Garfields Halloween Adventure (1985)

Last year was my first time watching “Garfields Halloween Adventure” it was buried in amongst my most treasured copy of “Eddie Spaghetti’s halloween compilation tapes” and I absolutely fell in love with it pretty much there and then. So I knew this year when it came to taking a bit more of a family friendly look at halloween specials. that my spirit animal would very much have to make an appearence, while it wasnt necissarily in the running initially (In fact; it was the last one I chose to run for halloween this year) im very glad I ultimately chose it, as It really is a wonderful little special that still holds up remarkably well even to this day.

Short and sweet, it’s slowly crawling back out of obscurity and entertaining a new generation. and really? I think that can only be a good thing.

There are many fan made posters out there for this TV special. but for my money, this ones the best!

13 Ghosts (1960)

Im a total latecomer to the William Castle game. And im not *As* ashamed about that as I could be. the reality is theres a smattering of Castle movies that got released time and time again here in the UK (Im looking at you “House on Haunted Hill!”) but more often than not the bulk of his output would generally either be ignored or released in the absolute crappiest quality it was possible to release DVD’s in.

I’d wanted to watch “The Tingler” for example for absolute years; since my early teens at least, but due to rights, or companies thinking noone was interested in Castle films or whatever the hell reason they could come up with almost NON of Castles films really came out over here. that is until the wonderful people over at “Power House” released volumes 1 and 2 of “The William Castle Collection” and it must be said that, while I didnt go in for them right away (the price was juuuuuuuuuust too steep for me to take a gamble on it) during a recent sale where the price dropped to around £35 I honestly couldnt resist it any longer. As it stands; Volume 1 is one of my all time favourite Bluray releases at the time of writing and I highly recommend you pick it up, as I really do consider it “Essential horror” if your into the genre.

Volume 2 is pretty good fun, but it’s way more schlocky, way less focussed on horror and way more hit and miss for me. While im definitely still glad I own it, Im not nearly as enthused about it in the same way I am for volume 1.

13 Ghosts is arguably the second biggest highlight on the set, and just for the ability to watch all 3 different versions of this film I can definitely recommend checking this one out. it’s not really a lifechanging picture, and if your absolutely in love with the 2000’s remake of 13 ghosts this will probably make you cringe hard. But if you like good hokey 50s and 60s campy horror. this pretty much is a must own!

All of Castles posters from this time vaguely look the same in terms of layout and design. I cant personally say im a massive fan of the look. and it’s the only thing im not massively happy about with the castle set from powerhouse. some newly commissioned artwork probably would have really made these sets sing. As it stands they just have the poster slapped on the cover…which is okay…but it does rather leave me wanting.

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.

Decoder (1984)

This was one of those movies I’d litereally never heard of until it was right on top of me. I first heard about it around the time I was looking for a decent copy of “Liquid Sky” and when I finally did find it on Vinegar syndromes site this was sort of sat roughly next to it in the “Recommended” section looking all moody and totally my kind of jam…unfortunately that was at the time that I sank nearly $200 into VS sale items (With shipping it pushed it closer to $230) so I decided to leave it…but that didnt stop me picking it up at the very next sale! and im totally glad I did.

It’s a wonderfully weird film and one that i’ve never really experienced before. it’s super hard to explain, but it’s almost like a film that leads more with sound than it does vision. and the pair marry up in such a way that normal movies and TV programmes just…dont. I can only describe it as it feels like a “Whole” experience. like; if one of these elements was missing the film just would be incomprehensible.

So with the next Vinegar Syndrome sale on the horizon. I say; go and look up “Decoder” it’s probably not for everyone. but if you dig it…ohhhh boy you’ll REALLY dig it.

The Official Poster for this movie is a bit too garish for my taste (It’s basically a giant hypno toad) and given that while frogs are a quite important part of this film they arnt THE film. I instead opted to use Vinegar Syndromes newly commissioned art work…which I feel represents the film much more faithfully.

Robot in the Family (A Robot Called Golddigger) (1993)

Theres not really a lot more that I can say about this movie that I havent already said in either the 100 or so minute commentary myself and my friends did for this series or the below review. This film broke me and then remoulded me into a harder more analytical man. And I dont think I can ever truly go home again.

What I will say is that if you do choose to watch this (And if your into Bad and cult films I definitely recommend you do) dont say I didnt warn you. it’s one of the strangest and most unusual films I have ever sat through.

Poster is Shit. Says nothing about the actual film. Golddigger is love.

EDIT: I also realised that this was one of the “VHS Only” tapes that only had low (ish) res images of the cover online…so here’s a Full HD version:

Truck Turner (1974)

So! We’re back! Season 8 non the less! and let me tell you now. Im pretty bloody exhausted. Having spent the entire summer pretty much backing and forthing with renovations and builders (A blog on that will be on the way shortly) I finally got the media room up and running and decided to finally get going on exporting all the season 8 episodes i’d worked on (8 epiosdes) ready to schedule in, upload and forget about.

Life had other ideas. Basically; my harddrive decided to die. Normally this would be devestating as, because I was planning to do backups once things were back up and running, to switch my harddrive on and find it’d basically died BEFORE I could back anything up. meant I’d effectively lost 2-3 months work with 1 week to launch day.

That at least WOULD have been the case if someone hadnt clearly been sent to “Guardian Angel” me. y’see…while I’d lost the original exports, I did still have partial access to the drive. I could view everything on there and I could even transfer off some of the small (KB) files and VERY mercifully for me, I’d saved not only all the original Premiere pro edit files for all the episodes i’d worked on, but i’d also saved *almost* all the raw elements that made up the edit. So I simply bought a new drive, migrated all the raw elements over (It still took nearly 2 days to do that) and then on the new, fully working drive, re-exported all the video files from there. *Boom!* I was back up and in business…there were a couple of minor losses. any episode that used VHS footage predominantly had to be recaptured back in and adjusted so the cuts all matched and there were one or two raw .jpg’s and .png’s that i’d misplaced during the transfer which meant I had to do a couple of substitutes. But yeh; everythings pretty much back on track.

Ultimately; I lost about 3-4 days of editing time due to this harddrive error, but considering I could have literally lost everything I could myself exceedingly lucky. ladies and gents. im normally a very careful man when it comes to backups. and the story that happened here should be a warning to each and every one of you. ALWAYS. MAKE. BACKUPS. because next time, you may not be as lucky as I was.

ANYWAY!; New season! season 8! it’s a shorter run due simply to a mixture of the renovation work overrunning and the harddrive failure. it was originally planned as an 18 episode run + a collab. thats now been knocked down to a 16 episode run and im not 100% sure about the collaboration. But we’ve still got plenty in store to take you all the way from now until the end of December! So put on your dancing trousers and get down to the totally and utter king of funk and soul “Isaac Hayes”

This is one movie, I CAN dig.

The Original Poster for this is okay. But I personally find it a bit too busy. I much MUCH prefer the 101 films Bluray cover.

The Burning (1981)

So! during this crazy crazy summer we had I decided to wing one more episode out to kind of…wrap the whole season up. Indeed the idea to do a season of “Summercamp Slashers” had been on my mind since I first started making reviews. I liked the idea of seeing through the summer months by setting a tone of “Fun in the sun” style camping, canoeing and killing.

the original plan was to do Sleepaway Camp 1 and 2, The Burning, one of the Friday the 13th movies and maybe throw in a lil curve ball…something like meatballs maybe. But, as the idea grew and the years went by it became more and more apparent that there was more than enough material to just spend a summer at the various sleepaway camp films. But that then created a bit of an issue for “The Burning” now a somewhat orphaned summercamp movie as I’d also decided, if I was ever going to cover the friday the 13th movies, I’d want to do them as a group rather than toss one randomly in here.

So working closely with the most excellent host of the Survivors guilt youtube channel. I decided to loosely bundle it in as a way of capping Season 7 off with a Red Triangle episode, another notch on my “Video Nasties” retrospective and the chance to actually get to the meat and gravy of this one.

I had already briefly spoken about it as part of my “B-movie hall of fame” series not too long ago. but I dont think I really got into the nitty gritty…that series was more “Quick overview > What I thought of it > Next review” type fodder…and as you all should know by now I do like to get fairly bedded in with these reviews.

So! as a nice summer treat and a little bit of a one off. here’s “The Burning” Season 8 has just got underway and theres plenty of weird and wonderful movies to come! but for now I’ve gotta get back to the cutting room. And dont forget to check out Survivors guilt he’s really very good!

(Im really not much for the original poster, But this one commisssioned for the Arrow Video Bluray release is Gorgeous!)

Finishing the Complete Seventh Season (2020)

Season 7 was all in, arguably, one of the most entertaining and fun seasons to work on for me in a while. While Season 6 had the freshness of starting from the ground up to some extent given I’d been on a reletively short hiatus. This season to me, really felt like it had some momentum behind it. The wheels were spinning as early as late October 2019 in writing some of these episodes (My review of “The Warriors” being the first one that made it into the can) but work would continue right up until mid/late march to ensure that everything could be done in time!

For the most part, this season was pretty much decided right from the off…or at least 2/3rds of it were already pre-chosen. Originally “The Warriors” was going to open the season until I saw Cozzi’s “Hercules” about 10-11 episodes into writing for the season and I realised that that would be the PERFECT way to kick off this seasons run. the 4 part “Sleepaway Camp” summer special also came about pretty much at the last minute too, As I’d wanted to do a month on the Sleepaway camp movies pretty much since the 2nd season of theses reviews but could never quite fit them in amongst the other bits and pieces i’d got going on.

Salo: The Musical” was another one that had been in the making for a year or two before I finally decided to pull the trigger. it’s easily one of the most time consuming videos I’ve ever made in relation to it’s length. it may only be a couple of minutes or so long. but I assure you it took damn near a month of solid writing, recording, performing and motion tracking (For reference; the average 15-20 minute review on here generally takes about a week to complete from watching to final upload)

My favourite review of this season? is probably either “The Perils of Gwendolyn in the land of the Yik Yak“, “Salo” or “Return to Sleepaway Camp” all three were total labours of love (And hate) and im So happy with how they turned out as an end result.

All in all, this was just a damn fun season to work on, and while the steam that made up the creative process may have just started to dry burn towards the very end (Try and show me a way to be enthusiastic about having to spend a week with “Return to Sleepaway Camp”) overall; this was a total blast! I met some super interesting people over the last few months including the team over at Mutantfam.com who’ve recently agreed to host my work in an affiliated capacity. The Guys over at “Survivors Guilt“,”Video Creep“, “The Channel 83 Podcast” (Who were a top bunch of lads and had me on there show!) “The Best Little Horror House in Philly” and GG over at the “Midnight Movie Monster” Blog! Not only have they helped keep this Schlock jock sane during the absolute “Deep Hurting” that these films can bring in, but they’ve even contributed to helping make my content better and are all great people you should definitely go and check out at the next convenience!

At the time of writing my office/entertainment room is under renovation. everything is in boxes packed away and it wont be until August before we’re ready to reopen the archive and get back on track with the edit schedule. However! that’s not to say that this season is necissarily “Completely”

EDIT!: ITS THE FUTURE! and im just popping back in to remove the “Coming soon!” mystery bumper that I ran at the end of this article during the summer to say…well; you guys. I did a sneaky and popped just one more review into the mix to round us up to a healthy 18. and it’s a doozy! a collab with another youtuber and a great way to see out the end of the summer! 1981’s “The Burning” revisited, rewritten, reviewed and re-packaged! So! if you saw this article before and thought it was only 17 times cooler than the average seaon…well; now it’s 18 times cooler than that!!!

Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008)

Well…We’ve done it! Season 7 is in the can and there isnt a damn thing any one of you can do to take that away from me! Seriously; this seasons been an absolute blast to work on and i’ve got to hang around with some super cool people and make some really nice things…It’s just a shame that this is the movie the seasons going out on.

Yes “Return to Sleepaway Camp” a movie so painful and irritating to sit through I liken it to repeatedly smacking yourself in the clitoris or balls with a housebrick. all the charm is gone, all the nice plot twists and one liners; gone. this is an irrideamable piece of trash in my opinion. EASILY the worst film of this season hands down by a country mile. I will NEVER watch this film again willingly. and if you guys have any sense, neither will you. such a sad way to end what was ultimately a pretty alright franchise. I really hope at some point it gets another crack at the whip to try and right this travesty…because at this point? I wouldnt even put this in the same leage as latter day full moon features…and their movies…holy shit.

Anyway! Im done! go get some sunshine, go eat ice cream, enjoy your summer! I’ll be back in september with some more fun and games (Plus there’ll be plenty of goodies going up in the interim…dont think im leaving my channel barren) and i’ll see all you hot dogs and cool cats in the autumn

Take Care!

Dan

(FUCKING AWFUL POSTER DO NOT WANT.)

“Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland” (1989) AND “Sleepaway Camp 4: The Survivor” (1992)

So! a bit or a rarity! this week we’re doing double bubble! it’s been a VERY long time since I covered 2 movies in one review. in fact the last time was way back in Season 2 when I covered both versions of the “Night of the Living Dead” movies.

And todays is extra special because we’re not only covering 2 movies in one review! we’re covering 2 movies, 1 of which has never had a proper “PROPER” official release. Yes yes; there has been a cobbled together fan edit that attempts to complete it…but honestly? it’s a bit limp. I have to tread extra carefully around movies that never got completed as copyright law is slightly different for “Unifinished” works than completed ones.

Even so; I really did feel a bit like I was short changing you guys with my review of Sleepaway Camp 3 with this one. “It’s basically Sleepaway camp 2 again” is hardly the most inspired take for this one. and I was left in a bit of a dilemma as to; A: whether there was enough material to even MAKE a full length review for Sleepaway Camp 4 and B: Whether a trunkated review for sleepaway camp 3 would fly. As such it became quite apparent that the best thing to do with 2 stubby reviews that dont quite meet the usual goals and standards would be to push them together into a not so stubby double feature and treat SC4 as a bit of an addendum and ending to the production company “Double Helix films”.

Honestly?; While theres nothing inherently wrong with sleepaway camp 3, the fact that it’s basically more of the same always makes it difficult for me to appreciate this movie in the same way I do the original or Sleepaway camp 2. and Sleepaway camp 4 is missing so much information, that quite honestly? I feel bad for even talking about it. im only really doing it for completionist sake and because next week?…well it’s the season finale…and…oh god….even thinking about it’s making the space behind my eyes itch.

(In the UK sleepaway camp 3’s poster is basically Sleepaway Camp 4’s poster but cropped in exclusively to the cleavage area and with a title change…I dont care much for the US poster of 3…and the full length poster for Sleepaway Camp 4 just looks like the weirdest glamour shoot I’ve ever seen…these are not great posters…)