The “Caligula” (1979) Comedy Dining Experience – 500 Subscriber Special!

Well! we did it! a milestone I never thought we’d hit and we’ve smashed it! Im going to be honest here; when I started the channel I thought i’d consider myself grateful if I managed 10 subscribers. and; at most. I thought if I could hit 100 subs i’d have proven something to myself about my thoughts on film and cinema at large.

I have had mixed experiences in the past with “Filmies” I realise that I myself am in the minority of people who think bad films have something to teach us as much as good films do. University was a big eye opener for me as I realised that there were people who’s entire film diet consisted of “Only watching the absolute best” of anything cinema had to offer.

I found it a very beige experience.

and the more and more I spoke to people, the more and more I realised that. While their were people like me out there and a bad movie community in general. it was very much a bubble. and surprisingly difficult to enter short of traversing the minefield that is bad cinema at large. this coupled with a growing annoyance at the lack of resources to chart bad movies (as mentioned in my “About” section on this very website) and I decided that. in the absence of a clean and detailed documentation of this type of film. I’d have to try myself.

And I’ve loved *almost* every minute of it! it’s been hard. it’s been an uphill struggle. it’s put a strain on myself, my family and my friends at times. But I dont regret a minute of it. 500 of you fine fine readers subscribing to my channel is more than I ever could have hoped for. and the number is growing quicker and more consistently than it ever has before.

And so. to you. I offer you this special episode of the comedy dining experience as thanks. You will not BELIEVE the wrangling that went on behind the scenes to get Ben and Laura to agree to this one (Let’s just say im in deep with the mob now) but…fair play to them; they sat through the whole thing. for me…for you. Me and Ben have been friends now for very nearly 10 years and me and Laura have been together for almost as long as well. and a guy couldnt ask for 2 greater compadre’s to tackle this masterpiece in bizarre adult weirdness.

So…enjoy! and…I really wasnt kidding at the end of this. we WILL do “Cannibal Holocaust” if we hit 1k.

to your future and ours. we’ll see you there.

Horror Hospital (1973)

I took a bit of a gamble with this film, and honestly? im still not entirely convinced that i’m won over by it. I mean; it isnt bad. but it suffers terribly from the rot that can only originate from a film trying to ‘Alf inch another studios style. this is painfully trying to replicate ‘Hammer’ and ‘Amacus’ aesthetic and…well British horror from this era, when it’s trying to rigidly copy the greats. seems to miss the point of those studios greatness. the reason people fondly remember Hammer and Amacus is because they were envelope pushers. they bought blood, gore and mayhem to a much more mainstream audience than the grindhouses and exploitation film makers ever could.

I mean; you’ve got to imagine. Hammers versions of Frankenstein and Dracula were CONSIDERABLY more graphic than their Universal counterparts and had the fortune of lush and delightful sets to help sell the productions legitimacy. they were also both made in the 1950’s so I really fail to see what a film in 1973 is trying to achieve by copying the style but edging up the gore slightly of a style of film making made almost 15 years previously.

I mean; you’ve got to imagine, this film came out the same year as “The Wicker Man”, “Dont Look Now” and “Theatre of Blood”. films that genuinely pushed the genre through either fantastic scripts, creative reworkings of existing narrative devices or even next level performances. 2 years after this film was made “Shivers” was released and 5 years later “Dawn of the dead” and yet here we find what is ultimately; a drab affair. not unwatchable. but the stale and creaking belchings of an era of film making that really should have been canned about 3 years previously.

Theatre of Blood is actually a pretty nice comparison piece for my thoughts on this. that films brimming with a subversive originality. it looked at the amacus formula and purposfully decides what to lean into and what to subvert in almost every aspect. performances. scoring, scripting, gore. it plays AGAINST the audience of the day on multiple levels. and is rewarding because of it (not to mention that Vincent Price is just generally ace).

But then there’s this film. just sort of…lazily giving the audience what it thinks they want. not even in a particularly subversive of creative way. this film could have come out at any point between 1967 and 1975 and noone would have known or cared any differently. and that apathy that I feel towards it is ultimately what holds it back from actually being able to either out and out love it or hate it. it’s just…a film that exists. and thats a real shame as I think with just a couple more redrafts. there may have been a bit of life behind the eyes in this one.

The original posters rubbish for this. I mocked this one up as there wasnt one in “Poster formatting”. I dont much care for this one either…but it’s better than the original theatrical one.

Jaws of the Dragon (1974)

This film was pretty rubbish. thats the lasting memory I have of this review (which was written and recorded in November/December last year and edited in early January of this year.) I literally cannot remember single detail of this film other than the fact it was cut to shreds and…well…for lack of a better word. it was shite. and im pretty happy I never have to sit through it again. it’s a total filler movie. it exists to simply kill time and make the movie that follows it look ten times better. once this review goes live; I shall be looking into selling my copy at the next convenience.

Actually; while we’re dealing with this. Here’s as good a place as any to talk about the VHS movie reviews of this season. so. for this season I decided to have a bit of a spring clean and as such I chose to try and cover more VHS based movies as possible (As they tend to take up the most shelf space and tend to be in various states of disrepair) so this seasons a little more top heavy on VHS content than previous seasons. all of the tape based movies in this run (barring 1) were first time watches and I had no idea what I was getting into. all I knew was that I wanted to free up some space and that the tapes I covered more often than not had interesting covers. Jaws of the dragon was a total mystery tape in that regard as the original boxart was missing and the spool of tape within the chassy was woefully short. It had a simple white lable and plaine text…I really didnt know what I was getting into with this one, and I’d saved this tape specifically because of it being a bit of an enigma. I was not impressed.

Liquid Dreams (1991)

WAIT! STOP! IT’S NOT PORN! well…not really porn…theres some VERY brief nudity and a lot of “Girating” but honestly. for a film thats so determined to ride the “Steamy erotica” train. it’s surprisingly tame. The first time I saw Liquid Dreams, It wasnt really for me. I found it a bit too into it’s “Homages” and lacking in clear substance. and while subsiquent rewatches have definitely softened my views on this (I now think it’s actually a pretty fun, maybe even good little popcorn thriller) I still kind of feel a bit like it’s a film thats missing something. I dunno; I think sex would cheapen this film. I think that making it more of a thriller would make it more boring. it just kind of…rides the line between the erotic and thriller genres to the such a restrictive extreme that it’s ultimatley neither. and as such, while it’s good at both genres. it never really achieves either.

What we have here is a bit of an anomoly. a film that’s memorable for it’s imagery. but very little else. I still think this is prime VS fodder because it’s most definitely working with that kind of cult vibe. and I feel with a little bit more love and attention it could almost be a well respected classic in the vein of “Cherry 2000” that’s why I chose to review this film. I really REALLY hope to raise it’s profile at least a little bit, and who knows!? maybe if the right people see this it’ll finally get dug out of it’s “Out of print” hell and get the re-release that it DEFINITELY deserves.

The Posters just kind of…a mess…but weirdly its the BEST poster they ever made for this film. the DVD versions obscenely awful.

Deathrow Gameshow (1987)

Deathrow Gameshow is one of those movies that was forever a part of my “Oooh I’ll pick it up next time” lists. Anyone who lives outside of the US or Canada will probably no doubt appreciate that importing films is an expensive game. In fact at the time of writing with the pandemic in full swing and Brexit flossing it’s teeth ready for the big chomp the costs of importing are already beginning to show themselves. With even light items such as single discs without cases or even a single disc light weight DVD costing anywhere between $35 and $85 in just the cost of shipping alone.

As such; I have to be choosey on films I choose to get from Vinegar Syndrome or Severin Films or AGFA purely because; picking up a bad film I dont like stops being mildly inconvenient and starts being financially unviable as a game.

And so we have the “I’ll get it next time” culture. During sales I’ll fill my basket with all manner of goodies and then inevitably see the cost of shipping, lose my shit, and have to put things back. Deathrow Gameshow is a film I’ve probably put back about 4 times before finally picking it up in 2019…and even then it just…sat on my shelf for the best part of a year and a half being overlooked by what I at the time considered better movies or for films that were time sensitive and could only be seen within a certain window of time.

And in many ways I really regret not checking in on this one sooner. I mainly put it down to the poster/cover art which; to me? I find quite ugly. Thats not to say the original VHS artwork was exactly “Dazzling” but I dunno; something about the poster art (see below in the thumbnail) just…doesnt sell this movie to me. it feels cheap. it feels like it’s going to be attempting to ape existing movies (I personally get real Shock Treatment vibes off it) it just doesnt feel like the kind of movie thats worth $55+ when shippings factored in (there or there abouts).

But Y’know what? if you can look past the garish and uninteresting promotional material for this one, theres quite a bit to have fun with! it’s an easy going film that relies on quite well written “Stupid/Manic” comedy to get the job done. and while the miss rate is noticeable on gags. the hits are really solid! but…I’ve probably said too much here. Check out my full review below if you want the deep dive!

Ugh…that poster…like I say; neither the VHS artwork or this are particularly great. but I just…REALLY dont get on with this one.

The “Casino Royale” (1967) Comedy Dining Experience

So! a new season of TYTD Reviews in imminently upon us, BUT! as we’re still on a break until February 5th on the reviews front, it means all you lucky people get a double helping of the Comedy Dining Experience this time round! And as a way of seeing off the 60’s and the connery era on the whole we thought it best to bookend this decade with arguably one of the messiest, most calamatous films we’ve ever covered.

This film is a frantic mess, it pains me really to call it a film AND THATS ME TALKING! but both me and Ben had quite the blast doing this one. Unfortunately we did encounter a few audio issues with this recording. for reasons we’re not entirely sure how or why the audio seemingly drifts helplessly off course from the 30 minute point onwards. in spite of us clap synching in AND out when I lined up the audio it just seemed to drift further and further away. This is the only episode this drift issue has happened on and we can only put it down to the fact that Ben had to send me his side of this recording via a burnt CD-R

So maybe it was read/write speeds? maybe it was playback issues? I dont know. either way this version *Should* in theory stay synched to the whole film (Or at the very least. it begins when the film begins and ends when the credits finish without the drift being too noticable a problem.

So! this is it! the end of 60’s era Bond! We’ll be giving you guys a double helping of commentaries in February, though no Bond this month while we gear up for the new reviews. We’ll be back on the Bond scene in March with “Live and Let die” and from there normal service will resume as we tackle 70’s Bond!

This poster is Some kind of a woman! MUCHA MUCHACHA!!!

Finishing the Complete Eighth Season (2020)

Given what was going on at the time this season was being created its a miracle that you’re even seeing the below playlist quite honestly. Season 8 was the first season to be full written during the Pandemic (I believe the first script was written some time in April and the last script was finally penned in October) and; though I think back on this season from the comfy room of 2021 with the sense that it was all “Too Easy” when I actually stop and think what was going on, it definitely seems to be quite the opposite.

For a starters, there was the pandemic. Which; well, it was good in some ways…through April,May and June I was pretty much stuck in a national lockdown with nothing to do BUT write and edit these scripts. That and working from home allowed a greater flexibility in my working hours allowing me to work scriptwriting and editing into my lunch breaks.

The downside to all this however was that the lockdown effected my partners health quite severely, leading to a number of trips to the hospital and, not wanting to go into too much detail, but a few very important people in our lives had to move on to new ventures (They’re not dead! we just cant really be involved with them anymore!) which really didnt help the mood.

Then from June to September I was in the middle of renovations. and Ladies and Gents. Let me be frank. I know these renovations were a long time overdue (at least 15 years overdue) I know they desperately needed doing, and now im sat here in a lush, gorgeous new space writing this out Im happy I did what I did. at the time I was in abject misery. I ached pretty much non stop from stripping wallpaper, taking light fittings out and carrying heavy flat pack furniture and hard wood exceedingly and almost comical distances. I loathed having to sofa surf during a pandemic because the room where my Bed is was being used as storage. I detested the fact the the weather was a near constant 36-40 degrees celcius and that buildings in britain are built to keep heat IN not let it OUT.

In fact; the only good memory I have of the summer of 2020 was that, at one point, the conditions of the lockdown lifted and I was able to take my car out on a quasi long distance run (like; 50-60 miles round trip) where the sun was delightful, the music was good, the roads were empty and I was living my best life for all of an hour and 30 minutes. The rest of it, was arse.

Equally; the Renovations ran drastically over. meaning what should have been an 18 episode run for this season ended up having to be cut down to a 16 episode run + 1 collaboration. which was not ideal…but luckily I’ve been able to carry over the 2 dropped episodes into Season 9.

So September rolled around, I jumped on my machine, edited together the first 6 episodes of this season and then my harddrive exploded. as in, literally shut down. couldnt get anything on or off it that was bigger than 2gb in size. it was dead. and…for a time I panicked. I panicked violently because on that drive were all 17 audio recordings, 6 edited episodes and all of my current branding material.

Mercifully, through a mixture of cloud storage solutions and periodic backups I was able to recover, relink and rexport ALL the original premiere pro files. which meant in as little as 5 days I went from losing everything to being back in the race. and…mercifully at least, from there things went very smoothly. the last 2 episodes written and recorded were “Garfields Halloween Adventure” and “Silent Night Deadly Night” which were both done in October, both recorded at my partners flat in a hurry and both edited on the hoof to try and get them out the door and into the schedules (I really hope it doesnt show)

Season 8 was an absolute Journey to complete and when a collaborative effort involving 7 people is the EASIEST part of editing for the season. you know somethings not quite gone right. It was a good one in terms of the films I got to see though, “Truck Turner” is probably one of my all time favourite Blacksplotation films, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” was a hoot of a first time watch, Reviewing AND doing a commentary for “Robot in the Family” was brain meltingly entertaining and whats more. I got to experience all of these wonderful film moments with friends. which…at a time when isolation is one of the biggest by-products of this whole blasted neusence. was incredibly life affirming.

So this is me; closing the door once and for all on Season 8. another chapter in TYTD History. Not to let the Ego run ahead of me, but I think seasons 7 and 8 have heralded some of the best work I’ve ever done. and I really hope Season 9 and 2021 keep that momentum going.

The “Spice World” (1997) Comedy Dining Experience

Right! First Comedy Dining Experience of 2021 and this is one Bens been requesting for LITERAL YEARS, at this point (Im not joking.) and you know what? he’s actually managed to get me back into the spice girls for the first time in at least 20 odd years. I was always reluctant as I thought this film would be a bit of a slog and too polished to really be covered on this channel (I was thinking it was basically just going to be all of the girls hits played one after another with maybe 10 seconds of plot inserted in between songs so that they could call it a film)

But I was wrong! Spice World is an actual proper real film with a plot and everything! and yes it’s a bit daft and yes! it’s not going to win a bafta anytime soon, but y’know what? IT WAS FUN! so much so that im now the proud owner of this films soundtrack on Vinyl. So to Ben I say; Thanks…or “CURSES!!!” or…whatever. im so steeped in postmodern irony at this point I literally dont know if disliking the spice girls is even a thing.

Equally! we were able to get an expert on this film to join us! Raymond! making his second ever appearence on the CDE having just been released from therapy to combat the effects of “Robot in the Family” At first we thought it would be a bit of fun to bring someone in to watch this who was probably the furthest away from the spice girls core demographic. but y’know what? Ray absolutely knocked this one out of the park! it turns out he actually DOES know a thing or two about the spice girls and easily…EASILY had the best gag on this commentary. we’re already talking about having him back in the near future and we highly recommend you check his channel out when your next available to!

So pop up some popcorn, get the prosecco on standby and prepare to “Spice up your life!”

Im still trying to decide which who’s who out of the above pictured. I think I may be the Dog…I dont know about Ben and Raymond though.

The “Diamonds are Forever” (1971) Comedy Dining Experience

Im not going to lie, the Christmas schedule this year was a bit of a weird one. this could kind of be considered a last minute decision as I still hadnt really decided what would be the last commentary me and Ben would do to round out 2020 even a week before this one went live. initially I wanted to try and get myseld, Laura and Ben together to record 2 commentaries for December, a Bond film and a traditional Christmas movie (Something like; “A Christmas Carol” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” even a comedy like “Jingle all the way” or “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” but there was a bit of resistence on all sides to the idea.

Laura wasnt feeling too well through most of December and didnt feel up to it, and Ben was super busy juggling everything that was going on over “A Very Lockdown Christmas” alongside his feeling that “We shouldnt really do ‘Comedy’ movies, they’re not fun to talk over because it’s rare that you’ll be able to top the jokes going on in the movie and you kind of have to watch a comedy in order to appreciate it.” which, when he put it like that. totally made sense to me.

but that then left the problem of “What do we put out then!?” Since bringing the 2nd hand laptop into play we’ve been able to meet up monthly and record a couple of movies each time we hang out. in fact; at the time of writing we have 6 commentaries in the bag and when we do our next session in February we should have episodes that run right the way up to mid July. essentially the choice ultimately boiled down to, we could put up a non bond movie with a special guest as a bit of a bonus treat, or we could put out a Bond film and see the year out in style.

Ultimately; we settled on the Bond movie for 3 reasons:

A – In the UK; It’s just isnt christmas if there isnt a Bond movie going playing somewhere.

B – This Is Sean Connery’s last “Canon” Bond film and it seemed right to tie off his era and leave the whole damn thing in 2020 rather than dragging it into 2021

C – This film is ULTRA campy, surreal and we had a lot of fun with this commentary

So with all of that in mind. it seemed like a no brainer! anyway! here’s Diamonds are Forever. the last canon adventure with Randy Grampa…though it will be FAR from the last time we hear off him!

Happy new year all!

I sure hope this cashino doeshnt have any Shpiders…

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Well! We’ve done it again! another year has reached it’s end and with it, we have the final review of the year! I hope each and every one of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I spent the day with the missus and my parents, we had a lovely dinner, played some board games till the evening and then had a small buffet that put us into a food coma well into Boxing day!

While I wish i’d had the time to relax and savour my time off (I had 19 days leave from work this year and it REALLY flew by) I’ve spent a lot of time working on next years season over Christmas and as of today (Jan 2nd) we’ll officially start cutting for the new series! Im hoping to have at least one rest day before I go back to work. but for now. im super grateful i’ve been able to get so far ahead! so do keep an eye out for the new season when it lands in February (At least…im hoping it’ll land in February)

I watched this movie for the first time this year, for the purpose of this review. I wrote the script some tim in late July/Early August and I was fortunate enough to pick up the lovely limited edition box set of this movie and it’s sequel from 101 films almost as soon as it was announced. they’ve done a genuinely lovely job in cleaning this movie up and it was a blast to actually watch it around christmas time, in the vibe, in the festive atmosphere. I think it’s probably one of the better christmas horror movies i’ve seen. While I’d probably hesitate to say it OG “Black Christmas” good. it’s definitely up there! and I hope you consider giving it a go some time!

Anyway! Im going to be hard at work editing Season 9 now for at least the rest of this month, there’ll be a few commentaries uploaded in the mean time while im away. and, as always, i’ll be in the comments on every review i’ve done to date. So if your new to the site. please feel free to reach out and say “Hi!”

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and fruitful 2021 and lets all just…HOPE. that it is only a shadow of the year we’ve come from!

LOVE this poster. Controversial? Absolutely…But it bloody works!