Finishing the Complete Second Season (2017)

Thus brings to a close the second season of this show that I worked on. and quite honestly?; I think i’d consider this one my most progressive season that I’ve done to date. Not only did this season really let me hone my pacing skills a bit better (Something I really struggled with in the first season) but it let me experiment a bit more in being more creatively minded with my editing techniques and it was a real crash course in sound mixing.

While I can only apologise for some of the sound balances through this season (In particular my “Dawn” and “Day” reviews are pretty inaudible in places due to peaks in the music track I used that I didnt spot until the video had already gone live) By the time of the seasons close I feel I’d more or less got the balances right and at some point in the future I may well revisit a few of these season 2 episodes and address some of the issues I’ve spotted going through them.

But im very proud of this season because for the first time I felt like I had something tangible in the making that I could share with friends, or show to strangers without being worried of being attacked for the quality of the material. I mean, Im always learning (Even today I learnt something very interesting about VHS transcoding which will come in very handy when I finally get onto Season 5) but this season was largely guided as well by the advice and suggestions of you, the audience reading this.

It was during this seasons run that I started to set in motion some radical changes that would appear in season 3, and between the movie suggestions from some of my long time viewers (A serious thanks to you guys. you’ve really helped me keep going through the highs and lows) and the help of fellow youtuber and expert on all things SEO “Alan Spicer” I really feel like I’ve been able to put my reviews out there confidently.

This season built on the last one and set the frame work for what was to come. my first livestreams happened in this season, as did my first use of “Holiday branding” and my first forray into message boards and reddit (Something I’d never dared to do before) it really helped build up my confidence and I think this was a valuable learning season.

 

(Personal favourites included my halloween specials, my puppet master review and “Christmas Evil”)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

And so with this, My first set of Halloween specials came to a close. I really enjoyed making these episodes (So much so that I fully intend to do another season of themed episodes this October!) but I was always a bit concerned about what to do with this 5th slot. I was stuck as to whether I should Review this, “Zombie flesh eaters 2 (Zombi 3)”, “Land of the dead”, “Return of the living dead”, the 2004 remake of “Dawn of the dead” or that weird version of “Night of the living dead” that came out in the early/mid 90’s that was literally just the 60’s version of the film with additional 90’s shot on video scenes added into the mix.

In the end I settled on “Shaun” for a few reasons. I thought that it ended the series on a high note, I thought “Shaun” was a good reflection of the zombie movie genre in the modern day and it feels a bit like a continuation of the natural progression of these kinds of films within this series. We started with 2 different versions of “Night of the Living dead” and ended with a 21st century affectionate tribute to those zombie movies.

I also like to think that this is a good “Bookmark” point to end on. While it may not be for a couple of years I fully intend to revisit The Zombie Genre again at some point. And ending it here gives me a nice place to pick up from whenever I decide to reopen this series.

This period of time would also see me launch the first ever “TYTD Horrorthon” a 6 hour live stream of public domain horror films that amassed a grand total of 3 viewers for a few seconds at one point…and then 1 viewer pretty much for the remaining 4 hours and 55 minutes. Though doing this livestream was one of the first times I ever got positive feedback from someone for what I produced. A mother got in touch with me the day after the stream to thank me for giving her children something to watch before they went out trick or treating. and it really made my week. It only reinforced my personal belief that as long as one person comes away from it happy it makes it all worth it. I’ll be doing the stream again this year (Though as of yet I still havent decided what films will make the cut) and if your around and free at that time I’d love to have you on board! but I digress…

In and of itself “Shaun of the dead” is my favourite of the cornetto trilogy and further still is one of my favourite comedy movies of all time. The balance between the comedy and horror here is really quite fantastic and as I mention in my video its a veritable Who’s who of mid 2000’s UK comedians. If you’ve never seen it, even if you dont like horror movies, I highly recommend checking this one out.

 

(You’ve got red on you…)

Day of the Dead (1985)

For me, this is the turning point of my reviews. at least in my mind it is. Up until this review I’d found that I just wasnt quite hitting the right vibe I was looking for with these videos. I mean; Im very proud of what i’ve done up to this point. But from here on in I feel like I really finally got to grips with my video making process. I’d got the formula properly down. And while there would be 1 or 2 minor hiccups along the way; I feel that with this video I finally hit a good running stride for a while.

I still find it absolutely bizarre that around the time this video went live I only had about 12 subscribers (If memory served I would hit 13 just before Halloween itself) And thinking that this was only about 6 months ago it really astounds me to see how much I’ve grown since this video went up.

Arguably this isnt one of my most popular videos…it’s not one that gets a lot of attention. But I have a real soft spot for this one. I really enjoyed working on it and I was happy with how it turned out.

I find that the film itself is often terribly underrated by fans and critics alike. Though in recent years it has seen a significant reappraisal. I would argue that to me both this film and Dawn of the dead Jostle for the “Best zombie movie ever ever!”…It all depends on my mood. if Im wanting to watch something comic book-esq and maybe a little silly I’ll go with “Dawn” if however Im in the mood for something altogether more nihilistic then “Day” is definately my go to film. Everything about this movie is a totally bleak affair. it features some of Savini’s finest work and Cine and direction that arguably surpasses “Dawn” for me in almost every way.

Really this is an essential watch in terms of horror films. I can guarentee you probably wont see anything quite like this.

(The soundtrack is absolutely astounding. One of the all time greats!)

Dawn of the Dead – Zombi (1978)

So im going to try and keep this one a bit briefer than my usual posts that accompany these videos. Partly because I don’t have a tremendous amount to say, and partly because I’m using this post as a test of the WordPress mobile app and typing a multi paragraph analysis of my retrospective thoughts on producing these reviews from a tiny mobile phone screen is at best frustrating and at worst may result in me needing a new phone after smashing this one.

Dawn of the Dead is a near perfect masterpiece of the zombie genre. In my review I mention that it’s the Rosetta stone of zombie movies and I still stand by that. It’s not only the best place to start someone off on the genre who may never have seen a zombie movie before (because I’m told those people exist) but it’s arguably the best zombie movie full stop.

With near perfect direction, cine, colour and lighting, scripting, acting, soundtrack and editing; you’ll find it damn difficult to find another film that achieves so much in such little time.

My only memories of recording this episode was that I very fondly remember watching it on my old Arrow video DVD before immediately growing frustrated at the fact that the UK bluray was out of print and commanding ludicrous prices on Amazon and eBay. A good bluray of Dawn is currently still one of my “most wanted” releases.

Other than that, all I can really say about this is that I’m tremendously sorry for the sound mix of this one…it turns out that my speakers wernt properly balanced when I did the sound mix for this one and as a result the music occasionally drowns me out…I corrected this after my “Day of the Dead” review but this one suffers a bit more than the others…so my sincerest apologies…itll probably be one I’ll need to correct at some point…

(I often jostle between this and “Day” for my favourite “Of the Dead” movie…)

Night of the Living Dead (1968/1990)

So begins the first of my video Halloween special series! Where every Halloween (Admittedly theres only been one so far…but hey! you live and learn!) I try to upload a series of videos either based on a monster theme or based on the season of Halloween itself!

Last years theme was “Of the dead” and dealt with 5 films featuring those architypical returners of the dead themselves, Zombies! Zombies as a trend have been dead now for years…quite possibly even a decade at this point. Zombies and Vampires have both pretty much been quite literally done to death since the turn of the century and I cant envision anything bringing them storming back to the mainstream public conciousness any time soon…

However! I’ve really wanted to talk about the initial 3 Romero zombie movies now for years and I thought with it being Halloween and there being so much to discuss about these specific zombie films…Well, the planets kind of aligned for me on this one.

The biggest problem I remember having with this review in particular was deciding which version to actually talk about…I’ve found that the ’68 versions been quite literally done to death and the 90’s versions decent but seems to be relatively underrated…One thing I definatley didnt want to do was 2 seperate videos talking about both films seperately but then; How do I cover them both and make it work?

I decided ultimately to cover both films as there own thing but to contrast them off one another when I felt I had something interesting to say about both or either one in particular…And while I feel I maybe could have gone a bit more in depth on the 60’s version in hindsight…at the time I just felt like it had been given enough of a platform over the 90’s version which just didnt seem all that well known…

(For the record: I still prefer the 90’s version over the 60’s version…I just find it has so much more to offer…)