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 14, 2007

Minotaur (2006)

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Well, I fell for it... again. That's right, old Rutger Hauer bait and switch. I'm sure you've had it happen to you too: you see a film listed on the program guide or in the video store; in big letters the name Rutger Hauer appears; you think, "sweet, I love Rutger Hauer"; then you see the movie, and he's in it for like five minutes.

Minotaur is nothing short of a monster slasher film set in the Iron Age. Rutger Hauer is the ruler of a small village, and the people are forced every so often to send 8 youths to this bigger African kingdom so they can sacrifice them to their Minotaur. Hauer's son decides to stowaway on board the ship that's taking the latest group of sacrifices, instead of hideaway like his dad wants so he can become the next ruler. Once he boards that ship, we no longer see Hauer again. The kids arrive at the same time that the king, played by The Candyman, and a really hot woman who's his sister, are fighting over the kingdom. The chick enlists Hauer's son's help to destroy the king and the Minotaur. They're put in the Labyrinth, which is a big underground place where the Minotaur lives, and after the cast is thinned out some, as in every slasher film, that's just what he does.

Other than Hauer, the best part about this film was the queen, played by this really hot woman. She's not in the film enough. The movie would've been better if it just had her and Hauer, and they were trying to defeat the Minotaur. You wouldn't even have to set it so far in the past. Make it today.

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I don't know what the film makers were going for here. I didn't get the African kingdom that went by sea to attack the sheep herders. I guess it was an invented world. The Candyman had these gross long black nails, which were just weird. The people in the kingdom inhaled this distorted film effect out of a bull's skull, that I guess was supposed to be a gas. It made two of the chick sacrifices want to make out with each other.

The Minotaur was dumb too. Instead of being this dude with a bull's head, he was a big CGI bull. I don't know why they didn't just use Jason or Freddy. That would've been way better, if it was set in the past, but the African kingdom worshipped Jason, and when the sacrifices were dipped into the labyrinth, you could hear the che-che-che-ah-ah-ah-ah... Even better, set it in modern times, call it Friday the Thirteenth XI, and have Hauer and the woman that played the queen hunting him down. Now that's hot.

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I've loved Hauer since Blade Runner and the The Hitcher, and it just kind of hurts when I'm saddled with the bait and switch. It was worse with Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point, because he wasn't in that one at all. I wondered when I saw on imdb that he'd done 4 movies in 2006 ( how he did that many, and now having seen three of the four, I understand: put them all together it doesn't equal one real film role. I think DTV film makers just know what kind of a draw he is to us, so they sign him for a few minutes of screen time, then plaster his name all over the cover. I hope he gets paid accordingly.

If you like the monster slasher genre, you might be all right with this one. I've seen better, but I've seen worse, too. Don't buy this, maybe rent it cheap, and watch it on Sci-Fi if you ain't got nothing else going on. Don't go out of your way for it, though. It's just not worth it.

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