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.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Safe Haven (1987)

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I found this film in the used section of a video store for $1.99. I scooped it without hesitation, if only for DTVC Hall of Famer Wings Hauser. It's not everyday you get a deal like that.

No Safe Haven is a film from a Wings Hauser screen play. In it, he plays a CIA agent whose family is murdered by a drug syndicate. He returns from his post in Honduras on a mission of revenge. He kills a lot of people, then goes down to the Bayou and finds an arms dealer who's teaching the trade to his young son. The guy equips him heavily for a final showdown in Bolivia with the head baddie. Bolivia, of course, is the Safe Haven that the title explains to us is not so safe. There's No Safe Haven from a Wings Hauser hell bent on revenge.

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My friends were a little worried going into this. It's essentially a Bruce Penhall Spike TV level actioner that just happens to have Wings in it. In the opening scene, Renegade's Branscombe Richmond tries to gun down some dude, and spays the area with bullets. Since this is an uncertain method, he just kills a lot of innocent people and the dude gets away. So Branscombe and his homeboy give chase, and the guy hops in a cement truck. When the truck hits another car, it explodes, like when you use the tank in Grand Theft Auto. Eventually the guy's luck runs out, and he hits a charter bus, which makes and even bigger explosion. It was so hilarious, my friends were in.

The hilarity does slow a bit after that. Wings' revenge killings are pretty sweet. In one he sets a guy on fire and throws him out a window in a skyscraper. His final confrontation with the big baddie is worthy of any Bruckheimer action film. Wings loads the guy's place with C4, confronts him for the face to face killing, then escapes as the place is demolished. Good job.

I know some people are curious why Wings is in the DTVC Hall of Fame, especially since this is only his second film in here. I'm working on rectifying that, believe me. One thing that makes Wings a great DTV action actor is his uncanny ability to be both a heel and a hero convincingly. Yet at the same time, in whatever he does, he's still Wings. He's also got a pretty extensive DTV career that we can't overlook. He's paid his dues.

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As I mentioned above, this film has Branscombe Richmond of Renegade fame. He's always interesting for me, because on Renegade, he played this wisecracking sidekick to Reno, aka DTVC Hall of Famer Lorenzo Lamas; yet in most of these action movies, he plays a sinister heel. It's very difficult for me to reconcile the two. I first got to know him as Bobby Six-Killer, and I'd like to see him go back to that well more often. He needs to drive a Winnebago more too.

If you're as lucky as me and see this for $1.99, don't hesitate. You won't be sorry. I'm not sure I can say that if you pay more, so I wouldn't recommend it. This is a quality rental for a bad action movie night too. You really can't go wrong with it.

For more info:

1 comment:

  1. Another silly Wings Hauser flick you should check out is "Hostage" (1987) co-starring Karen Black and Kevin McCarthy! Hauser's name in the movie is "Striker"...which is said a million times!

    The movie is reviewed on my aforementioned site: