The Worst Witch (1986)

So; Halloween 2020 is upon us and this year being an “Off” year we’re once again going for a grab bag of halloween goodies to help kick your month off with a bang! and while all of the movies chosen this year arnt really connected. I have decided to have a bit of a loose theme.

I wanted to try and do more “Family Friendly” movies this halloween. I know a lot of my viewers are parents and quite frequently they struggle to find good horror to show their kids without having to dip into their “adult” collection. So I thought i’d try to help out this year. All the movies featured will be movies that more or less the entire family can tune in to! I really wanted to make it a bit more all encompassing, after all Halloween is supposed to be a time for spooks and scares for all ages!

So here we have “The Worst Witch” the ORIGINAL Worst Witch. and arguably one of the most enjoyable adaptations. probably suitable for younger children (I’d say 5-9 year olds) but theres a TON of campness to help keep Adults on board. I really dug this one…and if certain events around a certain author who ALSO wrote a very popular series about witches and wizards have left you feeling a bit cold. then This series might just be what you need.

Unfortunately this film has never had a decent cover. The original VHS cover is about as good as it gets.

Antropophagus: The Beast (Savage Island) (1980)

After nearly 2 years; I finally decided to give the Nasties another go. It wasnt a concious choice to miss them out. Quite honestly i’ve wanted to talk about more of them for years at this point. It’s just with 2019’s season being a bit thrown together and 2018’s latter half of the year basically going to the wall . I just really couldnt fit any in anywhere.

And even now in 2020 Antropophagus only JUST managed to be included in this season. Originally it had been one I wanted to cover but I just couldnt fit it in anywhere. Then about 2 months before we launched Season 7 A collab I had planned dropped through and made a gap in April. So I pulled the trigger on covering this one (Particularly because around the time I had (What I thought) was a really neat little intro skit based off the UK travel series of the 80’s and 90’s “Wish you Were Here“.

All in all I have a soft spot for Antropophagus, it isnt to everyones taste, but it is a better Nasty than some of the stuff on the list. I enjoy digging it out now and then and if I could ever get my hands on a VHS copy then I’d be over the moon! It’s biggest problem as I mention in the review in passing is that some of the effects just dont hold up to the wonders of 1080p and 2k based Bluray technology. but watching this on a fuzzy, grimy video tape im sure brings a lot of the character of this picture back into focus! if you can go and check it out I definitely recommend you do as 88 Films is distributing this in the UK and Severin Films for the US.

While the Posters and many of the re-releases would show different more detailed artworks…I Personally Adore the artwork for the UK Pre-cert Release. It’s an Iconic “Nasty” Cover that was defining for the genre. If I could get it as I poster; I would.

Vampire Hookers (Twice Bitten) (1978)

So; Vampire Hookers, the 2nd part of our “Drive in movie” specials which started with “Death Force” a couple of weeks previously. This to me; is the weaker of the two ventures. While it is better in some regards (The Cine is a definite bump up in quality and the soundtracks about even with Death Forces…) it’s just so poor in terms of scripting, acting (Not to mention all the Homophobia, mild racism and mysoginy peppered throughout) it’s just a not particularly nice film to sit through.

As I mention in the review; I first picked this movie up independently of this set on VHS when it was under it’s UK title of “Twice Bitten” and the UK release manages to be somehow even worse than the US version as what little horror and eroticism IS in this movie is missing from the UK version. Twice bitten has a hell of a VHS cover though (As seen in the introduction to this video) and that was what initially sold me…had I known it was “Vampire Hookers” in disguise I wouldnt have bought it…

This one was planned as part of last years themed month on Vampires. But when I found out how awful the quality was, and how little Vampires actually even factored into the plot I decided to hold off on reviewing it. My thinking was to maybe include it in a “Vampires 2” themed month if I ever got round to it…but then I found out it’s US title, I realised it was already part of this drive in set and I figured it was too shit to showcase as a prime Halloween watch. And well; Here we are!

(The posters not bad for this…but it could be so much better…I mean; the whole thing could be so much better…but still…)

The “You Can Read” Comedy Dining Experience (1988)

So we’re back again with another addition of the…CCCCCCCOMEDYDININGEXPERIENCE. and this month we thought we’d do something a little bit different and instead of doing a commentary for a film. I decided to show Ben “You can Read” a series he’d never seen before and was thoroughly delighted to sit through…at least thats what I inferred the screaming to mean.

Anyway! Here it is! Enjoy! and remember! you CAN read!

 

(I always loved the VHS boxes for these things….they were really quaint.)

Finishing the Complete Sixth Series (2019)

To say that it’s a miracle that this season even got made is an understatement in and of itself. When I first set out to make this I had no idea of the trials and tribulations that would unfold during this seasons run. It’s well documented at this point on this site but Season 6 was predominantly marred by the fact that my partner was taken seriously ill after literally writing the first 2 episodes of this season in September of 2018 (“One Dark Night” and “If Looks could kill“) We’re not talking (Bedridden) ill either; we’re talking full blown hospital level ill. and as a result writing for season 6 ground to a halt after episode 2 and Season 5’s Christmas specials (Which were in the midst of being edited) were put on the backburner to the point that I was literally finalising the edit for “Jack Frost” the day before it was actually set to upload. Which was just insane as I normally edit about 2 months ahead of the actual upload schedule as a rule.

By the end of 2018 all work had stopped on producing new episodes and I was solely caring for my partner and trying to cling onto my Job as a wave of redundencies had recently hit the company. Luckily there seemed to be a period of calm around the beginning of March and by the end of that month I’d actually found a brief window of time to sit down and actually start making notes for a new review (Alongside reworking the two I’d written the previous year to freshen them up a bit) From there my partners health improved, work stabilized and I was finally able to get back on the horse and ride for season 6. and I REALLY didnt want to let the momentum stop once it had gotten underway. pulling a few late nights and making some quite difficult decisions I steamrolled through the first half of season 6 (Up toSilent Running) with little to no trouble. As autumn rolled through things began to get a little more complex, Halloweens kind of a big deal for me and my partner so there was a lot of planning around september time. and then Christmas pretty much starts from November 1st these days so there were a lot of things to circumnavigate at this point.

Still; we battled on and other than 1 or 2 very brief moments of “Squeaky bum time” (Memories of editing “Vamp!” 2 weeks before it was set to go live spring to mind) it was otherwise one of the smoothest runs to the end of the year that i’ve experienced since starting this channel. Christmas was more or less all tied up by the last week of November and i’d started writing season 7 by mid November (which is very shortly due to finish writing and start recording/editing)

I cant honestly say I have fond memories of this period of time. But as I said at the top of the post. im grateful for everything that’s happened while we made this. It’s the longest season we’ve ever done clocking in at 26 episodes + a crossover special and this season introduced me to some ace people like the guys and gals over at the “Inside the Nutshell”. It’s let me watch and talk about some weird and wonerful movies and in hindsight I had fun with this season. even if personally I was suffering a bit.

(Everyone loves the longform stuff. and some of these are absolute classics! I hope you enjoy this marathon of sleaze and weirdness.)

Emmanuelle (1974)

It’s been ages since I’ve covered an “Adult” film on here…I think in part it’s because reviewing erotic cinema can be a bit of a challenge. The line can be so fine between erotic cinema and just flat out porn that it can be really quite debatable as to whether im making an accurate critical assessment of it. Well that and Youtube has a barmy everytime so much as a nipple flies past the screen (This weeks review has been age restricted out of common decency)

There are several erotic films that I personally hold in very high regard that others consider really quite tacky or just porn. I mention in the video that im a massive Tinto Brass fan. but whereas most critics site his earlier works (Movies such as: The Howl, Salon Kitty or The Key) as prime examples of explorations of relationships and eroticism I personally much prefer his output in the 90’s which is much more bubblegum but with a distinct tinge of nastiness behind it. Not malice for the acts. but malice from misunderstood characters who slowly over the course of the films either learn better and become accepting of the situations in this film. Or get punished for continuing to not accept the scenarios. Movies like “All Ladies Do it“, “Cheeky” and “P.O Box Tinto Brass” are all quite comic in places but equally do have some slightly uncomfortable moments within them that make them challenging and engaging movies.

Emmanuelle was a film that very much put me in mind of Tinto Brass. it kind of feels like the missing link between his more serious 80’s art films and his more “Puff piece” light hearted 90’s films. I really genuinely quite enjoyed this one. the ending was deeply unplesent and the mysoginy sprinkled throughout I could quite happily do without but sans those elements this is quite a reasonable exploration of sexuality. I really do want to get my hands on the sequel just to see what the series did next and I really hope they didnt just go “Full porn” too quickly. Having seen the Emmanuelle TV series (both “2000” and “In Space”) I can confirm that at least by the 1990’s it had gone full softcore porn…Dont get me wrong there were some interesting ideas in there from a science fiction perspective…but a few interesting ideas sprinkled into porn is still porn ultimately. Honestly? I’d be interested in finding this films tipping point. though I feel it may be a while before I get my hands on another one of these.

https://www.breach.tv/embed/de94a383cd258cea331b

[Due to several copyright takedowns by the melts over at “Studiocanal” this episode is now being hosted uncut on Breach.tv – Please click the above link!]

(There are 3-4 posters for this film, but they’re all either in terrible quality or explicit. This one was the only one I could find that was neither of these things…and even then I had to crop it…It’s not my favourite poster i’ve seen though…)

The Intruder Within (1981)

Im on Vacation! it’s only for a few days mind…but i’ve popped my flippers on, donned my factor 5000 sun tan lotion and Im striding out to enjoy the benefits of the british summertime!

With this in mind Im going to leave you with this stinker of a movie till I return! This was one of the first “Big Box” Tapes I picked up when I first started re-collecting VHS tapes. I saw the cover and just knew it would be a film that I’d need to watch/cover on this show. I was looking for tat. and I absolutely found tat here! it stinks!

It never had a cinema release and this movie basically was shown on US television once or twice before it was dumped onto tape and swiftly forgotten for a couple of decades…I wanted to like this one, I really did…but it’s so drab and such a clear knockoff of the Alien and Predator franchise that I just couldnt get anywhere near liking it as much as I could have.

Still that’s just my opinion…watch this weeks review and let me know what you think! In the meantime im off to fill a coconut with rum and to put my feet up in a shady glade! have a great week guys and gals!

(I can see teeth…and a mound of flesh…I still cant exactly decide where this things eyes are…never a good sign when it comes to a poster…It also looks a bit too close to “The Deadly Spawn”…)

You Can Read (The Complete Series) (1988)

I’ve been trying to find the best way to approach talking about “You Can Read!” (The 1988 Orbis Video released Edutainment series) for a long time now. In fact since I first found out the series I’d watched as a kid was called “You Can Read” I’ve always wanted to cover it on this channel. But I wanted to make sure I did it right (Or at least as right as possible given the spotty information thats available online about it) indeed it was literally only a couple of days before I was set to record the audio for this episode that I even found out that 3 years prior it had had a full DVD re-release in Malta.

Theres literally no information about this re-release online barring a Facebook page and a throwaway article buried deep in one of the lesser known tabloid sites. and finding that article was completely by chance. And apart from a handful of people who have commented on the facebook page to say the first 2 volumes were messed up (They’d apparently been authored as CD-Roms rather than DVD’s) it’s almost impossible to find any “Real world” evidence that these DVD’s actually exist at all. Im not denying they exist you understand. it’s just that outside of that facebook page’s own advertisements I havent seen one photograph on instagram, google or social media in itself of a member of the public owning a copy of these movies. Which does rather lead me to believe it may be a scam of some sort…but then…this is too obscure to really be proper scam material…or maybe it’s just obscure enough?…

Either way this series was a major impact on my childhood and adulthood, I was rediculously pleased to grab not only a copy of this on tape…but a copy that I actually owned as a kid and even though it’s only worth a couple of quid tops. it’s my most prized possession in terms of VHS. Probably only just being pipped by my original “Video Nasty” era release of “Tenebrae”

(All the VHS artworks look odd, they have a very basic design but they’re probably the most consistant thing in this series…)

 

As usual whenever I cover something a touch obscure Im usually immediately met with the problem of there just not being a high enough resolution image of the box art for the film im trying to cover. “You Can Read” is no exception. and the handful of covers I’ve been able to find online barely break the 500 pixel region…So here’s a 3k scan of the cover of Volume 3: Me I hope you enjoy the attention to detail.

You Can Read

 

That Warm Fuzzy Glow (Why Medium Matters) – Opinion Piece

Largely for completionists sake; I thought it best to share this post here. This was an opinion piece I wrote a short while ago about how the format you choose to present your film in can be detrimental to how well/poorly it is recieved by an Audience. whether you choose to present it in HD, VHS, DVD hell even laser disc quality. the medium will effect the film differently each time. whether you need that pin point precise sharpness or maybe you wish to use the fuzz that VHS can offer to your advantage as a direction. I believe that choosing your format should be as important as shot compisition or the way the film is edited. (I also use this piece as a way to put across my genuine love of all things VHS so do prepare to see me wax lyrical about the joys of it)

(Ever since I optimised my editing desk to include a HD to SD to VHS converter deck I really must say that cutting stuff like this has been a breeze!)