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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

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.

--Matt

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jungleground (1995)

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I found this movie along with Terminal Rush down in Boston, and figured I'd get them both. I'd already seen it a while before, but vaguely remembered it. I could only recall that it had DTVC Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper and it was hot. I think that's an accurate description.

In Jungleground, our man Piper plays a street toughened police vice squad dude who works in a nasty area of a Canadian city called the Jungleground. While attending his homegirl's (Stargate: Atlantis' Torri Higginson) showcasing of her sculptures, the dude from DaVinci's Inquest, who's also a fed, calls him out to the Jungleground to do stuff. A drug sting goes bad, and Piper's captured and taken to Valhalla, a place run by the major Jungleground gang, the Ragnarocks, and their leader, Odin. Odin decides to send Piper out into the streets, followed by a group of his boys to hunt him. If he makes it to his girlfriend by dawn, she lives. If he doesn't, they both die. What do you think happens?

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This is a Canadian movie, so when people apologize, they're "sourie", when they sell cocaine, they store it in "begs", and when a guy announces he's gay, he's "oot". Also, this is a who's-who of Canadian actors, meaning if you watch Stargate on Sci-Fi, you'll see a lot of people you know. I seldom watch the show, so I only recognized Torri Higginson, who's in all the Atlantis ones.

Piper is the bomb in this film. He shows off his too-sweet pecs. He gives baddies wrestling moves like suplexes and knees to the head. His running is hilarious. I'm not sure if the character is supposed to have injured his leg early on, but he has this half limp, which when coupled with his grimace and pumping clenched fists, makes for great rewinding material. This may not be his best role, but it's up there.

I liked Torri Higginson as Piper's homegirl. A lot of action films have these women for their heroes that are rather helpless, and when they suddenly become resourceful to help the hero win, it seems ridiculous. This chick is smart and down-to-Earth, and makes sense as the woman Piper's character would want to spend his time with. On the other hand, when she helps defend the apartment at the end of the movie with a machine gun, it's looks pretty dumb. I guess you can't have it all when you watch a bad action film made in Canada.

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The action in this is pretty solid, bordering on silly. Piper's girl wielding a high powered weapon is just one of them. In another, Piper sneaks in on some baddies defending the bridge home, and as he grabs them one by one, it looks like one of those Three Stooges episodes set in a haunted house where a werewolf grabs everyone but Curly. Maybe that's what they were going for. This film has plenty of great explosions and hand-to-hand fighting, though, which is even better with Piper's wrestling skills.

There's one important note I must make. I bought a DVD copy of this released by Blast Films. My version had the last 5 to ten minutes clipped off. I was pretty annoyed. I'm not sure if all of them are like that, and the version of Terminal Rush I bought from them was fine, so I don't know. I'd just be careful buying one from them.

This film is worth spending money on. You won't be displeased renting it or buying it used. It's a solid $5 action movie, with Piper, crazy explosions, and plenty of Canadian accents to mock. It's 90 minutes of pure fun. How can you go wrong with that?

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110215/

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