourite portayals of Vampires. It’s one of my favourite Horror movies full stop. I just love it. I also welcome to the fold here Christopher Lee. One of my favouirte Horror actors giving in my opinion one of his finest roles. He would only really come to terms with this character in his later years (He famously dismissed the count for literal decades) but I think he’s probably my favourite portrayal.

So! without further ado! enjoy!

 

(Also; theres a surprising shortage of “Portrait” style posters for this movie…this was one of the rare ones I could find…and I think it’s arguably the coolest one. why this wasnt used across the board i’ll never know!)

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)

Another Halloween’s upon us ladies and gents and once again I get to dig out some of the archives most terrifying creations to display for your entertainment and viewing pleasure. I’ve been trying to decide on a format for these halloween specials and I think for the time being at least that im going to do a year on a theme and a year on a series of halloween-esq movies…mainly because there are a lot of good halloween movies that dont necissarily fit into a theme. But also; there are loads of films that i’d love to talk about which I think if I link them while discussing their themes it creates a bit of “a history of” vibe…which I always encourage because it allows me to go deeper into the movies than I probably would…

naturally just doing 5 random halloween films every year would be a bit boring and wouldnt quite cover the depth I would like to cover. Equally if I did 5 themed films every year. I’d probably grow quite bored of the format. So this is a good happy medium…at least for the time being. by this logic next year will be a random assortment again.

Nosferatu isnt a film that i’d pick up regularly. it’s a good movie. But as I mention in the review I just dont really get on with Silent cinema all that much…I can appreciate it’s form and acknowlege that it is a item of it’s time. But I do struggle with quite a few of them and I find that finding good silent movies is quite a challenge. Because of this; It was a bit of a struggle to get this years theme well and truely under way. But Im glad I rewatched this movie as it really allowed me to get to the origins of the Vampire Mythology quickly and gloriously.

This is the start of a 5 part series on the history of Vampire movies from 1922 to 1986. You might wonder why it’s such an oddly specific timeframe. but those 64 years really do define such a massive evolutionary leap. that I think it should prove quite an interesting trip. I’ve already decided that a 2nd part will need to happen at some point (If nothing else just to cover the movies from 1987 to whenever I decide to go through all this again)

In the mean time I hope you enjoy the start of this series and I look forward to seeing it develop over the next few weeks!

(I love this poster…Im about 99% sure this isnt the original theatrical poster…if it even had an original theatrical poster…but there’s just something so unsettling about this one.)