Who Killed Captain Alex (2010)

And so we’ve arrived at the end of another season of TYTD Reviews. and ironically one of the first scripts I planned for the series WAAAAAY back in October 2020 ended up being the closer on this season nearly 9 months later.

I was first put on the case of the Wakaliwood scene during the summer of 2020 when a discord I frequent mentioned it as being something that’d really be my kind of happening. So; when the black friday sales came up for Vinegar Syndrome and AGFA I picked up their frankly next level package of “Who Killed Captain Alex” and “Bad Black” and it proceeded to totally blow me away.

I knew then and there that I wanted to cover one (or both) of these movies in the next season of reviews. The original plan was to review “Who Killed Captain Alex?” and then follow it up with a “Comedy Dining Experience” commentary for “Bad Black” but due to scheduling, planning issues and other boring things that always get in the way of a good time, we couldnt make it align up. which is a shame. I still plan to do SOMETHING with “Bad Black” I just dont really know exactly what just yet.

But yeh; Here’s the last review before our summer break. we’ll be dropping comedy dining experiences throughout July and August and there may still be one more surprise in store before we start on Season 10. all I’ll say for now is I hope you all have a happy and safe summer. and we’ll see you back for the next full season in August.

This is one of the few instances where the poster LITERALLY tells you everything you need to know about the film perfectly.

Living Nightmare (Echoes) (1982)

Finally! the middle classes answer to “Driller Killer” in all it’s mundane dullness. I feel like such a stooge in hindsight after releasing this review. A little context (And a mild spoiler about whats coming up on this channel in future months.) I hadnt seen “Driller Killer” before reviewing this movie. and, for all intents and purposes I hadnt really planned to watch it for a while because the majority of people i’d spoken to about it told me that Driller killer was a bit boring and the kind of movie that you’d only watch once and move on.

Anyway; decided for the upcoming 10th season of my reviews that I was going to watch “Driller Killer” to get it over and done with. and apart from the fact that I really enjoyed it WAY more than the people who told me it was rubbish made out. I was mortified to discover that “Driller Killer” appears to more or less be the groundwork for this movie. as in; the themes, narrative and a decent chunk of the plot seem to more or less be copy/pasted from “Driller Killer” into “Living nightmare” the only significant difference is whereas “Living Nightmare” follows a bunch of middle class yuppies as they deal with the day to day issues of owning an apartment the size of a bowling ally. “Driller Killer” aims more to cover people in poverty and on skid row.

In fact; the only significant difference other than the class in this film and Driller is that in this film the madness is put more down to ghosts/the paranormal, whereas in driller killer the madness is based on the circumstancial rot that poverty induces. other than that they follow eerily similar beats, and I really wish i’d known that going into this one.

As it stands I wrote this review back in Jan/Feb of 2021 and then didnt see Driller killer until June 2021 at least a week or two after this review dropped, it took me till about 50 minutes into Driller to very quickly realise i’d totally missed a trick with this review.

So. to clarify, not only is this film generally rubbish and not worth watching, it’s also a little bit theivey and you should go and watch “Driller Killer” if you want a similar experience thats actually much much better than this film.

The official poster art for this (under the title “Echoes”) is rubbish. while the VHS art lies to you, at least it lies to fein looking interesting.

Steel Dawn (1987)

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.

This film poster was way too good for this movie. The original sell-thru VHS artwork is 1000x more reflective of the quality your dealing with here.

Splat! In Your Face! (2002)

Once again; we find ourselves in the rhelm of kids movies with “Splat!”. A genre that; when it comes to low/no budget cinema. is the closest thing to an actual mine field you’ll probably ever experience. Im not kidding. having done this now for approaching 5 years, almost every critic i’ve come across will agree that when it comes to genres kids films are somehow the ones most likely to either be perfectly fine or “Peel your face off” bad.

One critic I know in particular limits himself to no more than 3 a year. mainly for health reasons. and it’s not particularly difficult to see why. I’ve reviewed over 200 movies at this point and i’d say that I always cover kids films with a healthy dose of dutch courage and trepadation. “Splat!” was the equivelent of stepping on a landmine. it was a bad experience and one I really hope not to repeat again anytime soon.

But! at the same time, this is kind of why I started my channel. before I published my review for this film there really wasnt anything out there in terms of actual solid review and critique. there were some user reviews on IMDB and a professional external review from 2002 that gave it “2 stars out of 5” but in terms of detail, in terms of feeling and vibe. there was nothing. So I really hope that by covering this film on my channel i’ve helped raise awareness and, if at the end of the day. all I’ve done is stopped one poor schmuck from paying money to check this out. Then it makes getting my legs blown off week in and week out worth it.

Splat! was the first kids film i’ve covered this year, and honestly I felt super burnt out on kids films after 2020’s run in which I covered 8 kids films in the space of 4 months. that was almost if not exactly half a seasons worth of reviews dedicated solely to kids movies. it was overwhelming. So this year i’ve tried to tone it down a bit, but there are still a few more mines to tread on in the near future dont worry about that!

This posters a freakin lie. the background image of the team in blue is a promo photo from 2002, but the guy in the forground was photographed in 2006 and everything else is just mocked up in photoshop. BAD MOVIE POSTER. NO BUISCUIT!!!

Demon Cop (1990)

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.

It still blows my mind that this film came out in the UK on the same label as “Bad Taste”…blows my mind…Still that poster is still pretty awesome!

The Visitants (1986)

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!

As for whats going on in this film poster? your guess is as good as mine. It’s bizarrely mezmorising.

Best of the Best (1989)

So; Here’s a bit of a cards on the table “Confessions” moment. a decent chunk of this season is VHS based; and the main reason for that decision is because while I was doing the writing and planning for this season I was also unpacking all my belongings into my recently refurbished room (I started writing scripts for this season in October last year) so while I was putting everything back it gave me a bit of chance to try and have a clearout and of all the formats in my collection, VHS is the most bulky and the the hardest to properly store.

So; I kinda sorta used this season to do some spring cleaning on my collection so I could thin out tapes I thought I might not keep based on the title and box art. and honestly? it’s been quite effective for most of the choices this season. a lot of what i’ve watched has either ended up being gifted on to others or found its way to refuse. but this movie? this movie right here? I was genuinely surprised at how entertaining it was. As I say in the review it really does have a lot going for it.

I initially chose it because I had 3 of the 4 films in this franchise on VHS and I figured if I did one of these a season it’d probably be a good way to get rid of 3 “Meathead” tapes from collection pretty easily. But instead the opposites ended up happening. I genuinely cant wait to watch the second one of these later in the year and I’ve been keeping my eye on a bluray collection of these movies now since I saw this one. Im hoping the sequels are as entertaining (if not as good) as this first one because if they are. I literally have no hesitation on upgrading all these to bluray quality and having the set as soon as possible.

Genuinely entertaining, fun and Eric Roberts is frankly astonishingly good in this. if you dont have the 20(ish) minutes needed to get through my full review and just want a quick caption. BUY THIS MOVIE NOW!

The poster for this ones a bit shite in all honesty. it doesnt really speak to me and it’s kind of difficult to work into marketing as it’s just a load of boxes inside boxes. Its hardly the most revolutionary jawdropping poster i’ve seen…its just…weird.

Evil Brain From Outer Space (Super Giant 4) (1966)

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.

that poster…jesus.

Massacre at Central High (Blackboard Massacre) (1976)

One for the “Yikes” pile, this movie even now is just…leaves me with this sense of cringing discomfort. it’s one thing to make a drama about a 35 year old teenager trying to blow up a school and killing off the students. it’s another when your sympathetic to the killer. and this film really does genuinely try to rationalise that; had our main character not gotten TOO into murdering his peers. the school probably would have been better for it.

I know theres themes around corruption present and the idea that just removing the figureheads of corruption from a system without properly planning for the transition of power, merely creates a vaccume from which even worse corruption can spring forth. I get it. but I just find it incredibly problematic that the film at no point takes the time to point out that the main character in this movie (the one doing the killing) is wrong to have even done it in the first place. instead it really just leaves the viewer with the feeling that, had David just planned better for the aftermath, the murders would have been entirely justified.

This was one of the first scripts where I actually had to cut a section of the script out in post. I had initially recorded a section in the opening of my review where I took a bit of a deep dive into school shooting statistics with the aim of trying to figure out exactly why someone in 1976 would think that this movie was in ANY way a good idea. and my initial research revealed that basically the same amount of school shootings occured between the 1920’s and mid 1970’s as occured between 1998 and 2004. I therefore came to the conclusion that the reason why this film got made was simply a case that…well; not a lot of these really happened all that often, so my guess was that the producers thought they’d be safe covering this topic in this way as (at the time) it would have been about as common as a General election and probably would have been viewed by the public as one of those “It could never really happen to me” moments.

Unfortunately; just as I was working on the edit for this episode, a school shooting happened. and I re-reviewed my data and found a TON of scope for incorrect data and missed avaneus of exploration ranging from School massacres being listed seperately from school shootings in terms of collated data. issues with classifying what actually COUNTED as a school shooting and what was classed as a School massacre or just a targeted attack. issues with what qualified as a school attack (if people get attacked en mass just outside the school grounds. does it still count as a school attack?) and even variations on the attacks themselves. such as; what if it was a teacher that committed the attack rather than a student, what if it’s an entire SCHOOL that goes to attack another school? does that count as one incident or hundreds of smaller ones? and in one bizarre case from the 1920’s if a student accidentally kills another student with a hoe on school grounds, but then kills another student to stop them covering up the first murder. is that a massacre? or just a super awful story?

In essence. what I wanted to say was “Because of how few attacks happened between 1925 and 1975 the producers probably felt comfortable presenting the film this way” but honestly? after seeing all the variables I missed out. the datas a hot mess and I honestly dont know anymore. all I do know is they definitely could have handled this film more tactfully…that being said; I guess your more likely to get butts on seats with controversy and shock than you are with just being a clean cut drama.

Anyway; this movie hasnt aged well, but there are a couple of okay points with it. so maybe check out my review and decide for yourself 🙂

This cover is SUPER misleading. however; it’s the best cover this film has.

Riverbend (1989)

Of all the films I ended up covering this season; “Riverbend” was probably the one that caught me off guard the most. Now I didnt think it was a perfect film by any measure. but the themes it deals with coupled with the utterly baffling to me concept that this has NEVER had a digital release (that I can see) just…well…it’s this kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

this wasnt a bad film by any measure. hell; if i’d have found it on DVD in my local CEX or charity shop i’d have probably been even more in love with it as a movie. But because I just kind of found this in a haul and because it’s SO poorly represented online (theres almost NO high res art for this movie available online and at the time of writing this it sits ona paltry 98 ratings on IMDB with only one on site review to add insult to injury! it REALLY feels like this is a forgotten movie. and thats genuinely quite sad to me.

Steve James would die 4 years after this film was made and this was seen as one of his big shots to break out of the sidekick role and into a leading actor position. and in this film he MORE than handles that role near perfectly. Unfortunately after this film, barring an appearence in a supporting role on an episode of “Pee Wees Playhouse” most of his roles up to his death were for direct to video fodder or forgotten TV shows. it really feels like some quite fantastic talent fell through the cracks here and the more I can do to put this frankly fantastic actor on a higher pedestal then hopefully the more people will see what they’re missing.

Obviously; when it comes to publishing these articles for my site I have no knowledge of how these reviews are going to perform on youtube. In the past i’ve had reviews I was sure were going to be big hits absolutely bomb out into obscurity (See: Christmas Evil) eqully i’ve had episodes that I wasnt too sure about that’ve gone on to rake in views quick and heavy! (See: Dot and Spots magical christmas adventure) but if I could wish ANY film Im reviewing this season success beyond what pushing im capable of doing. I think it would be this one. Because more people need to see “Riverbend” it’s really something quite special.

Almost all of the promotional material for this film is some variation of this photo backed by either a forest of the US flag. I personally think it’s pretty decent.

OH! and because this films SO underrepresented online. heres the box art scanned in HD. because bloody hell there really is nothing out there.