XTRO (1982)

It’s Red Letter Media who should really get the thanks for properly introducing me to XTRO honestly…I had seen clips from this film before but I didnt really get a chance to properly understand the context of those clips until Mike, Jay and co properly broke this film down. It was after watching there overview of this movie that I knew I had to see it for myself.

And I really wasnt dissapointed…this films a real oddity. and it’s genuinely one of the hardest films I’ve had to catgorize for my channel really…I still have doubts about whether it should have been a “Red Triangle” episode or not…but I just dont think the films smart enough or tonally in line enough to be an out and out arty horror film…it’s just kind of…On the level. Which is fine! dont get me wrong if your looking for a movie to watch I DEFINITELY recommend you go and check this one out. But if you’ve had any prior exposure to this one beforehand. do lower your expectations. You may have it in your head that this films going to brilliant. It is enjoyable…but it’s not earth shattering. Your not looking at a top tier cult classic here…it’s definitely cult. but I think it’s got a bit more time to go on it yet before I can personally call it an out and out “Classic”

Enjoyable. This films enjoyable. I’ll probably watch it again. I still really want to get my hands on the Bluray for it at some point. but for now there are other pictures to be cracking on with. And im not in a major hurry to revisit this one.

I’ll repeat here what I said in my review (And im going to “Caps” it to be annoying) IF YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH THIS MOVIE, GO AND BUY THE BLURAY!. I really cant stress that point enough…this film looked fine on tape. But on Bluray I imagine its infinitely much more enjoyable!

(There are a couple of posters floating around for this one…neither of them really capture the true essence of XTRO though…I do realise that is a big ask.)

Commando (1988)

Bollywood, had never really been a genre that is explored before…let alone the world of weird and unusual bollywood films. Luckily thanks to a regular viewer Waz I landed with this particular film…and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I think the only thing that genuinely put me off this film was the length and the total whiplash of tonal changes that happened throughout it’s over 2 hour run time…I still stand by the idea that realistically you could cut this down to a more than reasonable 40-60 minute short feature and have all the weird and wonderfulness crystallized rather than spread out in the way it’s presented here.

Based on what was here I think I’d like to explore bollywood a bit further, though I’d absolutely have to see some shorter films if I was going to commit!

(COMMANDO! COMMANDO!!!)

Armed Response (1986)

Well this one went on a bit of a journey to arrive at it’s upload day today if Im being honest. I never really went into the full details of how I ended up with “Armed Response” in my possession. So! dear reader. It’s not much of a tale to tell but here it is.

about 4 months ago my partner messaged me to say that she’d seen a few VHS tapes in a box going on Facebook marketplace for about £5 and that she’d messaged the seller for me to ask if they were still available and suggested I go and check out the listing to see if it was worth pursuing. I jumped on Facebook and there was indeed a box of tapes going for about a fiver and the top of the box had Terminator 1 and 2 in a special presentation tin…I thought to myself “Well…for a fiver it’s worth checking it out just for the terminator tapes” so I waited a day or two and didnt hear anything back from the seller on my partners end so I decided to send a message…the guy responded in 10 minutes. First asking if I was serious and then telling me I could come and get them as soon as possible.

Overlooking the blatant sexism that had occured (My partner was Pissed let me tell you!) I waited till the nearest weekend and then with my sister we hopped to the next town over and found a small bungalow devoid of anything apart from a few dust sheets, an arth and fireplace, and what I can only describe as a trunk full of VHS tapes, with another medium sized box on top of that. It was rediculous. I actually had to ask the geezer selling these if he was genuinely getting rid of them for £5…when he said yes I practically bit his arm off and both me, the seller and my sister hobbled the short distance out of the bungalow into the back of my car.

I had absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for with this haul. as can be seen here in this live stream where I literally spent about 90 minutes just unboxing the “Trunk” sized box.

Armed response was one of the highlights of that stream, purely because the cover itself is just so weirdly surreal. I literally had no idea what was on this tape but this cover and the fact it had Lee van cleef and David Carradine in it pretty much guarenteed that I needed to get round to this one as soon as possible.

How was it? Well I’ll let the review do the talking:

(I love everything about this cover…the colours, the weird disembodied floating blue and orange head, Carradine with half his face cut off…even subtle things like the vietnam choppers…this is a true masterpiece of VHS coverart.)

 

ALSO! Once again im coming to the rescue here! trying to find a clean and hi res version of this artwork online is bloody impossible! seriously theres maybe 1 or 2 examples of it and non of them break 500 pixels…SO! Much like the cover for “Let’s ruin Dad’s Day” Here is a super Hi-res scan of the Armed Response VHS cover (For the UK release) in all it’s heavenly glory.

 

Armed Response - Fixed

House (1985)

Season 4! And at the time of writing we’re on the day before my first anniversairy with youtube! These decriptions may end up thinning out a little bit from here on in, mainly due to the fact that when I started writing these overviews of the episodes there was a 10-11 month gap and I’d had plenty of time to re-evaluate my thoughts and feelings about each episode as they went by whereas I watched and recorded my review of house in late January/early February.

As a result its still fairly fresh in my mind, and this is only going to become more commonplace as things go along. Though “House” has been a bit of an interesting ride of highs and lows since my first viewing of it. In my mind I keep flip-flopping between thinking it was a good bit of fun and that I’d really look forward to watching the sequels, while at the exact same time a part of my brain thinks that it’s just a bit of a rubbish fluff and that I should probably put off watching any more of these for a while because I simply have much more interesting stuff I could be watching.

House isnt a perfect movie but since I watched it I think i’ve leaned more towards being interested in seeing more than I have had moments of wishing i’d never seen it. It reminded me a bit of an adult goosebumps. In the sense that it isnt exactly scary, but it is entertaining and has a spooky quality about it. It may come across to me a bit like a prototype of “The Burbs” but ultimately I guess its an enjoyable little movie in and of itself.

(The sequel to this looks absolutely mental…)

Fade to Black (1980)

This entire review came about entirely by chance and I was very grateful for it. I love old TV ad’s not even english adverts strictly, US ones were my thing for the longest time. theres a youtube channel called “80’scommercialvault” and from about 2011 to 2017 I’d spend most evenings or lunch breaks just cycling through dozens of there videos, having them run in the background or just playing for laughs really…its amazing to see how a different country was handling things from a commercial perspective in the 80’s and 90’s.

It was on this channel that I first saw a trailer for “Fade to Black” and until that point i’d never heard of this film. it took nearly 5 years for me to finally get round to watching it but I’ll tell you this. I didnt half enjoy it!

The films effectively “Scream” before “Scream” was “Scream” its well written, eloquent and quite well put together…apart from 1 or 2 overly padded shots and a random masturbation scene this movies got a very broad and impressive knowlege about it.

Now it’s by no means a perfect movie. but it’s a fun little film that im very glad I’d had the privilage of landing upon. While I dont tend to watch US ad’s as often as I used to  (It’s all about 80’s and 90’s Itallian Adverts these days Home boy!) Its one of the few gems I’ve found during my trecks through the swamps of bad movies. it’s most definately shelf worthy 🙂

(His Dracula sequence is my personal favourite of this movie…though I also liked his “White heat” finale)

Bob Godfreys Instant Sex (NSFW)

Occasionally doing this show will turn up things that I either wish I didnt learn or something that will alter my own memories in a fundamental way. Thats what happened here with this Bob Godfrey compilation. As a kid I was a massive fan of “Rhubarb and Custard” I had a few video tapes with episodes on and I have very fond memories of sitting on my parents sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate just loving the weird and wonderful art style. those memories are still very firmly ingrained but now when I think of Childrens animator Bob Godfrey Instead of this happy childhood memory being the forefront of my thoughts on the animator. instead I think of shorts like “Henry 9 to 5” or “Biowoman”…

I know quite a few animators from my childhood who were involved in adult cartoons or animations but Godfrey stands out simply because of how unique his drawing style really was. its lively with squiggly line pretty much electrafying anything he put his pen to. it really brings life to his shorts and this compilation set is no exception. to me its what makes them as memorable as they are.

I dont think i’ll be revisiting this set again any time soon. But in many ways I dont think I’ll need to…the plots and style of these shorts are strong enough that there thoroughly embedded in my psyche from now on…So what I will say is if you have fond memories of “Henry’s cat” or “Rhubarb” from your childhood…be prepared to have that fundamentally altered in ways that are irreversable.

(I should think this goes without saying but yeh…this is pretty NSFW…)