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

Men of War (1994)

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A couple years ago, I visited some friends at my Alma Mater, UMaine. The plan was to drink, meet up with some of their friends who were also drinking, and hit the bars. When we got to the other friends, one of them had had a bit too much pre-game, and he was throwing up on a beanbag chair while laying on the floor. He seemed to have stopped, when I mentioned a girl I knew who liked the show JAG. Most were like, wow, that show sucks. But someone mentioned how hot Catherine Bell was. And that was it, the sick guy was throwing up again. And he threw up on cue at the mere mention of Catherine Bell or the chick from JAG from that point on. It was fascinating.

In Men of War, Dolph plays a mercenary hired by some pasty white collar types, one played by the guy from Dharma and Greg, and sent to a small South Pacific island to wipe out the natives and take the rich mineral wealth. He rounds up a crew of fellow mercs, including Catherine Bell and Tiny "Zeus" Lister, and takes them down there. He finds Trevor Goddard (Kano for those who don't know), who just happens to run the local police or something on the mainland, and has an axe to grind with Dolph.

They get that out of their system, and reach the island. There they find BD Wong and a hot chick, and together the two convince Dolph that he needs to help them. Dolph also finds out the mineral wealth is guano. The mercs split up into those with Dolph and those in it for the money, and the ones in it for the money storm the island with Trevor Goddard and the guy that ran the Double Deuce in Road House, and a final battle ensues, where Dolph and his merry band of mercs-turned-nice-dudes prevail.

Dudes of War is a pretty funny deal. In one scene a village elder, to show his unwillingness to sign some contract where his island will be taken over to be mined, chops off his right hand. Your guess is as good as mine on that one. BD Wong, being an American, sounds like John Pinette doing his trip to the Chinese buffet routine when he tries to act with an Asian accent.

The final fight between Trevor Goddard and Dolph is pretty sweet. Before it happens, Goddard blows up the guy from Road House, even though they're on the same team, because Goddard's nuts. His final battle with Dolph is second only to his trashing of Piper's yacht in Dead Tides. It's all pretty funny.

The real crux of this film is that white men love Asian women, and if a group of white men invade a village, it's possible to use that love to divide and conquer. Dolph falls for one, members of his team do too, and that's where the split occurs. It's not that Dolph felt destroying the village and it's people for material gain was wrong, he just wanted some. The film missed a great opportunity, though, by not having Catherine Bell hook up with one of the Asian girl extras.

In terms of overall Dolph, this film's got it all: ludicrous explosions, insane bullet dodging ability by Dolph, hot Asian boobs, BD Wong as a wise Asian who somehow has a Western college education, yet found the time to stay on his home island and learn its secrets inside and out, and Trevor Goddard as the highly unstable heel. I give it a 8.5 in Dolph-itude.

You should be able to find this for sale at like $5. I saw it on On-Demand recently for those who have digital cable, and I know ShowtimeXtreme and Encore Action where showing it, so it's out there. Don't pass it up, it's well worth it.

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