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.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

K9: P.I. (2002)

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I can't lie: I watched this movie just so I could light it up on The Direct to Video Connoisseur. I knew it would be irredeemable, and I sat through it anyway. My friends came into the room while I was putting myself through it, and they would sit for a second or two, ask me what was happening, then shake their heads and leave. That about sums it up.

K9:P.I. is a small scale cash grab disguised as a direct-to-video sequel of the first K9, which was itself a rip-off of Turner and Hooch, with the actually funny Tom Hanks. Here, the unfunny James Belushi plays the same cop he did in the first movie, and he and his dog, Jerry Lee, are retiring. On their way to retiring, Belushi and the dog catch a 211 in progress, and investigate. The baddies steal some computer chips, the FBI blames Belushi (which makes no sense), and his retirement pension is withheld. He works as a PI, pimps out his dog to breed it, and solves the mystery of the break in, all in time to end the movie. Oh yeah, and the dog has superhuman strength (enough to tow not only the doughy Belushi, but also a woman he was holding off a ledge), and it can use a cell phone.

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I felt emotionally bereft after enduring this waste of space. It was that bad. The dog was named Jerry Lee, and for some dumbassed reason, every time Belushi called the dog, he called it by the full name. He sounded like a damned Southern mother in a Hallmark drama or something. "Jerry Lee", "Jerry Lee", "Jerry Shoot Myself". I can't believe someone didn't say: "Hey why doesn't he mix in a Jerry, or a Jere, or something!" I'm still haunted by Belushi's voice in my head saying "Jerry Lee, Jerry Lee".

Forget the plot. It was just a vehicle so Belushi would look smarter than he is, and get woman that would be way out of the league of a cop who looks and smells like James Belushi. The dog apparently swallows a computer chip, which is what the people stole. There's plenty of dick and fart jokes attached to the dog passing the chip through his system, including the penultimate in lowest common denominator: Belushi sifting through the dog's crap with a gas mask on and gloves to actually get the chip. We as the viewing audience would have taken his word for it, and I think even if they filmed the scene, most film makers would watch it and think: "this is way below the even minimal standards of a Billy Madison movie", and cut it. But we're dealing with a much deeper level of depravity here. It's scary.

I've never understood the whole Belushi thing. I don't see how he not only gets work, but network sitcoms, and not only network sitcoms, but ones that people watch enough so that they stay on the air beyond the pilot. I asked my friends, to see if maybe it was just me, but it seemed unanimous that people think he's a tool. I'm sure as a dude in real life he's probably not so bad, but as an actor and funny man, it just ain't there. In fact, it's beyond not there, it actually hurts a little.

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This is one of those movies where the animal has super powers, but it's given to us as a film based in some kind of reality. This dog does many things like a human: he uses cell phones, is shy around potential mates, can pull 10 to 20 times his body weight, and is at home at a rave. This is good for a kids movie, but the amount of violence, drinking, and sex in this is beyond appropriate for kids. I believe it's rated PG-13, which is an issue, because without the violence, sex, and drinking, you have a movie meant for a 4th grader. The plot's too childish for anyone older.

This movie is frightening. You could repackage it as Saw 31 or Hostel 15, and it'd not only be scarier than all the others, but it'd be less gratuitously violent. If anything, this film should show horror directors that scary films can be made without killing people in the most disturbing fashion possible. On the other hand, when I saw Saw 48 1/2, I laughed, I was bored, but I didn't have nightmares. After this I did, and I had to sleep with the light on for weeks. That's why I'm saying avoid this film at all costs.

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