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.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Last to Surrender (1998)

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When I found this, I thought I'd made a major score. My buddy and I were sifting through a used DVD section in a local grocery store, and this diamond in the rough surfaced through the mire of Princess Diaries and the Billy Madison movies. I felt like the man. Until two weeks later I saw twenty copies of it at the cheap section of BestBuy, and another twenty at Wal-Mart, and so on and so forth.

Last to Surrender unfortunately has nothing to do with the Corey Hart classic "Never Surrender". Instead it's about a racist cop played by Roddy Piper whose partner is killed by Chinese mob boss The Tiger. Han Soo Ong plays the People's Republic of China police sepcialist who was sent to America to catch The Tiger, and who had a run-in with Piper as his partner was killed. They go to Burma (the film's makers didn't get the Myanmar memo) on a joint mission to take out the Tiger, and in the process have a metaphorical love affair that any Iranian film maker would be envious of. Also, Piper's character becomes less racist.

This movie was great. It was classic Piper, and he lives up to his DTVC Hall of Fame name. Han Soo Ong is as good as a good guy in this as he is a bad guy in Bloodsport II. Sure, the ground this film covers has been tread over millions of times (Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, Rush Hour), but none of the previous films had Piper in them. In fact, Leathal Weapon with Piper and Glover, or Bad Boys with Piper and Lawrence, or even Rush Hour with Piper and Chan would all be instant classics. It's such a shame that movie makers can't have the genius and foresight the people who made this film had in pairing Piper with anybody.

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I had a few complaints, though. Piper's character being a racist was annoying. He's extremely ignorant, and it's difficult to see him as a sympathetic figure that I root for when he acts like that. If he wasn't Piper, then all bets would have been off. Also, Ong is more the hero, and Piper more the sidekick, which I'm not a fan of. Piper found himself getting his ass kicked and needing Ong to save him like Kane's wussy son in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. I think the idea was that Piper would lose some of his bigoted views if he saw the honor in Ong's heroism. But if they never had Piper be a racist, they wouldn't need him to learn that lesson.

Just the same, this was hilarious, and worth a look at. If you see it in a bargain bin like I did, scoop it up. There's really no reason why not. It's not exactly Piper's best role, but it's still Piper, and if you can get him on DVD for $5 or less, I can't see why you wouldn't want to.

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