This was the 2nd to last review I wrote for this season and the last proper review I wrote before heading into our seasonal christmas specials for one last hurrah. And it was quite literally a review that materialised out of thin air. with us now well into the 2nd year of the pandemic, I’ve not been able to go out rooting through the various flea markets, charity shops and other various places where cheap VHS/DVDs and Blurays could be found. and after working with my backlog for about 2 year with not much new coming in I was beginning to have a bit of difficulty around variety.
Dont get me wrong, Im not short of films to review you understand, I have PLENTY of those to be getting on with. rather, I have too many of certain specific genres. I cant move for Horror, Sci fi and martial arts movies. But im seriously low on decent avante garde, experiemental and art house films. I have a MORE than decent stock of action titles, but very little in the way of strange drama or thrillers.
When it came to scheduling this season I began to notice I was a bit horror heavy and I wanted to try and break things up a bit. so I hit the public domain film collections I have from mill creek looking for something that’d hopefully help keep a nice digest of content. and when nothing jumped out to me, I let my partner choose. the only rule I gave her was to try and avoid a film with a title that sounded like it was just going to be a straight horror. I said depending on the synopsis I was open to doing a creature feature and thats when she hit me with “Swamp Women” in our heads we envisioned a kind of murkey “Creature from the black lagoon” type affair with mutated swamp women wandering around the back waters picking off their victims!
In reality, we got a super early Roger Corman film thats basically just a super slow travel log with fast talking chasimatic ladies at the healm. and while I appreciate that this is most definitely NOT going to be to everyones taste, I cant help but acknowledge that as a trash fiend. I kind of enjoyed this one. even now, some 3 months after watching it. I still think about it every now and then just for HOW slow, but entertaining it really was.
Perfection. thats all there is to it, I consider this to be one of my (if not my) favourite horror film ever made. I have nothing more to add to that other than. this halloween, go and watch “Theatre of Blood” total. underrated. CLASSIC.
Well! we’re in full motion on this whole “Month of Vincent Price” Malarkey and with only one more movie to go we arrive at the ever incorrigible “Abominable Dr. Phibes” a film that get so SO close to being my all time favourite Vincent Price film. I mean; it pretty much has everything. weird and over the top deaths, Price getting a real scenery chewing and somewhat cmapy role decent visual effects and an aesthetic thats quite literally timeless. I really REALLY like Phibes. but it’s just…not quite perfect for me.
I feel like a lot of this film gets bogged down in the policing segments, which feel a little too close to cop TV shows in the UK from the 1960’s. While it has all this weird and zany good stuff going on, I do feel in places it is missing that “Oomph” y’know? that zeal. that fire that takes a movie from just being really good to something that stands head and shoulders above it’s peers. is this film Iconic? absolutely, how do you forget a film featuring a killer frog mask, a clockwork orchestra and Anton Phibes himself!? but is it the best Vincent Price film? to me? no. it’s up there. but I think i’d prefer “The Tingler” and of course…theres our final film in this series to cover. which undoubtedly very much IS my all time favourite Vincent Price film.
As an aside, I havent seen “Phibes Rises Again” partly because, I want to save some new Price for days to come. I know right now, if I wanted to, I could freebase ALL of Vincents work over a weekend. but then; what would I have to look forward to in future? So…for now it sits on my shelf sealed and ready to be spun when I need a pick me up that only our Vincent could provide.
So this halloween marks my 5th anniversairy of doing halloween specials and literally ever since my 2nd set of reviews i’ve REALLY wanted to cover the films of Vincent Price. BUT! I decided it was probably best to save such a series to films to cover until a milestone, something to help really push the boat out and celebrate with. and so! we’re here! and kicking things off we have 1953’s “House of Wax” which is a more than exemplary watch that more and more people seem to be finding each year.
I really enjoyed this one and equally I do have a bit of a soft spot for the remake which, while not having the “class” and attention to detail that this movie has, is enjoyable in a grindhouse and exploitationey way. they’re very different films, but I enjoy them both in spite of their diversity.
Of course, with it being such a big special occasion I realised I couldnt do this one alone! and so I drafted in help from my good buddy Chris over at Channel 83 to help me really give this film the love it deserves! and I highly recommend checking Chris’s work out! you can get to his site here and im sure you’ll find plenty to love 🙂
Anyway! pop a black cat on your shoulder, eat a pumpkin and strap yourself in for the start of our month on Vincent Price!
Now this. This charts the point where I feel that J.R and what was left of the cast and crew realised the SOV six pack project was well and truely on a hiding to nothing. Not only did the budget get DRASTICALLY cut to a little under $1250 PER PROJECT. but it was still the middle of a freezing Ohio winter and deadlines for these projects were rolling closer and closer.
Its understandable after the work on Chick Boxer and Maximum Impact pretty much lost J.R most of his crew, a chunk of his cast and at least a writer or two that the cart was now pulling the horse and not the other way around. I dont doubt J.R’s proficiency as a director one bit. These films would have never seen the light of day if he wasnt short of legendary in the directors seat. But it’s clear to see at this point that the project was running away with itself and things were starting to reach a head.
I mention in my review that I had a similar experience to J.R when it comes to this movie as I to made the stupid STUPID mistake to go and make a movie outdoors with a skeleton crew in the middle of a freezing winter for about a week with minimal to no supplies, and honestly the stress and the weather damn near drove us all away from ever doing anything film releated ever again. So I can only IMAGINE what J.R was dealing with when not only was he dealing with that level of craptitude but that he also had Home Cinema Video breathing down his neck to deliver a finished product. I mean, I can only compare his experience to mine, and I at least had the relief of not having to work to deadlines.
Anyway; Galaxy of the Dinosaurs is a cheap but cheerful affair. it really did give me “Red Dwarf” vibes based on the script, and I think this movie may actually be my favourite script purely from a tone and dialogue standpoint out of any of the movies featured in the six pack.
I had a rather pleasent surprise while these reviews were going live. JR Bookwalter the man himself was doing a live stream Q&A for a new release for makeflix and I dropped in to ask a question about whether he’d ever consider getting back into directing (his answer was “never say never!” so here’s hoping for the SOV 12 pack in 2024!) but while watching he mentioned in passing that he’d actually been checking out a couple of these reviews as they dropped! which…well I was honestly quite beside myself as, while I have had the odd director, DOP, Cam Op or in one specific case producer drop by to tell me about how their movie sucked, or that they were grateful for my honesty. i’ve never had someone say that live, on video. TO ME.
Anyway; I mention that because this was the review he referenced specifically when he said he’d seen a couple of the reviews I’d done. and…if you’ve seen my review of this in advance of reading this post. you’ll know that I was not a fan of this movie…didnt care for it at all…hates a strong word but I do believe I said this movie was “The kind of film you take to a bad movie night when you dont like anyone in attendence.” which was then quoted in a tweet by J.R Bookwalter himself. POSITIVELY I might add!…but still. he hates this movie. I…didnt care for this movie. most people i’ve shown this film to (Because im an evil fuck) hated this movie. this is not a good movie. the poster and title is about as good as it gets.
In my minds eye I imagined Chick boxer to be a kind of gritty “Rocky” type flick. y’know, a young girl is bullied or harrassed or…I dunno SOMETHING happens. and she decides to “Get tough” cue several training montages and eventually said weedy girl is now a martial artist taking on the scum of the streets vigilante style, with the papers and police not really knowing what to make of her. almost like what was done in “Robot Ninja” but without the super hero costume and the scene where a guy removes and inserts weird tubes into his arm.
Instead we got…well I’ll let the review do the rest of the work.
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.
Well! we’re well underway now on the Moore era of Bond films and as ever Dan and Ben have gathered their resources. put a brave face on things and decided to run into Christopher lees wacky world waving their arms wildly and screaming incomprehensively as we take a look at “The Man With The Golden Gun” a film that…honestly? to me? is a film thats nowhere near as good as it should be…I mean, dont get me wrong it definitely has its moments but a film that brings Moore, Lee and Eckland together while also having JW Pepper should have literally made my cock fall off…and it just…didnt. Either way! we still had a lot of fun with this one! so give it a spin and see what you think!
This ones going to be short and sweet. and it’s going to be another soapbox post unfortunatley; in part because I feel like I said everything I needed to say about this movie within the review itself and in part because the circumstances around this reviews publication once again fell fowl of youtubes copyright notice systems and Im going to treat this post as a kind of mini vent. So if you just want to know about the movie itself you’re probably best skipping the text on this one and just jumping straight into the video below.
This is now the 3rd film review that i’ve had unfairly worldwide blocked by Studio Canal/Lionsgate. I appreciate that the rules on fair use are kind of sketchy and could go either way. but if push came to shove, in a court of law I fully believe that my review of this film would constitute fair usage under critique and criticism. Given that I use less than a 5th of the films total footage throughout the entirity of this films review, AND that i’ve transformed the footage in such a way as to effectively create a new work from it. I feel it totally unecissary that SC/L had the video worldwide blocked. In fact after my last review featuring a title of their range got worldwide blocked under similar spurious takedowns I decided to blacklist them as they clearly dont need me and I dont want the hassle of dealing with them.
Unfortunately “Steel Dawn” is distributed by Lionsgate in ONE single terratory. and thats enough leverage for them to fully worldwide block my review. A cursory glance on google shows that the film is distributed by multiple licensee’s so to see Lionsgate so blatently abuse the copyright system in this instance. While unsurprising, is yet another reminder to me that copyright is an absolute minefield in terms of navigating the rights and wrongs, and corporations and companies seem more than happy to abuse it in any and every way they like.
I will say, on the whole I find the youtube contentID system to be imperfect but mainly fair. most major companies take fair use on board and will largely only take monetization or block in countries they specifically distribute to. and even then counter claims on the grounds of fair use will 8 times out of 10 result in a released claim.
However; it’s companies and individuals abusing those copyright tools and remaining unpunished for doing so thats the hang up I have with youtube and is something that desperately needs reviewing. A few weeks ago one of my commentary videos was issued with a DMCA takedown notice by a total randomer. not only did the commentary video contain ZERO copyrighted works in it. but it was one of the few videos where we’d actually been able to completely isolate the audio. it literally couldnt have been our totally 100% homegrown content anymore if it physically tried. nevertheless I still had to spend around a month and a massive loss in my watchtime and views fighting that takedown, which was then released with no issues after the timer ran out on the claim.
I find it totally ludicrous that its this easy for people to issue these takedown notices and equally upsetting that big companies and corporations feel they can bully creators by creating artificial narratives on what reviews can stay up, which have to be pulled down and that the big companies get to set the severity level that a channel gets dealt depending on whether they choose to cover their content or not.
Every upload I do feels like im playing a game of buckaroo where the losing item loaded on triggers a hand granade. and it really totally sucks when you spend over a week producing a detailed review only for it to end up worldwide blocked because corporations are abusing tools while all the creators can do is hope that things dont end up litigeous and pray that the clock runs out on claims in order to meet scheduling demand. things need to change.
So…anyway; Lionsgate blocked this review worldwide. So I ended up having to strip all of my edited visuals out (more or less…the packaging shot and the “Who Wrote this/Who directed this” sequences have been left in.) and replace it with a title slide because youtube is spineless and I didnt have a choice in the matter. I’ll shortly be uploading the full visual version to my backup account on Breach.tv (A fantastic site thats sadly super underrated and needs way more love) and when I do I’ll link the full visual version here too so you can see what you were missing.
Not that you were missing much, this films totally unmemorable and a bit rubbish.
So I really do have to give serious thanks to “Channel 83” for sending this film my way. It was one that was vaguely on my radar for a number of years. But i’d never put much effort into actively checking it out. and BOY was I annoyed at myself for not looking into this one sooner.
This really is a bizzare yet entertainingly awful picture. One that somehow manages to engage the part of my brain that loves “So bad it’s good” cinema while simultaineously really irritating other parts of my brain to the point of wanting to throw it as far away from me as possible. This film really truely is the Carvel ice cream cake covered in ants at the picnic. and in many way’s I dont see that as being an entirely bad thing.
Its a movie that I do really hope gets a re-release at some point, preferably sooner rather than later because i’d love to be able to take this movie over to a friends house to sink a few beers and watch the chaos unfurl.