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 10, 2007

The Art of Dying (1991)

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I first got at look at this film after a friend bought it on eBay. Her job gave her and her coworkers some cash to buy things to up their seller rating, and I suggested some Wings Hauser movies. I was stoked when she came back with this one.

Art of Dying has Wings Hauser as a police detective (isn't he always?) tracking a serial killer, who looks like a poor man's Craig T. Nelson, that reenacts famous death scenes from movies: only this time it's real! Also, Bobby Sixkiller's sister in Renegade plays some nympho that randomly shows up a Wings' house and does him. At some point the killer catches the chick from Renegade, and Hauser has to finish him off.

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As far as Wings goes, this may have been one of his best. It is ten kinds of hilarious. There's one scene where he's doing the Renegade chick, and pouring milk and other food on her, and you can see this gross puddle forming on the floor. You can also see Wings' butt cheeks, which I'm not sure how that grabs you, but my friends and I thought it was pretty funny. My personal fave was later in the film when Wings was trying to figure out why the Renegade chick kept randomly showing up and having sex with him. At one point she asks if it's better than marriage, and he says "oh, better than marriage" in this great Wings voice. Then he says that if women were going to be so independent in the 90s, he was gonna go gay. Knowing he wrote the script makes the dialog that much better.

The action is too sweet as well. Right off, Wings and his partner, a low rent Marsha Warfield, are called in to break up a domestic dispute, and the wife stabs Wings' partner, so he throws the woman through a window. It just felt great. I think I had a stitch I was laughing so hard.

Wings ends the movie with the weirdest plot twist ever: the Renegade chick is a cop. I have no idea why, I'm not sure how it's supposed to affect us, why she didn't say something sooner, why she was doing Wings in the first place-- but hey, it's better than marriage. While watching the movie, I wondered why the plot twist didn't feel contrived and unnatural in the plot to Wings, and then I reminded myself I was watching a Wings Hauser Pictures Original, and took a deep breath and relaxed.

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This film has veteran character actor Michael J. Pollard in it. In case you're not sure off the top of your head who he is, he's that guy. When you look him up on imdb (or in the picture above), you'll realize he's that guy. In the movie, he plays the only person with his shit together, and for some reason, no one believes him. He cracks the case like in the first ten minutes. The idea of Wings writing a script where he plays the hero, yet a hero who's too dumb to figure out who the killer is before a veteran That Guy, just makes this film that much greater in my mind.

If there's one drawback to this film, it's the fact that it, like many other of DTVC Hall of Famer Wings Hauser's movies, it's not meant for rookie bad movie watchers. You really need a refined bad movie pallet to pull this off. On the other hand, when you have the bad movie viewing level of expertise to be able to appreciate a film of this low quality, I can't see how you won't thoroughly enjoy yourself.

If you're a bad movie veteran and you see this cheap on eBay or at your local video store, give it a shot. I know I had my share of laughs. This may be Wings' best, and of his bad movies that I've seen, this is right up there with Mind, Body, and Soul. I'd even go so far as to say if you're a rookie, and you've only got a few good baddies under your belt, maybe give this a shot too to see where you're at. You may surprise yourself with how much horribleness in one film you can actually take.

For more info:


  1. Killer Review! This looks like a Wings clasic!

    Going to buy it and No Safe Haven very soon.

  2. I think you'll dig both, but this one is a little better. I'm lovin' the Wings interest, though. It's breathing some life into some old posts of his I did a while ago, and keeping us at the DTVC from forgetting him in the midst of all the other Hall of Famers.

  3. I'm happy to breath life into your Wings reviews! also it's great to know another Wings fan!

    I saw the Killer's Edge (Blood Money) a while ago, that was a fun one.

  4. Yes, Wings is great, and we should be looking at L.A. Bounty sometime this week, based on your suggestion on your own blog.

  5. Nice review. Say, those pictures you put in the review look VERY familiar! :-)

    Greywizard, The Unknown Movies

  6. I hotlinked them, and quite possibly from either your site, or another site that hotlinked them from yours, so sorry about that. There are a lot of things that I would've done differently in '07 when I first started this had I had the foresight to know it was going to be as big as it is now-- foremost among them not getting my AdSense account clipped for click fraud!--, and one of those would've been to have bought video capture software to grab images from a VHS sooner.

  7. Okay, the images have been changed to ones I captured myself. Again, I'm sorry for that.