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.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Crawlspace (1986)

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My buddy, who's a big Kinski guy, told me I had to see this. He summed it up as "Klaus Kinski as this creepy guy who crawls through ventilation ducts and spies on women." That did sound like must-see material.

Crawlspace has DTVC Hall of Famer Klaus Kinski as a landlord who rents his apartment rooms out cheaply to really attractive women. He spies on them, drops rats in on them, and occasionally plays Russian roulette. He also keeps a woman in a cage with her tongue cut out, and is a doctor who's fascinated by torture. I guess his dad was into it as an SS officer. Eventually Martin Balsam's daughter shows up and saves the day, doing a better job than her father did in Psycho.

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What can I say about Crawlspace? It's sorta kinda harsh. Kinski comes up with all types of ways of disposing of people, and some of them look funny in their execution. The chick in the cage was a bit much for me. It was kind of extraneous and just there to make Kinski seem sicker. Maybe if the bad guy was someone else, that would be necessary, but with Kinski, he brings enough psycho to the role that women in cages are unnecessary.

This is some good Kinski, though. At the end he smears on some lipstick and eye liner and dons his dad's SS uniform. It was pretty sweet. My buddy was right, it was great to see him spying on the women and dropping little rats in on them. No one does creepy better than he did. I don't care how tough it is to find an apartment near campus, I'm not renting a room from him, especially if I were a good looking woman.

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Talia Balsam isn't as much fun to have in a movie as her dad. I think the film makers should've had Martin Balsam dress in drag and move into one of Kinski's apartments. That would've allowed us, the viewer, to use the whole host of jokes from Mitchell, like "Martin Balsam: the doer's profile", or "I loved you in the Taking of Pelham 1-2-3". These are the kinds of little things that make a good movie great, and a great movie Casablanca.

If you're a bad horror connoisseur, you need this film. You should be able to find it at a used VHS store for like a buck or two. That's a good deal, believe me. I wouldn't, however, show this film to any friends who have a weak stomach for bad movies, because this one's out there. I'm probably on the fringe of the people who should watch it, but I love Kinski so much, any rough spots were smoothed out for me.

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