Season 9 was one of those seasons that feels “Right” to me. I mean that very much in a spiritual sense. theres no real metric that can be used to measure whether something is objectively “good” or “bad” but what I mean is that to me, it feels like all the pieces fit together perfectly, it feels like each review contrasts or compliments the other. with every season I do I often feel like there’ll be at least 1 or 2 episodes out of the two(ish) dozen I make where I either dont feel I got a grip on exactly HOW I wanted to present the review, or I’ll feel like technically I was a bit off the mark.
But this season, every review I feel like I got exactly what I wanted out of it, we had some stinkers, we had some hidden gems. but, to me, it feels like the work I’ve put in to slowly reshaping the series somewhat (Work that first began waaaaay back in Season six) has finally matured into a format that, for now at least, im pretty happy with. I feel a lot more confident about this run of reviews than I have with any other previous run, and I feel a lot happier with my work load management and attitude towards how I run the process. genuinely, the last 12 months worth of writing and releases have been some of the most enjoyable I’ve done in the 4 and a bit years of working on the channel.
Personal highlights of this season for me were “Nutbag” a film that genuinely caught me off guard for just how amazingly bad it was. this is one of the few times where BBFC suggested edits have actually massively enhanced what would otherwise be a fairly drab affair, Deathrow Gameshow a film that totally surpassed my expectations, and I feel utter remorse that I didnt crack this one open much MUCH sooner as it’d been sat on my “To Watch” pile for WAY too long. My special video essay on a recent Bootleg Video Nasty haul was a definite highlight for the year and got quite a few people talking about their own experiences with Nasty’s which was nice. and the opportunity to collaborate with old friends like Raymond and new faces like G.G Graham were frankly an absolute delight.
This season for me will probably be fondly remembered as a time capsule of a 6-8 month period where things, while still rather grim beyond the walls of my house, were alright. and I hope that comes across in these reviews.
My relationship with Rick sloan the film maker is a bit of a bizarre one. In the sense that I first saw a Rick Sloan movie about 10 years ago at this point when I stumbled on the MST3K riffed version of “Hobgoblins” I thought the film was impressively awful in a “So bad its good” kind of way and I really got a kick out of it. But then; at the time that I saw “Hobgoblins” it was very much apparent that almost NON of Sloans other films had managed to make it over the atlantic. And; with no way of getting my hands on anymore even via illicit means (because; lets be honest. WHO is torrenting Rick Sloan movies!?) I just kind of accepted that “Hobgoblins” would probably be the only Rick Sloan film i’d ever watch and I left it at that.
Jump forward 9 years and I took out a subscription to “Full Moon Features” online streaming service (which; as an aside, if your a fan of B-movies, horror, exploitation or other strange stuff…they dont just host Full Moon films on there. they actually have a pretty decent chunk of Severin films and Vinegar Syndromes output too!) anyway; I took out a subscription and it turned out they had almost ALL of Sloans filmography ready loaded and good to go.
It was there where I first saw “Blood Theatre” Rick Sloans earliest film currently available. and I fell head over heels for it. In fact; I intended to review it in this very season until I realised that i’d already got a couple of horror movies in my roster for this seasons run AND that next season (season 10) is looking quite horror heavy as it is! SO! after watching Blood Theatre, I went over to Vinegar Syndromes website and bought the Bluray. which; as it turns out is a double feature with this film! so; realising i’d landed myself with a double feature. when it turned up I decided to check this one out first…and; in many ways, it’s almost AS enjoyable as Blood Theatre. but with it *Technically* being a sci-fi movie it fit in much better with this seasons run.
After watching this I went back to Full Moon and tried Sloans “Vice Academy” movies, but I just couldnt get into them, I find that he works best when he’s writing for genre’s that arn’t comedy. because he has a bit of a zany comedic tone to his work it makes all his genre attempts have a nice campy edge. but when he writes for comedy he ramps things up to the next level and it just becomes a bit irritating to me.
I also tried to watch his sequel to “Hobgoblins” but in a rare instance and a breaking of my own rules of “Thou shalt not hit stop till the credits” I had to bail on “Hobgoblins 2” this was made in the 2000’s and was VERY clearly made at a point where Sloan had well and truely realised people liked him making bad movies. so it was intentionally gross out and awful and…I just couldnt make it past the halfway point. I tried dear reader, I really did. but sometime films are even too bad for me.
Anyway! I hope to cover more Sloan in the future! and as for “The Visitants” it’s good! I really liked it. and I hope you like it too!
One of the biggest headscratchers that plagues my review “process” is figuring out the right mix of genres so that things dont get stale. as a general rule; themed months excluded, I try to make certain that theres never a time where 2 films of the same genre are sat next to each other. So I’ll always try and seperate say; 2 horror movies that are sat together or 2 sci fi movies. I like to keep a mixed bag just to purely stop things from stagnating a bit.
Part of that dilemma is deciding how many 40s and 50’s B-movies I do a year. if my youtube analytics are anything to go by, you guys dont really care much for the older B-movie films. and hey; thats cool. I can dig it. y’know, time marches on and all that. But to me? I find these early movies a fascinating glimpse into the old days of the wild west of Poverty row film making. when corners would be cut, anything that could save money would be utilised whether it was to the detriment of the film or the cast and for the vast majority of these movies its amazing they got made at all.
Evil Brain from Outer space was never intended to be a movie, it was supposed to be a series of serialisations. and most of them are so drastically different to each other that the idea of cutting them together into one movie would be daft.
the 1960’s said “Fuck it” to daftness and did it anyway. they did it because they realised they wouldnt make their money back on the serialisations they purchased because serialisations in general were on the way out. so they did what they thought would make SOME money back (because making SOME money back is always preferable to making non of the money back) thats why they recut these into 4 features. it wasnt out of some grand artistic sense of tying together elements. it’s because they bought a lemon and had to make lemonade some goddamn way.
the supergiant serials arnt too bad on their own in all honesty. I mean; they’re a bit repetative in places. but they’re fine enough. but these recut ones? goddamn. just….goddamn.
I’ll continue to cover movies from this era, mainly because…they’re bizarre as hell. but if your looking for an example of the madness of 40’s and 50’s cinema. this films definitely a strong contender.
I’ve wanted to cover Cronenberg for some time on my channel, but I always really got hung up on exactly where to start. on the one hand; I could dive headfirst into a classic like “Videodrome” or “The Fly” something VERY defining of his style. alternatively; I could have gone for one of his more extreme movies like “Scanners” or “Crash” hell; if I was being REALLY pedantic I could have started with his college movies that Arrow Video released not too long ago. But honestly; after really thinking about it; I feel Shivers is probably the best place to start when it comes to unpacking Cronenbergs distinctive look and feel. While the body horror element is present here it hasnt yet morphed really into it’s shapeshifting disfiguring style that would be seen in movies like “Rabid” and “The Fly”
eqaully; this movie is pretty revolutionary for it’s time. Predating “Alien” and “Dawn of the dead” by between 3 and 4 years respectively. it looks and feels like a tribute to those movies. Which makes it all the more surprising that this film came first.
All in all; I cant say more than I did in my review for this one. it’s a good SOLID feature that I Feel acts as a good intro to Cronenbergs work. Yes; he has done better. but if you start with the best, everythings going to be a dissapointment that comes after it. While his vision may not yet be fully crystalised here. it’s well on it’s way. and if you DO like this; then you’ve got a hell of a trip to come!
WAIT! STOP! IT’S NOT PORN! well…not really porn…theres some VERY brief nudity and a lot of “Girating” but honestly. for a film thats so determined to ride the “Steamy erotica” train. it’s surprisingly tame. The first time I saw Liquid Dreams, It wasnt really for me. I found it a bit too into it’s “Homages” and lacking in clear substance. and while subsiquent rewatches have definitely softened my views on this (I now think it’s actually a pretty fun, maybe even good little popcorn thriller) I still kind of feel a bit like it’s a film thats missing something. I dunno; I think sex would cheapen this film. I think that making it more of a thriller would make it more boring. it just kind of…rides the line between the erotic and thriller genres to the such a restrictive extreme that it’s ultimatley neither. and as such, while it’s good at both genres. it never really achieves either.
What we have here is a bit of an anomoly. a film that’s memorable for it’s imagery. but very little else. I still think this is prime VS fodder because it’s most definitely working with that kind of cult vibe. and I feel with a little bit more love and attention it could almost be a well respected classic in the vein of “Cherry 2000” that’s why I chose to review this film. I really REALLY hope to raise it’s profile at least a little bit, and who knows!? maybe if the right people see this it’ll finally get dug out of it’s “Out of print” hell and get the re-release that it DEFINITELY deserves.
Given what was going on at the time this season was being created its a miracle that you’re even seeing the below playlist quite honestly. Season 8 was the first season to be full written during the Pandemic (I believe the first script was written some time in April and the last script was finally penned in October) and; though I think back on this season from the comfy room of 2021 with the sense that it was all “Too Easy” when I actually stop and think what was going on, it definitely seems to be quite the opposite.
For a starters, there was the pandemic. Which; well, it was good in some ways…through April,May and June I was pretty much stuck in a national lockdown with nothing to do BUT write and edit these scripts. That and working from home allowed a greater flexibility in my working hours allowing me to work scriptwriting and editing into my lunch breaks.
The downside to all this however was that the lockdown effected my partners health quite severely, leading to a number of trips to the hospital and, not wanting to go into too much detail, but a few very important people in our lives had to move on to new ventures (They’re not dead! we just cant really be involved with them anymore!) which really didnt help the mood.
Then from June to September I was in the middle of renovations. and Ladies and Gents. Let me be frank. I know these renovations were a long time overdue (at least 15 years overdue) I know they desperately needed doing, and now im sat here in a lush, gorgeous new space writing this out Im happy I did what I did. at the time I was in abject misery. I ached pretty much non stop from stripping wallpaper, taking light fittings out and carrying heavy flat pack furniture and hard wood exceedingly and almost comical distances. I loathed having to sofa surf during a pandemic because the room where my Bed is was being used as storage. I detested the fact the the weather was a near constant 36-40 degrees celcius and that buildings in britain are built to keep heat IN not let it OUT.
In fact; the only good memory I have of the summer of 2020 was that, at one point, the conditions of the lockdown lifted and I was able to take my car out on a quasi long distance run (like; 50-60 miles round trip) where the sun was delightful, the music was good, the roads were empty and I was living my best life for all of an hour and 30 minutes. The rest of it, was arse.
Equally; the Renovations ran drastically over. meaning what should have been an 18 episode run for this season ended up having to be cut down to a 16 episode run + 1 collaboration. which was not ideal…but luckily I’ve been able to carry over the 2 dropped episodes into Season 9.
So September rolled around, I jumped on my machine, edited together the first 6 episodes of this season and then my harddrive exploded. as in, literally shut down. couldnt get anything on or off it that was bigger than 2gb in size. it was dead. and…for a time I panicked. I panicked violently because on that drive were all 17 audio recordings, 6 edited episodes and all of my current branding material.
Mercifully, through a mixture of cloud storage solutions and periodic backups I was able to recover, relink and rexport ALL the original premiere pro files. which meant in as little as 5 days I went from losing everything to being back in the race. and…mercifully at least, from there things went very smoothly. the last 2 episodes written and recorded were “Garfields Halloween Adventure” and “Silent Night Deadly Night” which were both done in October, both recorded at my partners flat in a hurry and both edited on the hoof to try and get them out the door and into the schedules (I really hope it doesnt show)
Season 8 was an absolute Journey to complete and when a collaborative effort involving 7 people is the EASIEST part of editing for the season. you know somethings not quite gone right. It was a good one in terms of the films I got to see though, “Truck Turner” is probably one of my all time favourite Blacksplotation films, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” was a hoot of a first time watch, Reviewing AND doing a commentary for “Robot in the Family” was brain meltingly entertaining and whats more. I got to experience all of these wonderful film moments with friends. which…at a time when isolation is one of the biggest by-products of this whole blasted neusence. was incredibly life affirming.
So this is me; closing the door once and for all on Season 8. another chapter in TYTD History. Not to let the Ego run ahead of me, but I think seasons 7 and 8 have heralded some of the best work I’ve ever done. and I really hope Season 9 and 2021 keep that momentum going.
I’ve been meaning to cover a classic 50’s or 60’s B movie since the year started but honestly, between the restoration work and the lockdowns I just havent found the time to really truely knuckle down and get one sorted out. That was until the Horror channel in the UK decided to run a “Sci-Fi weekender” 2 days of non stop science fiction movies, all of them pretty much classics (Either famously or infamously so) and pretty much all of them being ones I’d never seen before.
This was the first time I got to see movies like “The Giant Claw” (which honestly blew my mind and I cant BELIEVE it isnt out in the UK on DVD or Bluray) and The Incredible shrinking man. But this time I thought rather than going low. i’d try my hand at covering a RESPECTED B-movie classic (Oh I’ll never work in this town again…) and Earth Vs the Flying saucers was just the right side of campy but well made to fit the bill! While I havent covered a tremendously large amount of (what the public would deem) “good” movies on my channel. I think this is the first “Good” 50’s Bmovie I’ve covered. I was really plesently surprised by it for the most part, it’s a bit slow here and there, but my long term memory of it (I wrote the script for this episode back in April/May time) is a positive one (barring the ending)
This is another film that unfortunately doesnt seem to have an easily available release to watch in the UK outside of streaming. but if it ever does get a release I’d almost certainly look into picking it up. With that in mind I kind of realised this time around that I should probably look more into Bmovies of the 40’s to the 60’s as from experience they only ever tend to be one of 3 extremes: Out of the blue phenominal, Tray on head awful or so boring I welcome deaths sweet release…and with odds like that; why WOULDNT I wanna spin the wheel again?
Season 7 was all in, arguably, one of the most entertaining and fun seasons to work on for me in a while. While Season 6 had the freshness of starting from the ground up to some extent given I’d been on a reletively short hiatus. This season to me, really felt like it had some momentum behind it. The wheels were spinning as early as late October 2019 in writing some of these episodes (My review of “The Warriors” being the first one that made it into the can) but work would continue right up until mid/late march to ensure that everything could be done in time!
For the most part, this season was pretty much decided right from the off…or at least 2/3rds of it were already pre-chosen. Originally “The Warriors” was going to open the season until I saw Cozzi’s “Hercules” about 10-11 episodes into writing for the season and I realised that that would be the PERFECT way to kick off this seasons run. the 4 part “Sleepaway Camp” summer special also came about pretty much at the last minute too, As I’d wanted to do a month on the Sleepaway camp movies pretty much since the 2nd season of theses reviews but could never quite fit them in amongst the other bits and pieces i’d got going on.
“Salo: The Musical” was another one that had been in the making for a year or two before I finally decided to pull the trigger. it’s easily one of the most time consuming videos I’ve ever made in relation to it’s length. it may only be a couple of minutes or so long. but I assure you it took damn near a month of solid writing, recording, performing and motion tracking (For reference; the average 15-20 minute review on here generally takes about a week to complete from watching to final upload)
All in all, this was just a damn fun season to work on, and while the steam that made up the creative process may have just started to dry burn towards the very end (Try and show me a way to be enthusiastic about having to spend a week with “Return to Sleepaway Camp”) overall; this was a total blast! I met some super interesting people over the last few months including the team over at Mutantfam.com who’ve recently agreed to host my work in an affiliated capacity. The Guys over at “Survivors Guilt“,”Video Creep“, “The Channel 83 Podcast” (Who were a top bunch of lads and had me on there show!) “The Best Little Horror House in Philly” and GG over at the “Midnight Movie Monster” Blog! Not only have they helped keep this Schlock jock sane during the absolute “Deep Hurting” that these films can bring in, but they’ve even contributed to helping make my content better and are all great people you should definitely go and check out at the next convenience!
At the time of writing my office/entertainment room is under renovation. everything is in boxes packed away and it wont be until August before we’re ready to reopen the archive and get back on track with the edit schedule. However! that’s not to say that this season is necissarily “Completely”
EDIT!: ITS THE FUTURE! and im just popping back in to remove the “Coming soon!” mystery bumper that I ran at the end of this article during the summer to say…well; you guys. I did a sneaky and popped just one more review into the mix to round us up to a healthy 18. and it’s a doozy! a collab with another youtuber and a great way to see out the end of the summer! 1981’s “The Burning” revisited, rewritten, reviewed and re-packaged! So! if you saw this article before and thought it was only 17 times cooler than the average seaon…well; now it’s 18 times cooler than that!!!
Well; We’re back on the Prism Leisure movies and that can only mean one thing! Superphantasmacraporia! yes we’re back in the kind of tat that could barely sell more than 5 copies as a standalone release so they’ve been bundled onto a multi film/single disc release to try and squeeze as much cash from hard working punters as possible.
One thing that did dawn on me most recently is just how weird the context of these multi disc sets really were when you think about them…I mean; here you have DVD a fully digital (and for the time) super sharp revolutionary way to watch your films that little bit closer to how the film makers originally intended. gone was the fuzz, gone was the degeneration, gone was the hissy soundtrack. And whats one of the first things they decide to bundle in with early DVD players as a way of shifting units? Why! 25-50 movies that were all shot on a shoe and made for a budget of £5 in a capark, bit crushed to within an inch of there lives and dumped on a single DVD. What astounding revolutionary leaps!
I mean; they dont even have the excuse of “well; it’s impressive that they could fit 2-4 movies on a single disc” because towards the end of VHS’s lifespan they too were able to do double…and sometimes even TRIPLE features on a single tape (I have a few of those tucked away)…I get that it was supposed to represent value for money. that you’d be in the shop and the salespersone could say “Well look! we’re selling it for £70 AND you get ALL THESE FREE MOVIES WITH THEM!!!” and in some of the earlier releases there were some pretty cool movies bundled in (One of the multi disc sets I have is full of crap but it does have Witchboard and Waxwork on it…which frankly are streets ahead of “Lets ruin Dads day” or “Final Scream” I dunno…It just seems weird to me that anyone would be incentivised to buy a cheap DVD player with a load of crappy films and it be the crappy films that sold it. but I imagine a fair few did fly off the shelves back in the day because of it.
(I have very fond memories of my grandad buying his first DVD player and it coming with a metric crap ton of multi film DVDs…that was how I was introduced to the “Robocop TV Movies” and the “Species” franchise…god that was a fun and terrible weekend!)
(This poster is just so cheap looking…im pretty sure it’s fan made…but that would imply this film had fans…)
I’ll be absolutely honest, in hindsight Swordkill was a bit of a letdown to me. dont get me wrong I still stand by my review of it, and I still agree with all of it. The problem I have once again lies purely with myself in the sense that this movie was marketed to me as something that it most definitely isnt.
I was expecting full blown Troma carnage with crazy over the top action scenes, some terrible good/bad acting and maybe a few crazy set pieces…the reality was that this film was much MUCH more subtle, subdued and more in line with generic action films than I had anticipated. that doesnt make this a bad movie…but because the internet and several friends had told me just how CERRRRAZZY! this movie was. I bought into the hype and came away a bit underwhelmed…now I understand that thats a hangup I have to live with myself. But whenever I review movies I think it’s important to try and set the record as straight as possible with movies. mainly because one of the main reasons I got into reviewing in the first place was because I got fed up of misinformation or people selling movies as something that they just arnt…
So yeh…Swordkill. it’s not bad. it’s not some crazy “out there” movie…it’s just alright…and thats good enough for me!