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

Braindead aka Dead Alive (1992)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After experiencing the masterpiece that was Bad Taste, we were eager to see more of Jackson's work. The Internet was rather new to us then, so it took a while to get a good filmography of him. Eventually (like six months later), we found this. It did not disappoint.

Jackson followed up his success in Bad Taste with Dead Alive, a zombie movie about a guy whose mom's bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey, and rises from the dead. As in most zombie films, the problem spreads, and more people become undead. The guy tries to keep them all locked in his basement to stem the tide, with no success. Two zombies hook up and make a baby, which the guy takes for a walk, and then has to beat against a tree. Great zombie action.

This movie was simply awesome. Maybe the greatest zombie picture ever. It's definitely up there with Night of the Living Dead. It lived up to the reputation Jackson had built with what I termed The New Zealand Citizen Kane, also known as Bad Taste. No one's pulled off campy horror better than Jackson.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Unlike his earlier effort, though, the special FX in this one are even better. It's gorier and sicker, and we love every minute of it. One of the best moments was the Lawnmower Scene. As part of a party scene, which was one of the goriest and funniest ever, a man takes a lawnmower, lifts it up, and runs through some zombies with it. It's fucking beautiful. A buddy showed it for a project on Moby Dick in his junior English class. I was so mad I wasn't there to see it.

There's a priest in it, and when the zombies attack him, he exclaims: "I kick ass for the lord!" He whips out these karate moves, and almost takes out all of them before he's bitten and becomes one too. He then sleeps with a female one and a zombie child is born. I don't remember zombies having kids in any other film, but the zombie baby in this one was pure comedic genius. The guy takes it for a walk, but it acts up, and he starts to fight with it. No one else knows it's a zombie, so they think he's beating his child. It sounds horrible, but Jackson pulls it off so well.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It's too bad Jackson has gone away from his roots in doing the Lord of the Rings and King Kong movies. We as fans of bad horror and horror spoofs are left wanting. There really isn't anyone out there other than Sam Raimi that does this better, and he's doing Spiderman. Jackson has a keen insight and sense of satire that's missing in his newer, bigger films. I don't want to come off as That Guy who only likes a dude when he's obscure, but can't like him when he's famous, I just think it's weird that he made his name on these great horror films, and now he's abandoned the genre. We need him to save us from the Saw 41's and The Hills Have Eyes 37's.

Either way, this is a must have for any horror fan. If it costs you $20, pay it. It doesn't get much better.

For more info:


  1. Totally agreed. I have stated my love for the early Jackson in response to your Bad Taste review, but I have to say that Dead Alive is my favorite of the early Jackson movies. The best scene in the movie for me is the one in which the main character fights the evil demon baby in the park (in front of nuns and schoolchildren, no less). "Tempermental."

  2. Oh yeah., the baby in the park scene is really the bar by which I judge all other campy horror. It was pure genius in its design and execution.