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.

The Dragon Lives Again 2022 Redux (1977)

Look…I had to okay? I just had to. My first review on the channel WAY back in 2017 was “The Dragon Lives Again” a film I chose mainly because it was (at the time) my all time favourite good/bad movie. and while I’ve grown and diversified in all the time i’ve been doing this, my love for this film has honestly not deminished one iota. I LOVE this movie, for its big, stupid, bizarre, copyright infringing heart and soul it manifests and everything it stands for.

Obviously with it being my first review on the channel and the 2nd ever review I wrote for this thing! (the first being a pilot episode I wrote and partially edited that…didnt feel right so I scrapped it.) after 5 years it waaaas beginning to look a little creaky. at the time I wrote the review I wasnt as honed on research as I am now, I didnt have nice lighting kits or a studio grade mic or a decent machine to edit on, I didnt structure my scripts, my work around pacing and my channel branding was frankly atrocious, I put ZERO passion into my delivery on the mic… (the things you learn as you grow)

I worked with what I could at the time, but generally I kind of treat my work at this point as two “eras” the first being Seasons 1-5 Basically everything from the first review up to “Jack Frost” which was a learning curve and as such things are very much a “Work in progress” and then from Seasons 6 to the this review I kind of feel like I had chance to stop, recharge, rework my content, improve my methodology and develop into something that today im beyond happy with. it feels like my work from Season 6 has led to now and my revisiting this video.

So much has been discovered about “The Dragon Lives Again” in the 5 years since my initial review went live, better quality copies of the film have surfaced, theres more information around how it was distributed, not to mention that theres generally just…a TON to talk about in this film that in my original review I absolutely failed to do. I didnt want to do a 2.5D remake of my original review like I did with “The American Ninja 2” because I felt more needed to be said. So this is a from the ground up redo. taking on what i’ve learned and putting it into one of the most comprehensive reviews of this movie that I could possibly aim for. we’ve come full circle and this era of TYTD is now coming to something of an end. I feel a lot happier about things with this movie now having proper representation on the channel, and I hope you enjoy it.

As for the future? well; in the time that this review was completed and uploaded i’ve upgraded my mic, my computer, my editing software and much much more. it’s a new beginning, and I hope you enjoy where we take the show going forward (Dont worry, we arnt shaking things up THAT much…consider it a polish and shine rather than a ‘ripping the heart out’ moment)

So! To ‘The Dragon Lives Again’ the film that launched the channel and forever may it sail!

The poster is SO badass, I just wish there was more high quality promotional material from this film available because as it stands ALL my editing work for promotional materials for this movie had to revolve around this poster and low res screengrabs…poo poo.

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!

She Freak (1967)

In many ways, I wish I could have been kinder to She Freak, it’s not a BAD movie by any stretch, I just feel like it’s a difficult film to market really, how do you sell a movie thats basically a 60’s remake of Todd brownings “Freaks” but with all the wonderful pathos and artiness that is the chiascuro 1920’s black and white drenched goodness removed?

“Oh, it’s basically “Freaks” but toned down because the MPAA didnt like the original and less interesting” is a HELL of a tagline. Not helped AT ALL, by the fact they hang their hat on the titular “She Freak” who doesnt ACTUALLY materialise ‘freaked up’ until the end, and even then only for 60 seconds max. I know the whole idea is that SHES THE REAL FREAK FOR BEING A JERK YEH? YEH!. But the reality is, it just fell short of really truely winning me over, and in many ways I felt quite let down by it for that.

That being said AGFA have done a BLINDER of a job on this thing, it looks incredible and if you were lucky enough to get the limited edition slip (as seen below) then you were doubly blessed! honestly while the film may not be *THAT* great, the release really cant be faulted.

That slipcover…god DAMN.

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!

Phantom of the Ritz (1988)

This was actually a pretty rare opportunity for me, I often cover obscure and somewhat forgotten movies, but it’s VERY rare that I cover a film thats been forgotten so much so that it has an almost non existent online presence. I could find almost NOTHING on this movie in terms of interesting facts or trivia. I couldnt even honestly prove that this thing ever played in theaters.

The only thing I could confirm is that it got a US and UK vhs release and then after that it literally fell through the cracks of history and dissapeared seemingly forever. it currently has 78 ratings on IMDB. I think the only film i’ve ever covered with lower scores than that is “Riverbend” and even that now has risen to 118 ratings since I first covered it. I guess…what im trying to say is, this film is LONG forgotten and VERY unlikely to get a re-release. and I think thats kind of a shame, this isnt a fundamentally bad movie…it IS bad…but WAY worse have managed a dvd AND bluray release…so…if any distribution labels are reading this, maybe take a look at “Phantom of the Ritz” it’s a kinda sorta, not so bad movie thats pretty rubbish.

I love this poster work too….I mean, it says NOTHING about the actual film…but it does it with such a level of STYLE!

Tough and Deadly (1995)

So, as part of our 5th Anniversairy celebrations i’d made the decision well in advance that I wanted to try and steep a more than decent chunk of this season in references and call backs to things i’d mentioned in the past. is it self indulgent? absolutely. But given im very unlikely to make 10 years on this platform under the current format, I have to take what moments I can as and when they appear!

I knew I wanted to cover some of the usuals, an “American Ninja Movie”, my continued slog through “Best of the Best”. I absolutely wanted to revisit “The Dragon Lives Again” but I’d always remembered that in the past I’d sworn i’d cover “Tough and Deadly” and given that was nearly 5 years ago and that it still hadnt happened. I absolutely thought this had to be righted.

In many ways; I wasnt entirely won over by this one, despite what good it does do. frustratingly the experience of covering this one was somewhat tarnished by events that happened around the time of publication; Y’see, I owned this movie on a ‘double feature’ set with another Billy Blanks movie “Talons of the Eagle” and literally the same week that this movie review went live, “Talons of the Eagle” got announced as having a frankly Stunning Bluray release by Vinegar Syndrome…Which did somewhat take the wind out of my sails for this one on release day.

Still! it’s a fun movie! and while I dont think i’d be exactly ecstatic to recommend it, i’d say it’s worth checking out at least once!

That poster says LITERALLY nothing about the film. LITERALLY nothing.