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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Announcement

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.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Friday, May 4, 2007

Raptor Island (2004)

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A buddy of mine, knowing I was a big Lorenzo Lamas guy, asked me if I'd seen this film. I saw the ad for it on Lamas' MySpace (www.myspace.com/lorenzolamas), so I was familiar with it, but hadn't actually seen it. I searched for it on my program guide, and TiVoed it when it re-aired on Sci-Fi. When my buddy came back through town, we watched it together and loved it.

In Raptor Island, Lamas plays a military cat who's the head of a special forces/anti-terrorism unit on the trail of terrorist Steven Bauer (the guy who slept with Pacino's sister in Scarface). They track him to an island inhabited by raptors that aren't exactly bulletproof, but don't seem to care if they've been shot. Lamas and his homegirl barely make it off the island alive, in a scene reminiscent of Michael Biehn and his buddy's rescue in K2. Also, a volcano erupts out of nowhere without warning. I'm not sure what that means, but maybe the people who made this film had an axe to grind with US military scientists.

This movie's beautiful. It combines the best of two great worlds: the Lamas bad action movie, and the Sci-Fi Channel bad monster movie. It has that feel to it where you can almost see the scenes being shot, like a bad afterschool special-- only with Lamas instead of Scott Baio. One of the best things is this tracking device thing they had. Lamas would look at it, and some words would pop up on the screen to tell him if he was on the right track to finding someone. I don't really know how it worked, but it seemed like it was straight off the Space Mutiny set, which made it really funny.

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Steven Bauer doesn't make any sense as his character: I don't know if he's Eastern European, Arab, French, Iranian... the accent is just there. It has a hint of Adrian Paul in The Breed, which isn't exactly a good thing. According to imdb, a Raptor Island 2 is coming out (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460912/), with him reprising his role as Azir, but with no Lamas (Lamas better have a good reason for turning down so sweet a project.). It makes sense, if only because the film gave us the impression that Bauer killed myriad raptors and a T-Rex with his bare hands at the end of the film in order to catch up to Lamas and his homegirl at the helicopter, so surviving more raptors and a volcanic explosion should be old hat for him.

This is worth a TiVo if you see it on Sci-Fi and worth renting or buying for a couple bucks. When the next one comes out, if it's anything like this one, do not, under any circumstances, spend new release money on it. TiVo it or tape it when Sci-Fi shows it. I think that's your best bet.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401742/

4 comments:

  1. When we watched Raptor Island, I remember thinking again and again "If only this had Joxer from Xena and the woman from the Weird Science Tv show, it'd be perfect." Luckily, the producers heard my prayers and arranged to make Raptor Island 2. Unfortunately, Lorenzo Lamas was apparently busy.

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  2. Yeah, I think you were thinking it'd be perfect if it had those two and Lorenzo. I guess a guy can dream, no?

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  3. you'd think joxer would be in more of this type of fare. it's actually kind of strange you don't see him more in sci-fi stv originals

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  4. No, I agree completely. Maybe because his brother does the Spidermans, he keeps this kind of thing to a minimum to avoid those embarrassing conversations at Thanksgiving. He still has to do a few so he can afford his home and car, but the fewer the better.

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