Phantasm (1979)

So we kind of need to step sideways in order to move forward here with Vampire month this halloween. While it could be argued that cinema in general was shifting towards the late 70’s to the 80’s film format that made massive successes of movies like “E.T”, “The Goonies” and “The Lost Boys” it wasnt without seismic shifts within the industry and within specific genres.

I chose to talk about “Phantasm” as part of Vampire month because the Symbolism is there, the attitude is there, the “Vibe” (For lack of a better word) is there. it isnt a vampire movie. and yet it somehow has the ora of one. I really REALLY liked this movie. it was a fun and interesting side avanue into the Horror genre. At some point I will look at the sequels (Though by all accounts this series is a bit like the “Hellraiser” movies…in the sense that the less you know about the universe the better the movies are…

Who knows when that’ll be mind!? my “To Watch” pile is frankly absurd these days…all I know is: Go watch Phantasm…right now.

(Seriously underwhelming poster for this one sadly…Theres so much they could have done with the themes and look this film has…and they settled on “Throw fucking everything on the poster…the more it looks like sick, the more people will want to see it!” Dissapointed.)

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)

Snoop Doggs Hood of Horror (2006)

I really wasnt kidding when I said in this review that I literally “By chance” stumbled on a copy of this movie. Amazon has a somewhat manic “Search” function and more often than not the results you want are often not the results you find.

I found this movie in particular when I went to go and pick up a copy of “Fade to black” and it appeared in my “Recommended because you bought” section. until then I had never seen, heard or smelt of it but I knew based on that cover and the price alone that I had to pick it up. I know Snoop himself has Directed, Produced and acted in movies in the past but to see something so utterly ludicrous really is quite fantastic.

I honestly think Snoop must enjoy doing stuff like this because the stories I’ve heard of him over the years (From paying to have a section of his house refitted to look like “The Rovers Return” from Coronation street, to his infamous “Pass the blunt” movie nights) has me convinced this guy likes his shite films as much as you or me.

Its surprisingly well made trash cinema and I honestly think this one may have something of a resurgence in years to come. particularly for it’s campy dark comedy undertones. for the price it’s currently going for I definitely recommend you go and look this one up!

(All the artwork for this one is so distressing…I really feel if they’d got the marketing downa¬† little bit better that they may have had a serious hit on their hands…)

The Boogey Man (The Bogey Man) (1980)

I really wasnt expecting much from “The Bogey man” when I first put it on. The Video Nasties craze of the 1980s was a very sporadic period in the UK with dozens of titles being caught up in the frothing fever of trying to “ban the filth” and this meant that a few titles that really shouldnt have been listed as “Nasties” somehow got sweapt up in the hoopla.

I dont subscribe to the belief that the 1984 video recordings act was in anyway a good thing, I think it heavily censored creativity and drove the interest in these movies into the hands of the underground market where prices ran rampant and quality control was non existent. even if I did accept the act in some capacity (Which I most definitely do not) the consistency was all over the place, with films like “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Maniac Cop” being perfect examples of movies that quite reasonably could justify this act to a degree (They’re both very hard watches that are purposefully designed to be uncomfortable and shocking) through to movies like “The Evil Dead” and “Zombie Flesh Eaters” which while pushing the envelope a bit, were hardly going to “Corrupt the youth”. Conservative drive and a Newspaper driven campaign, only spurred on by the Mary whitehouse brigade only led to further confusion and unwarrented restrictions.

Arguably the most famous being a recurring issue in which police officers would repeatedly seize copies of “The Littlest Whorehouse in Texas” which is a PG comedy movie and copies of “Apocalypse now” which were passed by the BBFC being seized because it sounded too much like a Cannibal movie…only spurring things on and causing a rise in panic, incidents like “The Hungerford massacre” or the “James Bulger” case were sensationalised in the tabloids as being indisputable proof that violent films were corrupting people. In these incidents Hungerfords massacre happened because the killer watched “Rambo 3” (There was no proof of this…The only evidence given was that he’d worn a bandana when he committed the killings), and in the latter “Childs Play 3” was put to blame (Despite the fact that again there was no proof of this and the only evidence was that the killers father had rented the movie, not watched it, and returned it 2 days later) it was this incident that led to one of the “Last hurrah” moments of the Video nasty movement when the Sun ran with the sensationalist front page title “For the sake of ALL our kids Burn your video nasties”

Today barring a few seconds of animal cruelty here and there almost all of the original banned video nasties have not only been released but have been released officially multiple times both in standard and High definition. Theres only one video nasty that remains thats still been denied a classification, that’s “Love Camp 7” but a majority have now been released uncut. And being able to see these films for what they are and realise that a majority of them were purely on the list because of histeria is both eye opening and distressing to me.

The Boogey man is the perfect example of this. This movie has 2 graphic moments in it pretty much, and quite honestly theres much much worse out there. This shouldnt have been on the video nasties list and yet both this and the movies sequel (Which im told is a total and utter raging toxic sludge of a movie) were on the banned list with litte to no justification.

And its a pretty okay movie to boot!, its no masterpiece but I was really genuinely surprised by just how high quality it was when compared with some of the shinola on the banned list. it made it to my “Shelf of interest” as a quirky and slightly unusual oddity. One I’d reccommend you look out for.

(The Posters misleading as well…there are windows, women and shadowy figures in the movie…but not necessarily all at once)

Nekromantik (1987)

I don’t really know what went on in my mind when I considered picking this one up. I was hesitant, I remember that much. But with “Arrow Video” being synonymous with quality to me I felt assured that however “Nekromantik” panned out, there would at least be some assurance that what I was buying would have some level of cult or artistic merit

What I wasn’t expecting was just how near the knuckle “Nekromantik” is at times. Since watching this film I’ve since seen the likes of movies like “Cannibal Holocaust” and this movies sequel “Nekromantik 2” so my expectations are a little better managed. Though this film is still pretty high up there.

Since this video was uploaded one of the things that’s really stuck in my mind when reading other reviews of this movie (as I try to avoid reading other people’s reviews until mines been done as I don’t want to feel like I’m subcociously “lifting” other people’s thoughts) is just how few people pick up on the John waters influences in this film. Seriously when you realise that the director of this film was heavily inspired by the likes of movies like “Pink flamingos” and “Female trouble” then the campy undertones of this production really come out in a wonderful flourish.

Is this an extreme movie? Well; Arrow saw it fit to release this film both as a fully restored and a “nasty” era inspired grindhouse cut…So Id say there are excessive elements to this film. But “Nekromantik” to me is one of those special types of films that has somehow managed to perfectly straddle the lines between “cult shock value horror” “extreme border pornographic content” and “art house sensibilities” and I love this movie for that…

As mentioned, I’ve since watched the sequel to this and it’s alright…in some ways it’s a bit harsher than this film in others it’s a bit sillier but I’ll give my full thoughts on this one another time. Though what I will say is I still prefer the original and if your looking for a new challenging watch; I highly recommend checking this one out.

(The main theme to this film was my ringtone for a while…I thought that anyone who recognised it wasn’t in a position to judge)

Puppet Master (1989)

Deciding the structure of these seasons is always a bit of a difficult game for me. Typically I’ll try and fill the 18 episodes that I have per season with a good mixture of genre’s and film types because bad and cult movies really arnt tied to any specific genre and I know that¬†there are people who subscribe to my youtube channel who only watch me for my Sci-fi reviews or only watch me for my Kids movie reviews. And thats totally cool; thats why I try and keep things fairly loose. As a result you’ll get a few horror films per season, a few science fiction, a few martial arts movies and the odd kids film or romance. It just helps keep things a bit more diverse while simultainiously being a bit broad.

One of the more difficult elements to manage with my channel however is how many mainstream or popular cult movies to cover in a season. Obviously I dont want to just talk about all the films everyone already knows about because…well everyone already knows about them. But at the same time (According to my youtube analytics at least) my more mainstream reviews are not only some of my most watched and popular videos; there also the ones most likely to make first time viewers subscribe. So I’ve kind of resolved myself to only talking about two; maybe three, popular films per season. both as a way to limit my own reliance on those kind of films and to kind of treat them as a “Special occasion” when I do talk about them.

Puppet master (To me at least) is an example of a popular cult film in the sense that it isnt as well known as your “Friday the 13ths” or your “Nightmare on Elm street” movies, but it is still fairly well known. It has a relatively large fan base and for anyone familiar with the more well known horror movies These kind of films could potentially act as a gateway for casual movie goers to explore stranger and more unknown movies that are largely obscured. I had never seen a puppet master movie until I watched this one for the purposes of this review and I still desperately need to get my hands on the sequel because I really enjoyed how this film decided to tackle its plot line. I’ve been told by multiple people since doing this review that the “Puppet master” franchise is one of the spottiest franchises still putting movies out. When its good its great!; when its bad it’s unwatchable. So I can only hope that my own experiences when I get round to the sequels will be plesent…

Also; speaking of my own videos for a moment. This is the first review to feature my first revamped intro sequence. I’d had a few issues with the original intro, Mainly that I felt it was a bit too basic and a bit low production quality. Which it kind of was to be honest. I made the original intro over 2 hours without any plans or storyboards. I literally just sat there and thought “I need an intro…” and took it from there…So I decided to actually do a bit more planning with this second intro. And while by contemporary standards I realise that its still very flawed, at the time I remember being over the moon with the results. It would only be used for this season at which point I decided to seriously overhaul the intro elements entirely. But this was really my first big stab at trying to fundamentally change how my videos looked and felt. It was also around this time that I really began monitoring the pacing of my videos and making sure that I spoke slower, calmer and really tried to “Up” just how methodical I was with writing my reviews. Its all change really! and from here on in I feel I made massive steps in my production processes.

(Im a sucker for “Blade” in this one I have to be honest. Hes such a cute little murderer)