The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got.



Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bloodsport 3 (1997)

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I had seen Bloodsports 1, 2, and 4, so I guess it was inevitable that I'd get out there and see this one. I'm not sure if there's a plan to make a fifth in this series, but I hope so. I'd like to write it maybe. Here's an idea: Bernhardt has to go to Colombia, undercover, to fight in a Colombian Kumite and take down a drug lord. The catch is, he has to beat the famous Mexican wrestler King-- the one from Tekken fame. Bernhardt has to find a way around the dreaded Giant Swing.

Bloodsport 3 takes place who knows how long after part two. Evil crimelord John Rhys-Davies wants to hold his own kumite, and have Bernhardt throw the final fight so he can make some serious cash on the betting. Bernhardt refuses, so Rhys-Davies blows up James Hong's apartment with him in it. Bernie's pissed, so he asks Pat Morita for advice. Morita suggests he learn from Hong's brother, the guy who ran the last Kumite. He trains, only to find out Rhys-Davies doesn't want him in the kumite anymore, because he can't rig with Bernhardt in it. In a ruse reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian, Berndoggy dons a cloak and sneaks in. Once in, the fans would get suspicious if Rhys-Davies made him leave, so he's gotta stay. In the end he beats this big Kazakh warrior. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it's told in flashback format by Bernhardt to his son while he's teaching the kid some discipline.

I actually think this wasn't as bad as 2 or 4. Unlike the others, where Bernhardt plays an underdog, in this one he's a pissed off favorite. It's pretty cool. I just saw The Quest the other day, which is a film Van Damme did with Frank Dux that's pretty much Bloodsport set in 1925. It was boring. Bloodsport 2 was pretty much just Bloodsport one without Van Damme and Bolo Yeung. This film actually switched up the Bloodsport paradigm some, and it's a shame more films like this don't do that.

On the other hand, the requisite training scenes mired this film in every-other-movie-ness. I can't really figure out why he needed the training, if he was understood to be the best fighter in the world. It's like they did it because they felt they had to. That was one thing Bloodsport 4 did away with. I could see a few scenes of him in the gym trying to make it work, but a whole trip to the mountains to learn to fight all over again just seemed superfluous.

This may be my favorite Bernhardt role. It was just cool at the end to see him so pissed off and determined. If they carried that through to the end baddie, it would have been perfect. Sasha Mitchell did a similar thing in Kickboxer 4, and I'm a big fan of it. I like the idea of the hero being a bad ass who kicks it into gear and delivers some brutality.

This is a good bad action movie for a bad movie night rental. I've seen it listed sometimes on channels like Encore Action, and it's worth TiVoing if you catch it on one of those. It helps some to have seen 2 first, but only so much. You could buy it, but don't pay more than a few bucks.

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