As we continue our deep dive into ‘Films that wish they were part of ‘Official’ film franchises’ We arrive at 2004’s “Dawn of the Living Dead” a ludicrous work that I still have total and utter mixed feelings about. It feels like a made up movie, like something that shouldnt actually exist. It feels odd. like a concussion. situations and circumstances have this overly woozy quality and a total miscasting of Joe Estevez (who I mainly know for ‘On Cinema‘ which adds a WHOLE other level to this thing). Just makes this whole thing a totally surreal watch for me.
Whether its actually any good? I cant say. I know I was so conflicted about it, I ultimately ended up putting it on my ‘Shelf of quite good films’ pending a rewatch (which’ll probably be next halloween now at this rate) I just…Im lost for words with this thing. and I think if you check the below review…you’ll see why.
Well! it’s our SIXTH Halloween special run (honestly, where does the time go!?) and this year we were going downmarket and dirty, looking at ‘knock off’ movies that were riding the coat tails of much more successful pictures. And this film was very much the inspiration for this months offerings. “Stranger: A Soulmate of Chucky” a film i’d wanted to get my hands on since AT LEAST 2007, maybe even earlier. As soon as a saw the cover and found out it’s intentions in DESPERATELY trying to appear to be tied to the childs play franchise. I just KNEW I needed to see it. It’s apparently quite hard to get ahold of these days, which makes me glad I grabbed mine some years ago when it was just “kinda uncommon” rather than “full blown rare”
Not only is this the start of a new themed month for halloween AND a movie i’ve wanted to watch for the best part of a decade and a half and review since I started the channel, but it also gave me the opportunity to work with a fellow cult film critic and genuinely good egg, Dan From Peckingforgoodtv. Honestly, his ’31 horror movies in 31 days’ halloween specials have EASILY replaced the hole in my life that was created when ‘Cinemassacres Monster Madness’ was wound down. I think the guys spot on with his reviews and is very sincere. and I highly recommend you check his stuff out.
In the meantime though! strap yourself in for 41(ish) minutes of analysis about a killer doll movie that isnt really a killer doll movie! YAY!
‘Footprints’ was a film that chronically fell into the ‘I’ll cover it next season’ pile. As far back as season 7 I’d intended to cover this one, but when it came to finalising the running order, it just didnt sit right with what was in the dock at the time, so…i’d cull it over to the next season and PROMISE to do it then…where it’d sit on the list again till the very last minute and then ultimately get culled back to the NEXT season and so on.
The fact i’ve actually finally got it out, AND the fact that it came out only a week or so after Severin Films announced a lovely box set which includes this film. was both coincidental and a very nice surprise.
I honestly always seem to forget just how interesting a concept this movie was and how surprisingly fun it could be. Im really going to have to dig it out again in the near future for a re-spin. It’s definitely not perfect. But it is one that I recall with fondness.
And so, we arrive at the end of our coverage of the ‘American Ninja’ sequels (dont ask about the original…we’ll do that one at some point, but lord knows when) and…well…it’s been a bit of a death spiral since part 2, But part 5 was kinda, sorta, not as bad as part 4! Yes, it isnt *technically* an ‘American Ninja’ movie, yes it has David Bradley in it playing a COMPLETELY different character from the last two films and YES, it was a bit of a hatchet Cannon job…but then, the best films they made WERE often cheap cash ins on bigger movies and balls to the wall action goodness.
In that sense, this film honestly excels and I would really rather consider it the *true* ending to the franchise, than have to sit through ‘American Ninja 4′ again…
So this review was blocked in most places, which is a pain. But i’ve split the video out into a US friendly and EU friendly version. which you can access here.
One of the first collabs of the season and we landed an absolute winner with Jonathan North, I was first put in touch with Jonathan via Trivial Theater who’s good friends with Jonathan and has appeared on his channel multiple times reviewing family friendly cult classics. Obviously given the nature of my content, I didnt want to scare the guy too badly with ‘Wicked World’ or ‘The Corpse Grinders’ So I thought i’d have him on to talk about a movie thats been on my ‘To Cover’ list more or less since I started the channel!
I love ‘The Giant Claw’ I unapologetically love it, its cheesy, goofy, easy on the gore but surprisingly violent and the titular Giant Claw doesnt get nearly enough credit for being as interesting a creature as it is.
It was a celebration of the old, and a look forward to the future of the channel. With this series marking a few milestones, it being the last season edited in 1080p,the last season edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, The last to use the branding we’ve been using now since 2020 across all fronts and the last season predominantly recorded on my focusrite condensor mic, a mic thats pretty much been what you’ve heard me through since AT LEAST 2020, which also made a few on and off appearences between 2017 and 2019 too.
What does the new season hold? well as seen in the review for “Dont go in the house” i’ve had a systems and kit upgrade on almost all fronts! including a new machine, a new mic, new lights for the packaging shots, new editing software and some other new tools to help give a bit more variety. As such we have new branding across all our main shows, we’ll be solely uploading in 4k going forward with better quality sound and visuals, faster processing power means it takes less time to export and convert reviews now, and as such it means we’ll be able to *hopefully* turn things around a bit quicker which’ll give me some time back to be able to enjoy a sunset or eat a well prepared meal!
There have also been some changes that are not quite as pleasent to announce, but here we are. After 2 years or so of monthly uploads and over 50 feature length commentaries, “The Comedy Dining Experience” will be swapping back to an irregular upload schedule, as it was when we first launched in 2018. Part of this is down to the amount of time it takes to edit the commentaries, part of it’s down to lower uptake than our other shows (we’ve had some episodes record less than 20 views after 3 weeks of being live in some cases) and part of it’s down to both myself and Ben just being absolutely ram jammed with stuff going on at the minute. Im in the middle of writing/recording and editing next years episodes (and I still have stuff to finish with Season 12!) and Bens recently had several good news stories that means he’s a lot busier than he was at the moment.
What this means in practical terms is that the Comedy Dining experience isnt going anywhere, it just means that, for the moment at least, it’s going to be on pause while we sort life stuff out, and when it does come back it’ll be likely an “As and when” affair rather than a regularly scheduled “thing” which will allow me more time to work on and refine our reviews, and it means we wont be oversaturating the channel too.
What it ALSO means is that we can do other fun things like monthly game night streams (we’ve done 3 so far and a pilot) AND it’s meant I can start an official Discord from which we’ll be hosting various watchalongs, games nights and other good stuff, alongside chats on everything from good and bad movies to music and weird youtube oddities, so do please tag along for that!
Season 11 marked a change in the wind for the channel, and with Season 12 currently rolling out weekly, I hope your enjoying the direction we’re taking the channel in, I had an absolute blast working on this season, I think it’s one of my favourites i’ve worked on alongside Season 10 and the chance to work and hang out with so many interesting people in collaboration has been an absolute delight. I couldnt have asked for a better 5th year on the platform.
Well! it’s summertime once again and honestly, im beyond thrilled to be back in the driving seat for our (now annual) summer special! Honestly, not having my usual friday hang out with people as I share that weeks strange flick is always an usual experience, but! needs must while I work away on new episodes for you guys to stretch from September to the end of the year!
I always feel like its a bit of a special occasion when the summer specials come up, it’s a chance to push the boat out, do something a bit off the beat and path and just have a bit of fun with some fantastic creators.
And this years no exception as we have Mike from Rotted Reviews on board to talk about 1979’s Dont go in the house! Mike was an absolute sweetheart through all of this, and I genuinely enjoyed working with him on this slice of fried gold! We talk about it in the video itself, but while this is a VERY fun little movie, it isnt exactly a gold star MUST SEE flick, it’s just quite good fun, and I always enjoy working with collaborators on movies like this as I find it very interesting to see what people make of just “decent” movies. it allows for a much more interesting conversation.
This special also see’s a few changes to “The Red Triangle” it’s our first epiosde in ultra sharp 4k resolution! it’s our first video to feature our brandspanking new “Red Triangle” intro! Our first shakeup of that intro since 2018! (not including our holiday rebrands which were basically just the exact same intos but with either stock snow inserted or coloured with an orange tint!)
Its the first time we’ve used sub bumpers (controversial, I know…but im curious to see if they do work) and we’ve revamped our outro slide, finally retiring our previous slide after 2 years service AND retiring the “Sliding” black and white text motif thats been a part of our outro banners since 2018 as well!
Thats not to mention upgrades in terms of our editing software (whereas “Night of the demon” will hold the title of “First episode we edited on our newly upgraded editing machine”, This episode gets the honour of being the first one we edited using a 4k workflow on a fully paid up version of Da Vinci resolve where we really tested the metal of our new machine!) we also upgraded our mic, retiring our trusty red Focusrite condenser mic (used on and off between 2017 and 2019 before becoming our main mic from 2020 right up to “Night of the Demon”) for a lovely RODE NT1-A Condenser mic, we’ve upgraded our lighting kit for better packing shots AND we’ve upgraded our workflow efficiency with some new tools to help make my life a lot easier in terms of production process and to hopefully take time off rendering and processing.
This is just a brief glimpse into the future of how our reviews will be growing and evolving over the coming weeks/months and hopefully years. and so far, the feedback we’ve recieved has been VERY positive, which honestly, I couldnt be happier about (and thank you so much to everyone who has commented on our refresh, it’s genuinely made me feel so happy!)
So! this was our Summer Special 2022! we’ll be back with a full season starting on September 9th 2022 and I cant wait for you guys to check it out!
Again; super special thanks to Mike for making this review possible, if you enjoyed him here, he has a patreon full of awesome goodies that I highly recomment you check out here!
Look…I had to okay? I just had to. My first review on the channel WAY back in 2017 was “The Dragon Lives Again” a film I chose mainly because it was (at the time) my all time favourite good/bad movie. and while I’ve grown and diversified in all the time i’ve been doing this, my love for this film has honestly not deminished one iota. I LOVE this movie, for its big, stupid, bizarre, copyright infringing heart and soul it manifests and everything it stands for.
Obviously with it being my first review on the channel and the 2nd ever review I wrote for this thing! (the first being a pilot episode I wrote and partially edited that…didnt feel right so I scrapped it.) after 5 years it waaaas beginning to look a little creaky. at the time I wrote the review I wasnt as honed on research as I am now, I didnt have nice lighting kits or a studio grade mic or a decent machine to edit on, I didnt structure my scripts, my work around pacing and my channel branding was frankly atrocious, I put ZERO passion into my delivery on the mic… (the things you learn as you grow)
I worked with what I could at the time, but generally I kind of treat my work at this point as two “eras” the first being Seasons 1-5 Basically everything from the first review up to “Jack Frost” which was a learning curve and as such things are very much a “Work in progress” and then from Seasons 6 to the this review I kind of feel like I had chance to stop, recharge, rework my content, improve my methodology and develop into something that today im beyond happy with. it feels like my work from Season 6 has led to now and my revisiting this video.
So much has been discovered about “The Dragon Lives Again” in the 5 years since my initial review went live, better quality copies of the film have surfaced, theres more information around how it was distributed, not to mention that theres generally just…a TON to talk about in this film that in my original review I absolutely failed to do. I didnt want to do a 2.5D remake of my original review like I did with “The American Ninja 2” because I felt more needed to be said. So this is a from the ground up redo. taking on what i’ve learned and putting it into one of the most comprehensive reviews of this movie that I could possibly aim for. we’ve come full circle and this era of TYTD is now coming to something of an end. I feel a lot happier about things with this movie now having proper representation on the channel, and I hope you enjoy it.
As for the future? well; in the time that this review was completed and uploaded i’ve upgraded my mic, my computer, my editing software and much much more. it’s a new beginning, and I hope you enjoy where we take the show going forward (Dont worry, we arnt shaking things up THAT much…consider it a polish and shine rather than a ‘ripping the heart out’ moment)
So! To ‘The Dragon Lives Again’ the film that launched the channel and forever may it sail!
Welp! for the penultimate episode of this season, the penultimate episode of our 5th anniversairy celebrations AND the last ‘Red Triangle’ of the season to boot! I figured i’d have to go all out and honestly, I dont think I could be happier with this one, Tony from the Video Nasty Project agreed to join us on this one and im BEYOND grateful he dropped by for this one!
Over on his channel he’d previously reviewed this one and mused that he felt the film was poorly represented and thats why it got such a bad rep, at the time it was only available as a VERY ropey transfer dumped on tape in the 80s and disc in the early 2000’s.
Well, when Severin and 88 films announced a ground up remaster from the original elements. I got in touch with Tony in a heartbeat and asked if he’d be interested in re-evaluating and man. he really bought his all to this one.
A genuinely great way to tie things off, a fun exciting movie and a reminder to myself of exactly why I do these things. with only 1 more review to go before we round the season off. we’re hitting the highs now!
As part of our 5th Anniversairy celebrations, we once again took a dip into the old archive and boy howdy did I land on a winner with this one.
I loved ‘Cyborg Cop 2’ its a daft, weird, stupid, goofy movie and I SINCERELY hope it gets a proper bluray release in future because…my GOD this films wild. the original is positively stationary compared to this things utter crazy. and I love it, love it, LOVE it for that.
What are you even reading this for!? go watch Cyborg cop 2…right now!
OH! and this ones blocked in several places across the globe (bloody rubbish bloody copyright theiving bastards.) But it’s okay, I’ve uploaded a universally watchable copy to Odysee which you can watch by clicking here