The WNUF Halloween Special (2013) Comedy Dining Experience

Well, earlier this year my partner in crime Ben informed me that he was relocating to my home town! meaning previously our efforts of meeting up twice a year, recording 3-4 commentaries and winging it, could now be improved to once a month if not even more frequently! So I took him up on the offer! and so for the Halloween season we sat down and watched the “WNUF Halloween special” a film that is very close to my heart.

As mentioned multiple times (I will stop eventually!) the director currently has plans for a sequel and is currently fundraising here! and I highly recommend checking it out as it should be great fun!

This films one thats still as entertaining to me now as when I first found it nearly 5 years ago and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

The WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

I count myself exceedingly lucky that I have been able to see a film like “The WNUF Halloween Special” these kinds of films typically fall through the cracks of cinema history and I cannot stress enough how hard it is to find films like these, especially when you live in the UK.

The WNUF halloween special is no exception. as it stood up until recently the only way to get your hands on a copy of this film if you were UK based and wernt lucky enough to swipe up a copy of this when they were first selling them on DVD and VHS was to spend a frankly extortionate amount importing a very pricy NTSC only VHS or Region 1 DVD from the states, then forking out again for a player to play said expensive Tape/Disc and due to the cultish nature of this movie if you didnt pick a copy up during the initial US sales drive, there was literally no other way to get your hands on this film.

Well…there was illegal torrenting. Which unfortunately was the route I had to take in order to see this simply due to the complications listed above. While it probably wont bring much comfort to the Director/Producer. Chris. I would be honoured to help dub and distribute this tape across european terratories. PAL users have been neglected of a film like this for too long and if I can help from my little dubbing station here in the UK then please get in touch. I’d love to try and help you out in spreading this frankly amazing piece of cinema.

There is no European release of this film. and with a Sequel coming up on the horizon hopefully in a couple of years. I really hope that this one gets the worldwide release it really quite frankly deserves.

 

(This bloody poster…jesus its gorgeously done. Serious Kudos to whoever designed it. They’re a Master of the craft clearly)

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)

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…)

Zombie Flesh Eaters – (Zombi 2) (1979)

Whenever I think about “Zombie Flesh eaters” My mind kind of unfurls a bit. This is because on face value and to any unsuspecting stumble-uponers; “Zombie Flesh Eaters” is just a run of the mill (If not somewhat extreme) zombie movie from the 70’s.

But as soon as I remember that this film is legally (In Italy at least) connected to Romeros original “Of the Dead” movies it feels like the needles jumped on the record that is my brain. Further still when I remember that “Zombie Flesh eaters” is in fact not only legally connected to the “Of the dead” films but it actually sets itself up as the Prequel to “Dawn of the Dead” my mind goes into a bit of a funny shake for a few minutes.

The Balls of the studio that commissioned this movie into existence. The sheer balls of the people who sat down and thought “Hey we have a half finished horror film in pre-production…how can we make this more “Dawn of the dead-eier” It astounds me it really does…

What astounds me even more is that in some regards this film actually surpasses Dawn from a technical standpoint. It may not have Goblin or Romero behind the camera. It may be lacking Tom Savini’s personal touch. But Fulci and his team really put there heart and soul into this movie and it looks great for it. I’d also argue that for a majority of this movie. that the special effects are better than some of the ones seen in Dawn. Purely (As I mention in my video review below) because the effects of the zombies look so much more gnarled and realistic here compared to “Dawns” Pasty Blue/Grey zombies…I can honestly say that in hindsight while I may not be this films biggest fan. I have to give it credit that it surpassed my expectations in terms of what I was expecting.

 

(Also; that Shark VS Zombie underwater sequence has to be one of the best sequences Fulci ever directed. Astounding work!)

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…)

The Nanny (1965)

I have a real soft spot for the Hammer movies, they really have a charm about them. obviously there horror films are probably there most well known productions but Hammer had a quite diverse filming range outside of horror and sci-fi as well. The Nanny is a prime example of this really as its really more of a psychological thriller than anything really resembling a horror movie…I mean; I suppose the ending falls a little bit into the Macarbre but realistically the rest of this movie is about as close to a non horror as hammer could get really.

I think this is one of Bette Davies’ finest roles as the titular “Nanny” and she’s terrifically watchable as she flicks in style between the very sensible and well measured on the surface Nanny and the role she eventually ends up playing towards the end of the film.

I cover pretty much everything I can say about this movie in the review itself but I would also like to add that since publishing this review I’ve found it amazing how difficult it is to actually find much information about this movie. Mainly due to the fact that there was a CBS sitcom called “The Nanny” which ran from 1993 to 1999. I dont know how popular that show was but according to google it was more popular than this film…You can mark this one down as another “Underrated movie that doesnt get the amount of airing that it should”.

(Based on the “Bath” scene I can see why this one isnt played on Television all that often…still criminally underrated though…)

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)