Continuing our journey through the life and times of J.R Bookwalter, we’re following up 1989’s “The Dead Next Door” with “Robot Ninja”, quite possibly my all time favourite Bookwalter film. I just, REALLY enjoyed this one. it feels big, daft and aggressive and it just gives off this tone that I find quite honestly wonderful to sit through.
And, as I mention in the below review, I am just…Captivated by the restoration work done on this thing. having jumped from a VHS transfer to the new widescreen fully remastered version, it’s crazy to me at just HOW much attention to detail and love has gone into bringing this “Direct to video” campy action horror film into the realm of full HD. Theres an extra feature on the Bluray release of this that goes into detail around the work involved in restoring this and Its astounding honestly. J.R often says this is a film he wishes he never made (I mean…he says that about almost all of his films…) but honestly? I think the world is a better place WITH Robot Ninja in it
Well! We’re back and what a summer it was! filled with highs, lows and sipping lemonade by the calms of a gentle stream!…Okay not a lot of that happened, But it’s nice to dream! Basically; even though I said I was going to use the time to have a bit of a vacation the majority of the summer was spent prepping this new season. Writing for our first script “The Dead next door” began on the 20th of March 2021, with the earliest draft completed late night on the 21st of March. and; since then, this seasons pretty much been my life. over the summer I pretty much ironed out our October and November schedules with a 2 week vacation from work in August acting as a way for me to catch up on all the household odd jobs i’d been putting off for months while also giving me a ton of time to write my December episodes.
At the time of writing I have 20 scripts of a proposed 22 episode run for this series complete with 19 of 22 reviews fully edited and ready to go. Im not gonna lie. im in a pretty decent place right now! and the comedy dining experience continues to grow from strength to strength as we’ve just capped off our November and early december episodes (which still need editing!…I must remember to get around to that!)
Anyway! the dead next door! the opening review of an 8 part series looking into the career of producer, director, editor and seemingly all round swell guy J.R Bookwalter. I’ve been planning to do this series since at LEAST November last year. ever since I Invested in Makeflix’s quite brilliant “SOV Six Pack” boxset. and, to act as a kind of pallet cleanser before we dive in to 6 reviews of SOV madness It made sense to me to have a brief stop off to look at Bookwalters first two feature length productions.
While “The Dead Next Door” isnt going to fundamentally rock anyones world. what I’ve found here is that we have a good, solid zombie movie that, to me at least. sets the minimum standard i’d expect for a good zombie movie. this was a laugh, a real good time and I highly recommend picking it up if you can.
Season 9 was one of those seasons that feels “Right” to me. I mean that very much in a spiritual sense. theres no real metric that can be used to measure whether something is objectively “good” or “bad” but what I mean is that to me, it feels like all the pieces fit together perfectly, it feels like each review contrasts or compliments the other. with every season I do I often feel like there’ll be at least 1 or 2 episodes out of the two(ish) dozen I make where I either dont feel I got a grip on exactly HOW I wanted to present the review, or I’ll feel like technically I was a bit off the mark.
But this season, every review I feel like I got exactly what I wanted out of it, we had some stinkers, we had some hidden gems. but, to me, it feels like the work I’ve put in to slowly reshaping the series somewhat (Work that first began waaaaay back in Season six) has finally matured into a format that, for now at least, im pretty happy with. I feel a lot more confident about this run of reviews than I have with any other previous run, and I feel a lot happier with my work load management and attitude towards how I run the process. genuinely, the last 12 months worth of writing and releases have been some of the most enjoyable I’ve done in the 4 and a bit years of working on the channel.
Personal highlights of this season for me were “Nutbag” a film that genuinely caught me off guard for just how amazingly bad it was. this is one of the few times where BBFC suggested edits have actually massively enhanced what would otherwise be a fairly drab affair, Deathrow Gameshow a film that totally surpassed my expectations, and I feel utter remorse that I didnt crack this one open much MUCH sooner as it’d been sat on my “To Watch” pile for WAY too long. My special video essay on a recent Bootleg Video Nasty haul was a definite highlight for the year and got quite a few people talking about their own experiences with Nasty’s which was nice. and the opportunity to collaborate with old friends like Raymond and new faces like G.G Graham were frankly an absolute delight.
This season for me will probably be fondly remembered as a time capsule of a 6-8 month period where things, while still rather grim beyond the walls of my house, were alright. and I hope that comes across in these reviews.
Well! a little bit later than i’d have liked, but! i’m finally getting round to updating the site in line for the launch of the new series in a little over a weeks time! to say things have been a little bit chaotic over here while tried to get everything prepped ready for a reasonable launch date would be a bit of an understatement. honestly, its amazing i’ve managed to do it. BUT! we’re here!
Over the last couple of weeks i’ve been vine swinging from writing, to recording, to editing to uploading and all the other fun stuff that goes into making the channel fly as it does! AND! as is customary (Well…I mean, this is the 2nd one we’ve ever done. but hey! traditions have gotta start somewhere!) we’re back with another summer special to help quench your thirst during the drought that is my summer break! and this time joining me to talk through the frankly astounding exploitation grindhouse classic “I Drink Your Blood” is Miss G.G Graham!
I had an absolute blast working with G.G and when it comes to exploitation cinema she really knows her onions! seriously, she totally blew my mind with just how much she knew about David Durston and the context with which this film was formed. a true professional in ever sense of the word. I really hope I get to work with her again in future as working on this was a blast!
So! grab yourself a tall beverage of your choice and enjoy this bumper edition of “The Red Triangle” we tried to be as thorough as possible and at the time of writing this is the longest single film review i’ve done to date!
If you enjoyed listening to G.G here you can find more of her work (and I highly encourage you to go check her out as she’s simply fab!) at the below links here:
This film is amazing and is currently joint favourite with “Live and Let Die” to be my favourite Bond movie. it’s just big silly fun and other than a slightly underwhelming baddie, I really really liked this one. thats it. thats all I need to say. dont believe me? go watch it and listen to our commentary and you’ll quickly see how bloody brilliant it is.
This week! we have a visitor joining us on the comedy dining experience in the form of George from “The Best Little Horror House in Philly!” and the journey this episode took to get from recording to screen is frankly amazing. we recorded this episode alongside our commentaries for “On her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “Nutbag” this was the 3rd film in that block which rounded off the night…the night of November the 14th 2020! yes. this commentary is almost 8 months old before it even saw the light of day! Why did this end up happening? Unfortunately it all fell down to Scheduling. y’see, we try to do a Bond film every other month and I also try to not do two films of the same genre back to back one after another. which; unfortunately due to some last minute rearranging meant this absolutely fantastic cast ended up being pushed back and back in order to get it out at the best possible time.
So! with sincere apologies to George for taking SO damn long to get this out (And I highly recommend you head over to his cast and give him some love. he does a damn fine job with his show and is always guarenteed to raise a laugh!) Grab yourself a tub of your favourite flavour of ice cream. shave your head back to an uncomfortably receeding hairline and make sure you’ve got the right amount of change! Because “The Ice Cream Man” …is an experience.
Well! we’re well underway now on the Moore era of Bond films and as ever Dan and Ben have gathered their resources. put a brave face on things and decided to run into Christopher lees wacky world waving their arms wildly and screaming incomprehensively as we take a look at “The Man With The Golden Gun” a film that…honestly? to me? is a film thats nowhere near as good as it should be…I mean, dont get me wrong it definitely has its moments but a film that brings Moore, Lee and Eckland together while also having JW Pepper should have literally made my cock fall off…and it just…didnt. Either way! we still had a lot of fun with this one! so give it a spin and see what you think!
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.
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.
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.