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

Silent Trigger (1996)

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I found this movie up in Bangor when I was visiting some friends in the used DVD section of a Bull Moose Music. I was pretty close to being out of money, my bus home wasn't for a couple more days, and I knew I'd need some cash to eat with, but I also knew I needed to buy this, if for Dolph and his big gun alone. It wasn't like I couldn't afford to go a day without food anyway, considering the gut I'd developed.

Silent Trigger is about a special forces dude (DTVC Hall of Famer Dolph Lundgren) who gets a gig with a very covert government organization. He's paired up with the hot Gina Bellman from Coupling, who's supposed to be his spotter or something. They set up shop from the top of a skyscraper that's still in the process of being built, where Dolph will do his thing as a sniper. There are some issues, though. Chris Heyerdahl plays a nutjob with spiders tattooed all over his body who wants to force Gina to have sex with him. To make matters worse, Gina was on a mission with Dolph before that didn't go well, so Dolph doesn't trust her either. It's a volatile situation that literally blows up in the end.

There was plenty in this to like. Gina Bellman completely exuded sexuality in everything she did, from her little groans when she'd recover from a hit, to the completely unnatural way she delivered her lines. I've never seen her on Coupling, but I must imagine she's a better actress than she showed in this movie. Just the same, she was still very hot.

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This film was the one that catapulted Chris Heyerdahl to legendary status. He was amazing as the nutjob security guard. There's a great scene where the coke he's been doing has turned on him, and now he's taking off his shirt, telling his partner that the spiders, which are tattooed all over his body, want him to rape Gina Bellman who's working upstairs. It's simply hilarious.

So he goes up after her, not knowing Dolph's up there, and after he fights with them a bit, Dolph beats the piss out of him and handcuffs him to a toilet filled with feces. I've never seen anything like it. One of the best non-Dolph performances in a Dolph film, hands down. (And that includes Jerry Springer in Defender.)

In terms of the Dolph-age, there's no shortage of it. He's pure action hero, between the big gun, the ripped abs, and how he gets the girl and convinces her through his sexual prowess not to kill him. There's a lot of silliness in this that Dolph has to negotiate as he delivers his lines, but like his other bad action hits, he works professionally, yet beefily, at the same time. How can you not have a huge man crush on this guy?

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The movie is kind of slow, and is littered with flashbacks, which is very difficult to manage at times. On the other hand, the hilarity of Heyerdahl, the hotness of Bellman, and the USDA Choice beefage of Dolph, kind of makes up for it for me. It's tough, but it does.

I think paid $9 for this, and that's probably too much. Just the same, despite the slow pacing and flashbacks, the bad action-ness of it is top notch. Dolph and Bellman cannot be shot by the bad guys, no matter how close they are. An elevator is blown up with the worst special FX ever. When Dolph beats up Heyerdahl, it's almost like Conan having Chuck Norris throw him through random boxes; only Dolph uses a powdery wall that bursts when he throws Heyerdahl into it. This is definitely fun to watch and yell at the screen. You should at least rent it. You won't be let down.

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