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Web Video / Brandon's Cult Movie Reviews

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"Alright, it's time for the giant flying turtle to face off against the rainbow death lizard to find out once and for all who's more ridiculous!"

Brandon's Cult Movie Reviews, hosted by Brandon Tenold, is a Web Video review series focusing on cult cinema, including low-budget sci-fi, dinosaurs, foreign knock-offs and the films of Caroline Munro. Many of the episodes were originally produced in 2011-2014 but were pulled down from YouTube due to copyright issues. The show returned with new episodes soon after and was picked up by Channel Awesome, before leaving that platform in a mass exodus in 2018.

Oh no! Tropes! My one weakness!

  • Aborted Arc: In October 2014, Brandon planned to feature all three Tales from the Crypt movies. However, after a DMCA takedown of his review of Bordello of Blood, he chose not to post a review of the third film, The Ritual. He later would say it's the worst of the three films. Subverted when, in 2017, he finally reviewed the film.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Usually averted; his show is less about denouncing bad movies and more about making people discover cheesy old movies, and while he will sometimes get mad at movies which he thinks are genuinely terrible, most of the time he will just crack jokes and enjoy them, if just for the So Bad, It's Good vibe.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Brandon admits to being amused by some of the jokes in the generally sub-par Student Bodies.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Often gives sarcastic replies to a character's dumb question. To provide an example, in his review of Battle Beyond the Stars:
    Cayman: [after being compared to Sador, a Berserk Button because Sador killed his whole race] Sador? Sador of the Malmori?
    Brandon: No, Sador Smith. You probably got them confused. Who the hell do you think she was talking about?
  • Author Appeal:
    • Dinosaurs. He even watched Epic: Days of the Dinosaur because of this even though it only has one dinosaur in it for a couple of minutes. And Caroline Munro, of course.
    • He's made Top 10 lists of the best Ray Harryhausen movies and the top Godzilla movies, although he's also reviewed some of the stinkers from the latter. He also made a few jokes at the expense of the producers of The Giant Claw deciding not to hire Harryhausen to create the film's monster (instead using an effects company in Mexico to save money, and resulting in one of the most goofy B-Movie monsters ever as a result), even flat out asking "What Were You Thinking?"
    • Brandon did a whole month on the Lost World movies of Doug McClure and was excited enough that Doug appeared in Firebird 2015 A.D. during his "Canuxploitation-a-thon" that he brought back the opening to McClure's month (well, a few seconds of it).
    • Classic rock. His previous video series was music-centered, and he's worked in references to Deep Purple, Hawkwind, and Parliament-Funkadelic in his movie reviews. He also took a short break from reviews in late 2015 to go on tour with his band, where he plays bass guitar.
    • In early 2016, Brandon has done a "Gamera-a-thon," a series reviewing the Showa Gamera films. Although he clamied that he wasn't really a Gamera fan and was mostly doing the marathon due to fan demand.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After explaining the origins of Creep Show, he finishes off with this comment:
    "So we've got two titans of the horror genre finally working together for the first time. What could go wrong? (beat) Nothing! Sometimes I do movies I like on this channel."
  • Berserk Button:
    • Not really berserk, as in screaming, raving mad, but Brandon is especially annoyed with the Tagalong Kid in the Gamera films, referring to them generically as "Kenny", or in the rare case of a young girl, "Kendra."
    • In his review of 1969 Mexican film Night of the Bloody Apes, Brandon gets ticked off when the English-language voice dubs pronounce the name "Julio" as "Jew-lio" instead of "Who-lio."
  • Brick Joke: His review of The War of the Worlds (1953) ended with him snarkily suggesting that he'd probably follow up his review of a legitimately good sci-fi classic with a movie about "TV Zombies or something". His very next review was of The Video Dead.
  • The Cameo: So far, The Cinema Snob showed up in the Alienator review, and Linkara loaned Brandon an "I AM A MAN!!!" for America 3000. Brandon has also cameoed in Linkara's 500th Episode 3-parter. Much later, Monster Island Buddies wrote a comedic recap for Part 2 of his King Kong vs. Godzilla review.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: A couple of times he has made jokes about his similarity to Michael C. Hall, or as a fan said it, a "Canadian Dexter".
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • An older one was usually uttered in reference to the antagonists' plots, "Of course! The fiends!"
    • "In the far-off future of... (insert past year here)!"
    • (observing that characters in a situation tend to die) "Ah, I'm sure they'll be fine."
  • Covers Always Lie: Played with in his The Dragon Lives Again review. The DVD case promises it's the strangest martial arts movie ever. Brad gives it a watch to verify the claim, and he finds it pretty accurate.
  • Critical Backlash: invokedHe thinks Lifeforce (1985) is much better than critics give it credit for.
  • Crossover: His only crossover so far, a review of The Haunted World Of El Super Beasto with The Stupid Team.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Possibly one of the snarkiest reviewers out there. The movies he reviews often are cheesy in their tone and special effects, and he loves making fun of them.
  • Deranged Animation: So far he's reviewed Felidae, Wicked City, Once Upon a Girl., Wizards and Fight! Iczer One!.
  • Dull Surprise: A sailor at the beginning of A*P*E is either stoned out of his mind or really badly dubbed (or both). His dull "Oh shit" made Brandon crack up.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Brandon's riffing was much dryer and more deadpan in the early reviews, later episodes have much more energy and vitriol, more in league with the house style of Channel Awesome. One of Brandon's favorite hobbies may have contributed to the more laid back tone of the first videos.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He hates Kennys, but still balks at the thought of them being molested.
    "Never thought I'd say this, but RUN, KENNY!"
  • Failure Hero: From The Final Programme:
    Jerry Cornelius: Miss Brunner! I'm losing!
  • Follow the Leader:invoked
    • This trend created many of the films Brandon has reviewed, including three separate King Kong rip-offs and the Starcrash movies. He also made a month-long series of movies (most of them Italian) that ripped off Alien.
    • Of particular note is The Dark (1979), a film originally about a murderous zombie that was rewritten as a space alien to try and ride the coat tails of Star Wars. The change was accomplished pretty much solely by badly adding in laser effects during murder scenes.
    • While he makes plenty of humor about Gorgo being similar to Godzilla (even making a Bait-and-Switch gag when he acts like he's going to review a Godzilla movie, as he's been asked so often), he also points out that Gorgo had a few interesting twists (like the fact Monster Is a Mommy — he even says he likes the little Gorgo more than Minilla).
  • Gratuitous Italian: In his review of Demons, Brandon tosses a "C'รจ terminata, stronzo! (You're terminated, fucker!" when the heroes kill the final demon in the theater, who looks like a Terminator because of its metal mask.
    • He makes a callback to this in his review of the sequel, when a demon emerges from a TV, distorting the screen: "Lucio Fulci presenta... Videodrome."
  • Gushing About Shows You Like: In-Universe he found a way to gush about Demon Knight in a sarcastic, backhanded manner. Basically he "complained" that because the movie had a strong cast, good writing, and a compelling plot, it was making his job as a snarky critic very hard to do.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Brandon reviewed Godzilla: Final Wars he noted the presence of Don Frye, MMA fighter and pro wrestler who the director was a fan of. He briefly made fun of the idea of bringing in a pro wrestler to garner attention, right before his video had a cameo from Simon Gotch (pro wrestler and half of the former WWE tag team the Vaudevillains).
    Brandon: (smirking after the cameo ends) I know a wrestler.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Brandon dislikes most small child characters in films, noting his disdain for the kids in Gunhed, and claiming that it's part of the reason that he prefers Godzilla over Gamera. In his review of Son of Godzilla, he notes that while Minya was created to appeal to kids, even when he was young he watched Godzilla films for Godzilla, rather than his son. It's since become a Berserk Button (or more like "snark button") and he made a label for all of them:
  • Lighter and Softer: Aside from the aforementioned example of Demon Knight and his uber-popular Godzilla reviews, Brandon has gradually started reviewing more films that he actually likes, such as Black Christmas (1974) and the first Phantasm film.
  • Loony Fan: His review of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is "forced" into production by one of these, who messages Brandon that he's outside his house and will castrate him with a pair of pliers unless he makes a new Godzilla film review... and when Brandon looks out the window, there he is, pliers and all.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. As Spoony did for Reb Brown and as the Snob did for Pierre Kirby, Brandon does for Doug McClure, highlighting a scene in The People That Time Forgot where McClure takes an arrow to the face and just shrugs it off.
  • Mind Screw: A lack of budget and creative oddities have left Brandon scratching his head in confusion many times.
  • The Mockbuster: Several reviewed films are this, including Turkish Spider-Man, Starcrash, and A*P*E
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: He's done several jokes regarding being Canadian, including reviewing several bad movies made in the country (the "Canuxploitation" specials), using the name of the national anthem as a Review Ironic Echo in them, and multiple jokes about how Saskachetwan gets very cold in the winter, and not much warmer in the summer (e.g. Black Christmas (1974) showing a toasty Canadian July).
  • Narm: In-Universe he laughed at the second kill in The Dark (1979), due to the shoddy effects added in.
  • Obligatory Joke: Brandon stops himself from making a "dingoes took my baby" joke while watching Epic (1984)
  • Oh, Crap!: Brandon's reaction to learning that the Patreon goal for the Gamera-a-thon has been reached is to yell, "Oh, shit!"
    • He's also created a minor running gag out of a clip of a character from A*P*E giving a very bored line-read of "Oh shit."
  • Older Than He Looks: Would you believe he's 32 in 2017?
  • Oscar Bait: Even labeled as such on-screen with McClure's character's dying speech in The People That Time Forgot.
  • Overused Running Gag: Not so much lampshaded that he uses it a lot so much as lampshading why he didn't used it: In his review of Miami Connection he points out that he didn't used the "no-one will be seated during the thrilling [boring segment where nothing interesting happens]" Running Gag because there are so many segments where nothing happens that he would have run it into the ground.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Joked about in his review of Miami Connection, after the hero band sings a song called "Against The Ninja". Brandon lampshades the bad guys are a ninja dojo and says that maybe the reason they are out to kill the heroes is because they are offended by the song.
  • Product Placement: Brandon spoofs Rock and Roll Nightmare and its constant Coke product placement (at one point, Jon Mikl Thor conspicuously turns a can around so that the label on a can of Coke is facing towards the camera).
  • Real-Life Relative:invoked For the Crying Freeman review, Brandon mentions that stars Mark Dacascos and Julie Condra are married in real life.
  • Reference Overdosed: Like any internet critic worth their salt, Brandon throws references into his comments whenever he can.
  • Review Ironic Echo: During each of his "Canucks-ploitation-a-thons", he's done an annoyed "Oh, Canada!" to close out one of the reviews.
    • Also done heavily in his "Get Mean" review, whenever the characters lampshade how insane the situation is.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • "Maybe we'll get to see some nudity?" [NOPE].
    • Any movie with a bunch of alternate titles will have A Bay of Blood be the last listed.
    • Dubbing in "Psych!" whenever a movie does an Ass Pull. After his review of A*P*E, this has alternated with a clip of a sailor saying a very bored "Oh shit".
    • An episode-specific one: Frequently shouting "Holy shit! I think Marty's the killer!" in the review of Slaughter High after the "twist" is telegraphed in the first couple of minutes.
    • Whenever Caroline Munro appears, she's accompanied by the song "Warrior of Love"... which is actually sung by her.
    • "No one will be seated during the thrilling..."
    • "Of course! The fiends!"
    • "DECAPITATIOOOOOON!" whenever someone is decapitated.
    • In Demon Knight he used the line "Put a cork in it, Zane!" from Zoolander.
    • "Title Drop!"
    • Playing a clip of Pharoahe Monch's "Simon Says (Get the Fuck Up)" whenever Godzilla is awakened from sleeping/being knocked unconscious to wake him up.
    • (Something odd or mundane kills someone on-screen) "(Something odd or mundane)! His/Her/Its one weakness!" Occasionally varied by pretending it's the dying character saying this.
    • Playing the battle music of Star Trek: The Original Series episode Amok Time (also known as the Decapodian National Anthem) Once an Episode during a fight sequence in his "Doug Mc Clure-a-Thon".
    • Snarking constantly about the description of the bird as "a giant battleship" in his review of The Giant Claw.
    • Playing a snippet of "Drinkin' Boys" by DJ Ozma (AKA the one with a bunch of naked singers covering themselves with paper fans) when he wants to refer to Japanese media being weird.
    • Fans constantly asking him when the next review of a Godzilla movie will come out, as well as Godzilla's Revenge being a personal Trauma Button.
  • Running Gagged:
    • After playing the battle music from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode Amok Time Once an Episode during his "Doug Mc Clure-a-Thon" (with varying degrees of earnestness) he played only five seconds of the music in the final review ("Warriors of Atlantis") before stopping it and saying he was bored of it.
    • The above-mentioned running gag with "Drinkin' Boys" comes to an end in the review of Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds with him stopping the video snippet and saying he's tired of it.
    • In his review of Horror Express, he exploits the fact that one of the characters is played by Telly Savalas to drop three "who [x]'s you, baby?" jokes and say (after Savalas' character is appropriately killed off) that "ok, I swear I'll stop with the 'Kojak' jokes."
  • The Scrappy: In-Universe, he considers any obnoxious kid, that gets far more screen time than reasonable, to be this for a movie, particularly any "Kenny" character in a Gamera film.
  • Shallow Parody:invoked Brandon's chief problem with Queen Kong, even comparing the level of humor to Seltzer and Friedberg.
  • Shared Universe: Because of his cameos and his inclusion onto Channel Awesome, he's part of the Reviewaverse.
  • Shout-Out
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "Well that's all for now, until next time."
  • So Bad, It's Good:invoked Brandon's genre of choice, although he ranks some above others.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Several of his reviews feature him noting the ill-fitting music, notably Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds and Son of Godzilla.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Invoked at the end of his Godzilla vs. Hedorah review:
    "The important lesson to take away from this movie is to respect the environment, because if you don't a giant sludge monster will force you to star in the world's biggest Bukake video"
  • The Team Normal: According to this, he is pretty much the most normal reviewer on Channel Awesome.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The review of Creep Show 3 begins with him groaning into his hands before angrily saying "screw it! Get to the title card!" He repeats a similar action after seeing the animated opening sequence.
  • Title Drop: Referenced by name when it happens in The Land That Time Forgot and The Final Programme.
  • Top Ten List: He did a list of the 10 worst films he reviewed, and then updated it a few years later. The second list was paired with the 10 best films he reviewed.
  • Watch It Stoned: invoked He's made a few jokes about using drugs to watch a movie (or go through its review) if he considers it just that bad.