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.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Werewolf Hunter: The Legend of Romasanta aka Romasanta (2004)

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I saw this movie on one of the Showtime channels a little while ago. I believe it is currently on either Showtime or The Movie Channel ON Demand. It has Julian Sands, which is the selling point for me. He's not a bad guy.

Romasanta has Sands in the lead role, as a sexy seducer of women in 1851 that also kills them and makes soap from the fat of their thighs and buttocks. That means he doesn't dig anorexic chicks. Anyway, a potential victim catches him making soap after a night of long lovemaking, and she escapes. She bumps into a fat guy that explains Sands is a werewolf, and Sands turned him into one too. After a frightening image of the fat guy running naked with Sands, the woman goes to the police, and they go and arrest him. He's found guilty but insane, and is sentenced to an asylum.

Romasanta was a real dude, one of the first recorded serial killers, and the idea behind him was he thought he was a werewolf. This movie was a what if kind of deal. By making it a what if, the film makers take any of the intrigue out of it. It would've been cooler to show Sands as the real Romasanta, who was nuts and thought he was a werewolf, instead of saying "what if werewolves really exist", when we know they don't. For me this movie was a lost opportunity.

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Sands is great in this, as he usually is in anything. My buddy did some research, and he said Sands and Bruce Payne went to acting school together. That's pretty cool when you consider Payne took over for Sands in the Warlock series. The two actually made their first film together in 1982, Privates on Parade. Maybe, just maybe, the next Highlander movie will cast Sands as their baddie. How can you do worse?

A woman named Elsa Pataky plays the chick that eventually brings Sands down. You may remember her as the Latin woman with the baby that sucks the poison out of the boy's wrist in the 2006 hit Snakes on a Plane. She gets naked in this, and Julian Sands washes her nude body with the soap made from other women's thighs and buttocks. She's hot enough that you can get past the grossness of the people-soap, but just the same, it's still kind of weird.

While we're on the subject of nudity, there's a nude fat dude. He runs with a Sands in wolf-form with mud all over him. But this is full frontal nudity, so you get the twig and berries, not just a big pair of buttcheeks. I'm not sure why this is in the film. If it's to legitimize the Pataky nude scene, i.e. to tell the audience they weren't just looking for an excuse to get her naked, but that it was part of the film, that's dumb. When we watch bad movies, it's understood the film makers look for any excuse to get the hot lead females naked, and we thank them for it. The other possible explanation is that the nude guy is there for the women. If that's true, then I feel bad for them, because they got short-changed.

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This film had some great moments. Sands kills a little bird by shoving sticks in its eyes and watching it fly into a tree. This scene is all the more macabre because the bird was in a little girl's hands. After he kills the girl, he gives her the same sticks in the eye treatment. There's also an autopsy where a couple dudes go over his victims while the bodies are preserved in salt. Totally gross. This film also had your classic accent issues, where Pataky and some others have Spanish accents, and Sands and a few others have English ones. I actually get behind this. Why not have Brits sound like Brits? Who cares what nationality their character's supposed to be from.

If you or someone you know has Showtime or The Movie Channel On Demand, give this film a look. When it's free, it's not a bad deal. You may want to consider renting this, but not for new release money. Get it on a night when your rental place has some kind of deal, like two for one or something. Definitely don't buy this before you see it.

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