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.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunset Grill (1993)

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Perusing the cheap DVD section of BestBuy, I hit gold. Peter Weller wearing a moustache. I'm not sure, but he may have been disguising himself so no one he knew would recognize he did such a bad film. But I recognized him: I mean, come on, he's a card carrying DTVC Hall of Famer.

On the bus ride home, I noticed on the back of the case that the film also had Stacy Keach. Amazing. I recently described a character actor who chased Paul Giamatti while naked in the film Sideways as "the poorman's Stacy Keach", to which my buddy replied "I thought Stacy Keach was the poorman's Stacy Keach." It was a valid point, which I had to consider. Of course, if that were true, then what would that mean for Powers Boothe?

In Sunset Grill, Weller plays drunk PI Ryder Hart. I usually don't refer to actors by their character names in movies, but I just loved this one. It's kind of Lump Beef Broth-y, if you know what I mean. Anyway, Weller's ex, Alexandra Paul, is murdered, and Weller's gotta find the killer. Throw in the chick who Kevin Bacon fell for in Footloose, John Rhys-Davies, a latin Michael Ironside, and of course, Keach, and you've got yourself a movie. Keach is a rich baddie who's using illegal immigrants for medical experiments. Weller takes good care of him.

One nice thing in this if you're a Lorenzo Lamas guy, was the appearence by Brandscombe Richmond, aka Bobby Sixkiller, or as my dad called him when we watched the show, Bobby Six-pack. He's one of those features in a film that just add that much more for me, like going to a restaurant with nice food, and then on top of that, having a waitress who's really great at making sure I have enough water.

Weller with the 'stache is great also. In one scene, he's chasing these guys, and they hop in a car and drive off, and he yells "motherfucker!" in this hilarious, yet perfectly Weller-ian, voice. I watched it like seven times in a row. As far as the Keach goes, he's not bad. Not as good as he was in Escape From LA, but I'll take it.

My one issue with this was the chick from Footloose. She's not a great actress, and she's not that hot. She should've played Weller's ex that was killed off in the beginning, and Alexandra Paul could've played the woman sent to seduce Weller. I think in this case, the makers of this film fell into that classic trap of casting for the obvious, as opposed to the subtle-yet-good. They thought Paul would be the perfect down-to-Earth ex-wife for Weller's Ryder Hart, but considering how little she was in the film, the Footloose chick could've pulled it off. Then, making Paul the seductress, the character would've added a level of nuance, creating a trickle-down effect to the rest of the cast. I'm bullshitting here: I just think Paul's less annoying than the Footloose chick.

This film's worth a buy if you're into Weller and Keach enough. I personally feel at $5, I may have paid a bit too much for it. When you consider the supporting casts of Shadow Hours, Shakedown, and especially Top of the World, this one's a step down in quality. I'd catch it only after you've seen those other three.

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