Gatwick Gangsters (2017)

In many ways; I love films like this. Films that live beyond the screen. films that continue to organically grow like some kind of bizarre trash terrarium. Gatwick Gangsters has a life beyond it’s stream and I live for stuff like that. When I first started researching the movie I had NO idea that Shampagne was working to be an auter media personality. I just thought this was a goofy movie that I could take apart and explain what worked and what didnt and then mark it off my list.

And then the world opened up to me, Shampagnes colourful life and history, the Gatwick Gangsters website, the music videos, the social media presence, the fake IMDB trivia…The fact they’re ACTIVELY in development for a Gatwick Gangsters 2!? its “On Cinema” level artistry at its finest.

I feel it may be a touch overdramatic, but I consider this kind of melding of real living breathing personalities and social media/movie integration bordering on performance art. and while I wish absolutely no ill will to ANYONE involved in the production of these movies. I REALLY hope they dont become self aware. These are the film makers who are best left uncontacted like the tribes in the amazon. Let them exist in their bubble, thinking they’re making the greatest movies ever. and just. let them make the magic.

I feel im almost overstepping my boundaries just by simply talking about this movie here, I need to really push this I DONT want interaction with these people. I want them to keep as far away from me and people like me as possible. I want them to keep making these weird HYPER aggressive movies so that I can pay them £8 for and then just…enjoy the utter UTTER weirdness thats come out of 5-7 years of stop and start film making.

Pandering to people like me or aknowleging your film is being viewed by a VERY specific audience that it wasnt intended to be made for is whats RUINED film makers like Rick Sloan, Tommy Weisau and Barry J. Gillis in the past. If you want proof in motion of what happens when you shut that crowd (I.E Me) out of planning when making your movie look at Neil Breen. who has somehow through adversity managed to make half a dozen movies that are PERFECTLY weird and awful and wonderful in every way. he doesnt humour us. and im absolutely glad for that.

So yeh. Gatwick Gangsters. I had quite an emotional time with this movie, and I hope you go check it out, and; Shampagne. if you do ever see this, ignore it. I really dont know what im talking about.

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 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.

A Ted Called Gooby (2009)

This was one of the earliest films I found while going out Hauling. I’ve literally had it sat in my “To Review” pile for AT LEAST 4 years, but its almost always been one of those movies that has *JUST* missed out of being covered every season for the last 3-4 seasons. It was the cover of the DVD release that really drew me to this one. I just find it simultaineously TOO polished and a bit TOO awkward.

Anyway; heres Gooby. a movie that left me feeling more underwhelmed than anything else, it was too good to be laughably bad and too bad to be acceptably good. it just flutters around the “Meh” grey-zone.

Promo material for this film is SUPER thin on the ground. I really wish there was more stuff to pick through.

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.

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.

Annabelles Wish (1997)

Annabelles Wish was one of those movies that I saw a TON for a brief period in the late 90’s the marketing campaign for this movie in the UK was quite frankly insane. I remember WH Smiths, Woolworths and most places that sold tapes being absolutely rammed with it. I remember the channel 3 childrens block “CITV” having CHRONIC amounts of adverts running for this (probably because CITV was being run by “Carlton” at the time, which was also the company who distributed this film in the UK) for a good year or two it was nothing but wall to wall Annabelle. and honestly; at the time I thought it sounded like a load of old rubbish.

So to sit here nearly 25 years to the day of its release and finally watch this thing to see what all the hubub was about…well…as you can expect the sour laughs of a special that not only missed the mark but full on faceplaneted the concrete could be heard for miles around. This was amazing. a film that really truely tried to be sincere and heartwarming/Bittersweet. Inadvertently becoming DEEPLY troubling and quite confusing to boot! I had NO idea what to expect when I hit play. but I certainly wasnt expecting THAT!

it surprised, shocked and genuinely made me laugh at just how corny and awful it was…and for the last TYTD Reviews episode of 2021…well I couldnt have asked for a more perfect example of what this series is all about.

bloody hell…

This poster is a LIE and will be ceased by the workers as an act of defiance. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER COMRADES!

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!