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.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Latin Dragon (2004)

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I first saw this film late at night on Spike. If you see it at a store or your local video rental place, it'll come with the tagline: "Latin Dragon gives us our first mainstream Latino martial arts action hero!" Mainstream is a stretch here. What it should have as it's tagline is "Busey and Lamas in one movie!" That's right, we have two DTVC Hall of Famers in one picture.

The movie carries the classic storyline of the guy from a tough neighborhood who grows up, enters the service, is recruited into special forces, then comes home battle hardened. And, in all of these classic storylines, a sinister force has gripped the town, and it's up to the guy to save it.

The sinister force in this case is Gary Busey and his designs are to turn the neighborhood into some kind of rich development. Lorenzo Lamas plays his second in command/hatchet man. As you can imagine, the Latin Dragon vanquishes them, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Except me. I was rooting for Busey and Lamas. Lamas is great in everything he does-- he brings that Lamas-ness. To quantify Busey's contribution, we always use the Abusive Factor. This movie was pretty Abusive. Compare that to Point Break, which was extremely Abusive. If he was in it more, it could've gotten there.

One thing I did like was how they disposed of Lamas. I knew as a bad guy the Latin Dragon was going to have to kick his ass, and I was dreading it. I don't know if Lamas negotiated the beating out (probably because he could take the Latin Dragon in real life), but the director set the scene up so Lamas was killed by a stray bullet while fighting the Latin Dragon, instead of being bested in a fair fight. I was satisfied.

I was not satisfied, however, by the lack of Busey and Lamas in this film. If it were my film, and I had Busey and Lamas, I would've scrapped the whole Latin Dragon thing, and made a cross between Renegade and Point Break. The tagline would've changed to "The first mainstream cross between Renegade and Point Break!"

Like I said in the open, I saw this late at night on Spike. That's probably the best bet for this thing. Maybe rent it or buy it cheap, like on a two-for-one night, but that's a big maybe, and only because it has Busey and Lamas. Otherwise pass this up.

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