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, October 2, 2007

Beowulf (1999)

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I remember picking this one up with some friends because the video store was offering a rent so many get so many free night, and we needed a last movie to fill out the deal. This just looked like a no-brainer: Lambert in a futuristic remake of the 6th century epic poem Beowulf. What could be better?

This Lambert 1999 version of Beowulf takes place in a medieval future where most of human technology has devolved-- the only exceptions being haircare products, plastic body bags, and leather clothing (though the taste in leather clothing has definitely devolved too!). Lambert is our eponymous hero who shows up at this walled in city that looks like a live-action version of Gargamel's castle on The Smurfs. There he meets a hot chick, her dad (who's the king), and a guy in a purple leather outfit. He fights Grendel pretty much the way you'd remember it from the original, only he adds tons of flips. He's doing back flips, front flips, a tuck maneuver that you might see from an Olympic diver. In the end he beats the nasty Grendel and his vengeful mother. He also gets the girl.

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Did I mention how ridiculous this is? Did I mention I loved every ridiculous minute of it? It had me at the first big fight scene where Lambert takes on some savages outside the walled city that are about to sacrifice the chick from The Mummy that isn't Rachel Weis. The Mortal Kombat movie style techno is superb. Couple that with Lambert's too sweet hair (that rhymes if you pronounce Lambert with the French accent like my friends and I do). I guess the best way to sum up the movie was that sense of entertainment you get out of watching someone who thinks he's really cool try his hardest to act really cool, but you and everyone you're with know just how uncool he is. This movie thought it was that cool, and instead it was just the balding guy with the ponytail listening to Fallout Boy on his iPod.

This goes for Lambert too, I'm afraid. He's too old to pull off being cool like that. The kind of cool that would really work for him is the kind that listens to Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Thin Lizzy, and tells us kids we don't know what good music really is. And he'd be right. He should've ripped that techno from the phonograph, or out of the minstrel's lute, or wherever it came from, and threw on some Bread or ELO or Lynyrd Skynyrd. Maybe even beat up Grendel to "You're so Vain". I had a dream there was some Lambert in my coffee. Now we're talkin'.

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Despite the movie's usual futile attempts at being cool, it did have one bright moment. Mac from Night Court is in this. Beyond the sheer awesomeness that he's still alive (it's not that I thought he was dead either, but I hadn't seen him in anything in a while, and I wouldn't have put the whole being dead thing past him), the fact that he was Mac in every way, shape, and form added to the novelty. He didn't try to affect some kind of bad accent like Michelle Rodriguez in BloodRayne. He just did Mac, and I for one loved him for it.

The woman starring opposite Lambert is named Rhona Mitra, and you may recognize her from The Practice or it's cooler spin-off Boston Legal. She's been in some feature films too, like the difficult to understand how it was greenlighted Number 23. I wonder if while filming 23 she thought to herself "Wow, I finally made the big time, and I'm in movies that're worse than the horrible Lambert movies I did when I hadn't made it." Am I giving her too much credit to think she thought that? I bet she stands by and is even proud of 23, yet is afraid to put Beowulf on her resume. That's a shame.

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This movie is so worth a crack. It's too silly to avoid. I wouldn't go so far as to say you should run out and buy it at full price, because it's not a classic or anything, but definitely you should rent it with your bad movie buddies if you haven't seen it already. This is top notch bad Lambert.

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  1. Gotta love Bad Lambert flicks! Still haven't watched this yet. Will have to soon!

  2. Yeah, this is right in your wheel house, you definitely should give it a crack.