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.

Cyborg Cop 2 (1994)

As part of our 5th Anniversairy celebrations, we once again took a dip into the old archive and boy howdy did I land on a winner with this one.

I loved ‘Cyborg Cop 2’ its a daft, weird, stupid, goofy movie and I SINCERELY hope it gets a proper bluray release in future because…my GOD this films wild. the original is positively stationary compared to this things utter crazy. and I love it, love it, LOVE it for that.

What are you even reading this for!? go watch Cyborg cop 2…right now!

OH! and this ones blocked in several places across the globe (bloody rubbish bloody copyright theiving bastards.) But it’s okay, I’ve uploaded a universally watchable copy to Odysee which you can watch by clicking here

Poor Poster…FUN movie!

Alien Species (1996)

So back in the mists of time, I found a movie called “Alien Species” from 1995, at the time I couldnt find ANY trivia for it really other than Troma being the distributor (but not creator) of the film AND the fact that less than 12 months after this movie got put out, in a COMPLETELY different part of the country ANOTHER film would come out ALSO called “Alien Species” At the time the idea that two movies could hit the market so close together with SUCH a small budget (the combined budgets of both of these films wouldnt even pay for the catering on a mid sized budget production) AND given they were both, kind of from the same stable…well it fascinated me to say the least. For a time I debated whether to cover them both back to back for comedic effect, indeed. what better way to follow up “Alien Species”, than with “Alien Species”? but I had trouble finding the ’96 version of Alien species and ultimately, while I had at least ONE version of the two films in my hands, it just made sense to cover the one I had and if I found the other one, then more power to me.

Anyway skip forward a year or two and I picked up Mill Creeks “Nightmare Worlds” set, and LO and behold! THIS movie was on it. I knew as soon as I saw it listed I needed to get it covered and originally this WAS going to be in my 10th Season of reviews in November, but given i’d already covered so many low budget SOV films at that point, It didnt feel like a fluid and natural situation and crowbar this into the season as well, it would have made the season lopsided and a bit too heavy on low budget, SOV sci fi and horror films. SO! I wrote the script and then shelved it (Swamp Women took the place of this in the November Schedules) and it sat on my dock ready to be implemented for the best part of 5 months until FINALLY it fit in in a comfy little spot in Season 11!

I think the review more than speaks for itself, I cant say I was a huge fan of this one, but; with it sort of being the “Part 1” of what was supposed to be a much bigger franchise, I feel maybe with a bit more development and a sequel or two, this could have been something a bit better. as it stands it feels like someones handed me a third of a rubicks cube and told me to “solve it” and im kind of just staring at it wondering what on earth that would involve

This poster looks like something “Ab-So-Lutely” productions would come up with. WAY to busy and just plain odd.

Ozone (1993)

I honestly relished the opportunity to cover more J.R Bookwalter, really genuinely relished it. after spending damn near a month covering his early works and the infamous “SOV Six Pack” I felt like this was very much the “Spiderman Far From Home” to the six packs “Avengers Endgame” And honestly? I absolutely was NOT dissapointed.

It really felt like, after the six pack, Bookwalter had burnt out and REALLY wanted to recenter, refocus, reprioritise and give his absolute ALL to whatever he made next. and when I tell you that I think this is arguably one of (if not THE) best film J.R has made, and I would be MORE than happy to say its one of (if not THE) best SOV film ever produced. I am not saying that lightly. this films exceptional in its field, really honestly exceptional. And each day your not sat in front of this for the first time is a sadder day my friend. so hop to it!

There are more Bookwalter films out there to cover, and believe me; when they get a bluray release, you better believe i’ll be right there DAY ONE to buy and cover them. I dont know if he’s going to re-release all his films, but i’ll cover as many as I can get my hands on!

I also have to seriously commend the rebranding and remastering of the official bluray for this set, given the materials wernt exactly grade A1, JR’s weaved nothing short of witchcraft into this release to get it looking as good as it does. im seriously impressed.

Nightwish (1989)

I have to admit, when it comes to fan submissions im a bit shit. I honestly cant help it, I have the best of intent to cover stuff, but unless it’s sat in my physical “to watch” pile, or when I look it up it grabs my by the collar and shakes me violently in terms of getting my attention, what tends to happen is it goes on a word document I have for recommendations and then slowly drops down the list into oblivion.

I really want to cover recommendations people send me in because, honestly, I feel if someone feels strongly enough that I should cover something, I should do them the courtesy of doing it. But im currently so inundated with movies (well over 250, NOT including my actual shelf of already watched ‘seal of approval’ movies) and im so limited on time in which to actually work on content for the channel, that I have to pick what I can work with and structure my seasons around genre and availability more than anything else. That unfortunately does mean that sometimes…there just isnt room to cover some things. For which im honestly very sorry, and I do fully intend to try better in future.

This rec came courtesy of a lovely chap called Samulom who’s been following me for quite a while and gave a VERY passionate speech around why he thought this film needed to be seen by a wider audience. I looked it up and wholeheartedly agreed AND mercifully at the time he hit me at JUST the right moment as I was actually about 25% of the way into writing season 11 at the time! So! I found a nice little slot in my schedules and pencilled it in! And I wasnt dissapointed!

And as an aside, I generally start writing for new seasons between August and October and February to April, so if you do have a rec, the best time to shoot your shot is in those months as im usually in the planning stages, there’ll always be a delay because of how I schedule my reviews (for example I wrote September – Decembers reviews this year between March and May) but if you get me at the right time, it’ll get covered!

Anyway! Nightwish! Enjoy!

This posters SO trippy, I love it very dearly, it does everything a good sci-fi horror should do!

The Brain (1988)

1988’s “The Brain” was a bit of a fringe film for me…What I mean by that is that it had almost always been on my radar, but it was always just one of those films that I thought i’d get round to eventually, but never actually GOT to.

I had no idea of what the actual plot was, I just knew that it involved a giant Psychic/Telekinetik testicle that floated about causing trouble. Outside of that, it could have been about anything. I realise having just written that last sentence that that pitch sounds like something i’d almost certainly be into. but at the time I had bigger fish to fry and it was always just one of those “reserve” titles I could pull out if I was having a string of solid or awful movies to try and upset the balance a bit.

That is until I began chatting to Trivial Theater. A rather lovely lady who’s been supporting the channel now for a while and seems to know her onions! Last christmas we sent each other a gift box filled with odds and ends from the US and UK respectively. apart from me discovering the absolute joys of “Gremlin bars” Triv sent a handful of movies over as well, and “The Brain” was one of those films. I saw it as a sign.

So! by way of thanks! I said i’d cover “The Brain” as it just felt like a “right movie at the right time” kind of thing. and…welp! it’s…an experience! love it or hate it, you wont be forgetting “The Brain” anytime soon

The Poster is positively Cronenberg-esq. but it’s terrible in terms of colour use because you can bearly make out what “the brain” actually is. I personally would have used more Blues just as background filler to help distiguish him from the space backdrop.

Flight To Hell (2003)

So! a new seasons upon us once again, and I couldnt think of a better way to kick off the second half of our 5th anniversairy celebrations than by an INCREDIBLY unusual sci-fi horror movie thats almost 95% shot entirely in front of a green screen. Now, you may think that a movie that did something like that would look fairly horrendous, and dear reader you’d not be that far off the truth.

For what we have here is an experiment that, really would pre-date the era of “Green screen shows” by about 10 years. programmes like “24” and “Game of Thrones” have predominantly been shot entirely on green screen sound stages and then digitally constructed in the edit. But “Flight to Hell” was trying this on half the budget and half the space in the early 2000’s I cant say the results are a thumping success. but it’s admirable that such a feat was even attempted. especially given that this type of film making is now realistically the hollywood norm.

the closest I can liken this to is 2007’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!” and I say that, not in a dismissive way, but in a sincere way. It looks like its been purposfully styalised to look ULTRA fake, rather than it actually being a fair attempt to try and do “Big budget” thrills on a low budget…budget.

Its goofy, daft and all kinds of creative. I loved this movie, and I really have to thank PeckingforgoodTV for putting me onto this one, as, without his review of this. I’d have almost certainly never found it. definitely worth checking out.

The official poster is a bit gory compared to the DVD artwork, but both are very similar and both say absolutely NOTHING about the film in question.

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.

The Tingler (1959)

As we continue on with our look at the life and times of Vincent Price we arrive at this…MASTERPIECE. of cinema. Im not kidding when I say “The Tingler” is probably one of my favourite films thats widely classed as a “B-movie” I personally dont really consider it as such, as a “B-movie” somehow instills the sense that the quality is somehow lesser than an “A-movie” and watching “The Tingler” and contrasting it against GENUINE “B-movies” of the time it’s easy to see that this thing is FAR more advanced than a B-movie. this isnt “Robot Monster” level trash, this isnt “The Mad Monster” level Schlock. Is it campy? absolutley. but it’s directed more than amicably and the cine throughout is decent with some nice ideas that are well implemented.

And while some of the practical effects ultimately do let this one down a little bit, its not bad enough that I could penalise this picture. it’s just a damn fun, slightly silly, quite well made Columbia picture that I feel gets lumped in with a bad crowd. So what I’ll say here is, if you’ve never seen “The Tingler”, go and watch “The Tingler”. I think it’s arguably William Castles best movie, and probably my 2nd ever favourite Vincent Price role.

I really wish that this thing would get a re-release in cinemas with percepto in tact. what I wouldnt give for a night of Castle films with the gimmicks put back in…but still, one day my dream may come true. for now though, “The Tingler!” a film that, not too long ago got a VERY nice bluray restoration and is currently available on Google TV and Amazon Prime. if your looking for a halloween movie to rock your world this year. you my friends have found it.

Humanoids From Atlantis (1992)

Well! It’s the end of the line! and we crash out in a ball of flames so spectacular that it damn near made J.R quit the industry all together and led to several actors never working again. HUZZAH!

Seriously; this films an absolute train wreck, no ifs or buts about it. it’s a FUN movie. dont get me wrong I enjoyed the absolute crap out of the sheer BALLS of this production. But i’d be lying if I said that it was a desperatly flawed production that literally could have been so much more. Having watched the table read for the script that ultimately got thrown out for this film. I’d be lying if I said I didnt want to see that version moreso than this one. But…im glad we at least got the opportunity to see what might have been via the wonderful work that J.R and Makeflix have done to bring this set to life.

It’s miraculous that that this film exists quite honestly given EVERYTHING that went on behind the scenes and given the amount of stress that was ultimately put on J.R I totally understand why he stepped back from directing for a time after this. but being able to see it years later. while it IS bad, no doubt about it. I can at least appreciate it for what it stands for. this was a film that was made from nothing. it’s goofy, cheesy and those title cards and credits will be the death of me. but it got MADE. J.R got it over the line and it got into Video stores. thats amazing. so I hope despite my negative criticism of the film in the review below. that you still at least keep that in mind.

Since these reviews went live Makeflix have also announced that all of these movies in the SOV six pack will be recieving solo releases in the near future. while I dont have an exact ETA, my advice has always and will continue to always be. Keep an eye on Makeflix. they’ve got some great stuff in the pipeline.

This cover is TERRIBLY misleading. I love it.