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.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Invader aka Lifeform (1996)

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I was kind of surprised when I saw this on the program guide. It was a bad sci-fi movie from the mid-nineties with Ryan Philippe in it. I didn't know he did anything like this, especially in this time period, so I thought it would be interesting to watch.

Lifeform is about a viking space probe that's sent to Mars, then is sent back from Mars, by who knows what. While the NASA scientists and the defense department are squabbling over who should get the prize find, an alien pops out and runs loose in the facility. The military tries to catch it, and it zaps them with electricity. When they finally kill it, one of the scientists tries to protect it. Also, one of the soldiers comes down with a mysterious illness after coming in contact with the alien. It's all kinds of bad. Apparently the aliens breed asexually, and they pass all of their knowledge on to their offspring. I'm not sure how any of it works, but the dead alien had an egg that hatched and a new alien emerged, and he wasn't dumb enough to fall for the whole being shot thing. The alien escapes, gets a chance to enjoy the fresh air for a sec, then stock footage from an atomic explosion is shown on the screen.

This is Alien with a dash of ET. Just a dash. Just enough to make this movie dumb. The alien looked kind of like a big apish Trumpy from Pod People. It was weird, because it had the ape-like outside, but then this ET-ish thing would emerge from inside it. I don't know who came up with that, but it was pretty silly.

The people who made this loved gooey, sticky, slimy things. There was purple stuff everywhere. The inside of the probe, where the alien lived for 12 months, was all red and gooey. Then they dissected the dead alien. The first layer looked like shellfish on a raw bar. I'm not sure why the alien had what looked like crushed ice inside him, but he did. The next layer looked like the inside of a couch, with all the foam stuffing mixed with more goo. Also, his guts looked kind of like a bunch of condom balloons.

Ryan Philippe was interesting. He played a young soldier who was helping the scientists. When the soldier was sick, he was the only soldier brave enough to help carry him to the sick area. I guess if we're comparing this to his other work, it's a bit worse than I Know What You Did Last Summer, but much better than Cruel Intentions and Anti-Trust.

There was one thing that irked me more than anything else about this. One soldier was just a straight pain in the ass. He'd never listen to his commanding officers, always gave the scientists a hard time, constantly whined about things. I don't why people making movies put in characters like this, unless they plan on killing them off quickly.

Don't spend money on this. Don't buy it, don't rent it, don't even TiVo it. See this if it's on, there's nothing else to watch, and you've got nothing else to do. I'm actually a little upset that I didn't spend the two hours or so reading a book. I still had a couple hundred pages of Dos Passos' USA trilogy at the time, and I could've made a good dent in that instead of watching this.

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