Jack Frost (1997)

Rounding off both Season 5 and 2018; here we have Jack Frost. A film thats been on my radar more or less since it came out due largely to it’s prominence in several Nerdy “Forbidden Planet” esq stores that used to populate the market stalls and highstreets where I lived in the early 2000’s. the Holographic Box art that came with the VHS of this movie was very unusual for the time and because of that I’d always wanted to check it out (Even though I knew deep down that if they had to stress a gimmick like this this hard it probably wouldnt be very good.)

The reality is, this films quite enjoyable. its by no means a regualar watch, nor is it anything groundbreaking. But I can easily see myself watching this again this Christmas and it was good enough that I’d certainly be interested in picking up the sequel.

If you are interested in picking this one up Vinegar Syndrome are the current distributors for it and they’ve done a cracking job with the Bluray version, if you like your “Troma” movies or anything by “Full moon” I think you’d probably quite dig this one.

This review was intended to make it up to youtube on the 24th of December however due to ongoing issues in personal life involving my partner I was unfortunately at the hospital all through the day this was set to go live and I was unable to schedule it in advance due to repeated copyright strikes. As a result I had to re-edit this review on the fly between trips to the hospital to try and get it up before the year out. as a result this one came out on the 31st but does wish people a merry christmas and a happy new year (Well…at least I got the last part right).

 

(Personally…while the original poster was striking and got my attention. I think the new artwork for it (Pictured above) looks much more fitting)

Nick and Noel (1993)

I had a spot of unexpected success last year when I uploaded a review for a christmas film I had found on youtube that was produced in the 90’s called “Dot and Spots Magical Christmas Adventure” at the time I didnt think anything of it. It was a fairly bland if somewhat charming little kids christmas movie and that was about it.

That was until it started getting mad clicks. While we’re hardly talking viral numbers here when I woke up to find that one of my videos rather than normally getting the 10 – 20 views they normally acrew instead got closer to 200 views and growing. Well needless to say I thought I might as well hand in my notice at work and take on the full time youtuber lifestyle.

In researching exactly why that video was more popular than others I discovered that apparently that film was:

A – Astoundingly popular in Italy (Almost a christmas classic out there)

And B – Almost completely unrepresented online barring an itallian dubbed upload.

In short I’d inadvertantly landed myself the perfect storm…it didnt lead to anything. for about 6-7 months that video was my most watched one my channel. But out of an obligation to see if lighting could strike twice I decided to look into other films that the “Dot and Spot” animators had involvment in.

Thus we arrive at Nick and Noel. and…well it’s not as popular as Dot and Spot. nor is it as charming, nor is it as well made…and even Paul williams cant save this one. its a bland one in all honesty. and due to some growing pressures that started happening around about the time that I reviewed this one I honestly dont have too many fond memories about it. It’s just completely generic and forgettable. but Im sure my review will say more than I can here.

(So underwhelming…)

 

We Wish you a Turtles Christmas (1994)

Y’know…when I first started reviewing the Ninja Turtles Movies back at the start of last year I was actually quite surprised at just how well made they seemed to be…and while I had reservations about TMNT 2 and I found TMNT 3 to be only marginally better I never quite expected to end the year with what was arguably one of the strangest and most terrifying movies I’ve seen in a while…

To say “We wish you a turtles Christmas” is a fun little video for kids greatly underestimates the power that the information stored upon the magnetised tape wields. this is not a film. this is a life experience. I have to consider my life in two halves…Pre “Turtles Christmas” and Post “Turtles Christmas” and I feel like both lead very distinctly different tones. I can now no longer hear “The Twelve days of Christmas” without wanting to end each verse with “And a Pizza with Pepper- ro – knee!” Nor can I ever think of the song “To grandmothers house we go” without thinking of sewers and pure nightmare fuel.

if your smart you’ll avoid this movie. if like me your a glutton for punishment and you enjoy the masachism that comes wth watching the total and unapologetic capitalist festive nihilism that is this unbridled screech into the darkness…then by all means be my guest…but dont come crying to me when you have to consider your life choices…

 

(…Horrifying…)

The B-Movie Hall of Fame: Part 1 (2018)

 

I’ve always been reluctant to do “Multi film” reviews…I suppose it’s because I like the detail that longer form reviews offer and that it lets me add a bit more of a personal touch to the movie im talking about to go in depth and talk at length about my own personal feelings about the film i’ve selected.

However, when I was contacted by Joel to take part in the B-movie hall of fame over on the movieforums.com (A message board I can highly recommend) I kind of felt compelled to do this. in part because I thought it would be fun to try and write without notes for a change (Every review I do is heavily noted…I currently have 7 books worth!) and also because it meant that editing these could be a bit more creative and fun.

It was nice being able to check out movies I’d not seen before and especially films that i’d have probably have skipped had they not been on this list…hell 2 of my new favourite movies ever I’ve found while doing this challenge alone!

So far Im really enjoying it in all honesty and I cant wait to get round to watching the remaining 6 sooner rather than later (Though I’ll be honest; time is most definitely working against me these days…there’ll be more info in an upcoming Blog I have planned…if I ever find the time)

With October bringing in Halloween it’ll be a little while before Part 2 of this makes it’s appearence though theres some absolute classics on the list yet to watch so do keep an eye out in November when it should go live!

(Seriously go watch “The Child” and “Jack Frost” if you’ve never seen them before…Great stuff!)

Christmas Evil (You better watch out!) (1980)

This episode was uploaded “Christmas week” meaning it landed literally days before Christmas day itself. Its quite normal at this time that youtube enters a period of low traffic. Logically you’d think the opposite would be the case as everyone is cooked up at home for the holidays (Which havent even begun at this point) you’d think everyone would be clambouring for distraction on sites like youtube. But you’d be wrong.

Rather surprisingly (And it was a bit of a shock to me) the week christmas happens on and the subsiquent 2 weeks after it are some of youtubes quietest times of the year. I have to assume this is because people are out at parties, enjoying time with the family or just plain too busy to watch stuff. But it kind of caught me off guard and was a bit of a learning experience.

“Christmas evil” would mark the end of my 2nd season. And I really wanted to send the year off with a bang. I’d ummed and ahhd about what movie would be the best one to act as a send off to 2017 and to round my 2nd season off, and I settled with “Christmas Evil” because quite by chance I stumbled on it at random and it actually seriously impressed me at how deep and unusual it was for what is effectively a christmas themed slasher film at it’s heart.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the film writing the script for it was an absolute joy. and at the time I thought it was one of my best pieces (As I work to a schedule i’d planned and edited this episode in late october/early november time ready for it to go live on the 22nd of December) I scheduled an upload for it as I was going to be away from my house from the 22nd to the 24th and went out to spend the run up to christmas with my partners inlaws.

And then…Nothing. And I mean absolutely nothing. The video went live on the 22nd of December and it wasnt until the 26th that it gained it’s first “view” and that was me just checking the video to make sure there wasnt some glaring issue that was preventing it being played…It currently stands as my least watched video review on my channel as of May 2018  it has a grand total of 9 view (3 of which were me as a result of adding end screens and info cards and again a few months later to add translations)

I genuinely dont know why this video just failed immaculately out of the gate but there could be any number of reasons why it failed to pick up. I’ve read in some places that if your video doesnt make 20% of the number of subscribers you have in views within the first 24 hours that it can be dumped by youtubes SEO Algorithm. I’ve also read that youtubes SEO is less favourable to content with trigger words in the titles and descriptions (Words like “Evil” are trigger words) equally it could have been just left too late. uploading a christmas video on the 22nd of December is leaving things a bit to the last minute and it could legitimately be the case that people were just fed up of anything christmassy by that pont.

In either case i’ve thrown everything I can at this video and nothings seemed to have done the trick. I’ve changed the tags, I’ve edited the description, I’ve shared it and shared it and shared it, I’ve tweaked the titles (And tried them in all caps and without caps) I’ve changed the thumbnail…literally short of re-uploading it I’ve done everything I possibly can with it and nothing has changed its status.

It’s “Delisted” it didnt meet its expected targets and because it’s been shown to be an underperformer youtube have effectively taken it out of there search engine. go and try to find it in a youtube search. you wont be able to. it’s only with overly specific search terms like “Christmas evil TYTD Reviews” or  “Christmas evil Red triangle reviews tytd” that anything will pop up…even “Christmas evil TYTD” brings nothing up.

Im not angry about this mind; im just a bit sad about it more than anything (as I imagine many people would be if they put a week of evenings into assembling an edit only for automation to decide its not relevent within 24 hours) Im more upset that the film itself is as underrated and relatively unknown as it is rather than the fact people cant hear me tell them why they should go and see it.

At some point in the future I’ll probably cut my losses and re-upload this one wholesale just to see if it helps it get re-listed. but in the mean time here it is the last TYTD Reviews/Red Triangle episode of 2017…and things only seemed to pick up from here on in.

(I’ll let the review do the talking about this underrated classic. but I seriously cant wait for a good UK Bluray of this one)

Santa and the Three Bears (1970)

Im finding it increasingly ironic that Im having to post my Christmas videos on what has been the hottest may in the UK since 1935…Seriously. At this point I really dont know how im not just a puddle on the floor really. Though I suppose that posting these christmas videos has helped me to at least visualise the cold in a vein attempt to keep myself cool.

“Santa and the three bears” was picked up along with “Dot and Spots Magical christmas vacation” from a charity shop for about 50p I believe. Before this I’d neither seen nor heard about it ever and based on the DVD cover (See the video thumbnail) I thought I might be inheriting some kind of eastern european “Worker and Parasite”-esq kids animation that was going to be a rickety and hilarious affair. Though in many ways it surpassed my expectations.

This is hardly Hannah Barbara fodder. it’s a little bit wobbly in places, but as far as animation goes this ones really not too bad. Though even I’ll concede that there are a few trippy sequences that kind of left me head scratching.

This isnt really a particularly good christmas film to be honest. The story is quite dull and again I think in hindsight that unless you grew up with this one and have ingrained nostalgia over it, theres not much reason to dig this one out.

Though thats one of the things that I love about these videos. It allows me to go digging for films that dont really get an airing and view them from the perspective of someone who’s never seen these films before. Sometimes I land on solid gold, other times I come away bitterly dissapointed. and with “Santa and the three bears” Im glad that I got to talk about it and review it. I really am. But I dont think I can say that this ones a “Must see”…if your a parent who grew up with this one; Show it to your kids by all means. Thats the magic and joy of tradition…But otherwise All I can say is that my own memories of this one could best be described as “Meh…” with a side order of “Eh…”

 

(There are some fun little music stings though…but your milage may vary)

Dot and Spots Magical Christmas Adventure (1996)

Here we have the most watched video on my channel…At least as of the time of writing it is…it’s currently my most watched video by a country mile. Quite how it’s achieved over 1000 views in less than 6 months I cant say…Before my youtube analytics decided to cark it I was able to find out that the majority of the traffic that was going to it was coming from Brazil. So I have to assume that either this forgotten christmas kids movie has had a second life out in Brazil or theres something in my SEO that is driving traffic to this video in the same way that Im driven to the cake section of an all you can eat buffet.

It’s not even particularly an all that great movie. Out of all the films I’ve spoken about on my youtube channel I could pick half a dozen movies that haven’t broke 50 views on my channel that have little to no recognition and desperately should be seen…and yet the 90’s kids movie thats just trying to cash in on 101 Dalmations is the one thats the most well received…I mean; Im glad that one of my videos has been viewed that much, but at the same time I do have to say “Why!?”

I found this movie in a charity shop along with the next film I reviewed (Santa and the three bears) and I paid 50p for it. I’d never heard of it before then and it took me a ridiculously long period of time to try and find it on amazon because its mislabeled on there…at least it was at the time when I was writing my review.

The company who produced this short went on to produce another animated kids short which Im considering talking about this Christmas just so I can have the set. It was a bit of a weird time during the christmas period last year because the first week of December fell on a friday that meant it was the 1st/2nd of December and because it was so early in the month I didnt want to just jump right in with the christmas cheer right out of the gate. so this came out a bit later in the month than was initially scheduled but It formed the opening part of my Christmas specials which would run right up to the 2nd series finale which I believe was a few days before new years day.

This isnt the best christmas film ever made but I could very easily see how people could be nostalgic for a movie like this…even though I dont get it myself. I can empathize with the people who do have those fond memories of sitting with the family during winter and sinking this with the christmas feeling in full force.

(I still cant quite believe that the people who animated this did the original concept art for Crash Bandicoot and Spyro…its a crazy world my friends…)