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.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pizza Man (1991)

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I found this movie in a collection of old tapes with the label "Matt's dumb movie" on it. My family loves my taste in cinema. Anyway, I first saw this film in the late nineties when Comedy Central showed it. I thought it was amazing, and knew I needed to have it.

Pizza Man is about Elmo Bunn (played by comedian Bill Maher), the best pizza delivery man ever, who was once stiffed on a bill of $15.23 for an extra large pizza with anchovies. Years later he gets another order for the same thing. The delivery is the start of a large adventure where Elmo, who's stiffed again, fights through attempts on his life by all the major political figures of the 1980s as he seeks his money and follows a mysterious woman known as The Dame. There's a conspiracy afoot by Donald Trump to take the country from George Bush and takeover the world. To fund the operation he's selling California to the Japanese. The whole thing's a ruse, though: Trump is in fact a former pizza delivery guy too, and he's got an axe to grind with Elmo. It's up to Elmo, the pizza guy, to put the final nail in the coffin of the 80s.

Bill Maher is at his best in this gem. Writer/director J.F. Lawton spares no one, both liberal and conservative. Elmo the pizza guy as the stereotypical 80s action hero is perfect. There's one scene where he goes to a bar, meets the mysterious The Dame, who he'd been following, and she has him order her a drink, which ends up being way too expensive. Then he dances with her, and of course he's an expert dancer. That's when the former Japanese prime minister takes him hostage, and he has to chose between three pieces of fish, one of which is poisoned. He eats the two that aren't, then fights his way out.

Early on, the mysterious woman takes him to a room where Ronald Regan and Geraldine Ferraro are hooking up. Instead of paying him his $15.23, they stick him in a car tumbling down a cliff. He barely survives, and is forced to hitch a ride from Michael Dukakis. On a search for answers, he meets Bob Woodward, who offers to help him, but only if he'll sign over the book and movie rights.

The use of Donald Trump as the scorned pizza guy who plans the whole conspiracy was perfect. More than any other aspect of the film, that one seems to be the most timeless. People who were too young to know who the 80s political figures were would still know who Trump is and how he acts. I loved it.

In my mind, this film did for the 80s what Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 did for the '60s. I don't know if there's been a more definitive synopsis of the ludicrousness that was the 80s political landscape. The writer J.F. Lawton not only mocks the decade and it's people, but he also puts a neat little bow on it. I'm surprised this film hasn't been recognized more in the landscape of great political satire. It's also as good as anything Maher has done.

If you see this anywhere, scoop it up. I'd imagine it's out of print, so you may need to find it used. It's worth whatever you pay. Simply as a parody of bad action alone it's amazing. When you factor in the great political satire, it's a no brainer.

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