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.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Adrenalin: Fear the Rush (1996)

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Many readers have e-mailed me asking why I don't give as much attention to bad movie directors as I do bad movie actors and actresses. I must admit that this is a serious lack of sound judgment on my part, and I am now, starting with this blog, attempting to remedy that issue.

It came to my attention that Albert Pyun has directed multiple films which the DTVC reviewed. Not only that, but he's responsible for a couple classics like Cyborg and MST3K's Alien From LA. When I went to imdb to look up info for the film I'm reviewing here, I saw his name and thought: "That sounds really familiar". As it turns out, he's something of a Direct to Video Martin Scorsese... or maybe Paul Verhoeven.


Adrenalin: Fear the Rush takes place in a future that's now the past (i.e. 2007), where a bunch of people are infected with a virus, and those that aren't have walled themselves in. Our story is set in Boston or Bucharest (it's not really clear) in one of the zones outside the walled in area. Some mutant that looks like a dude from The Hills Have Eyes is killing people, and beat cop Natasha Henstridge is called in to save the day. She sucks, her partner's killed, so now DTVC Hall of Famer Christopher Lambert is called in with some other people (one of whom is the android that gets his head knocked off in Omega Doom-- also a Pyun film, go figure). They don't do much better, until the very end, when they finally use their guns and shoot him.

Between the title and cover, one might get the impression that this film is pretty silly. I'm here to tell you that the movie delivers. It's that silly. The biggest issue for me was the "is it Boston or Bucharest" thing. The police cars are marked "Policias", and everyone has what looks to be Romanian flags on their shoulders. By the same token, the film is adamant that we're in Boston in 2007 AD.


That's another thing I love about the futuristic bad movie: when they put the date up as being whatever time AD. As opposed to what, BC? I've always wondered if they feel it adds a level of sophistication to their otherwise lackluster film. For me it's more of a sign post that lets me know what direction the movie's taking me, and that I should buckle up, because it could be a bumpy ride.

Natasha Henstridge plays a cop who for some reason doesn't shoot the mutant thing when she has a chance in the first twenty minutes of the film. She had a gun, and he didn't, and she had a clean shot at him. I understand that Pyun didn't want her to kill the baddie in the opening moments, because there'd be no film left after that. Just the same, I need a better reason for a trained cop to not a shoot a mutant that's just killed and mutilated a baker's dozen's worth of people beyond simply "if you kill him now, we'd have no more movie".


Lambert is great in this. It may not be his best effort, but his voice is in full effect, and he looks hilarious in this shielded riot helmet thing. In the immortal words of Shakespeare "What, is my beaver easier than it was?" (King Richard III). In your case, Lambert, it was sillier than it was, and it made up for the fact that you didn't have the great hair you had in Beowulf and Druids. Even better, at the end, he survives something like seven gunshots to his torso. Don't ask me how.

This film is twenty kinds of silly, despite being a tad on the brutal side in terms of violence. I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you're a Lambert completist (which I'm not). Your best bet is to rent it whenever your local video store has a two-for-one deal. I did it recently with Steven Seagal's Submerged, and I felt like I got my money's worth with both. So did my friends.

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  1. Good Review! Will to check this one out. Looks like fun.

  2. It is very fun, especially for the Lambert effect. I think you'll enjoy it.