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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

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.

--Matt

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Watchers III (1994)

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I caught this gem recently on Sci-Fi, and based on the Wings Hauser factor alone I needed to TiVo it. There's just something about Wings, a certain je ne sais quois, that makes him entertaining in anything he does. One of my personal faves is his short stint on Beverly Hills 90210. That's right, I said it. If they ever put that show on DVD, you may want to check that out, just for shits and grins.

Watchers III is based on a Dean Koontz novel, but is more a Predator rip off. What Wings has that Arnie didn't have when he fought the big fella is a dog with a large IQ. Also, even though the Predator looks like Manny Ramirez, the monster in this looks like a rejected puppet from Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles, which would be cool if this was a comedy. Anyway, what Wings finds out is that the government made the monster as the ultimate killing machine, and Wings and his convict friends are sent in to get slaughtered by it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Wings is in military prison. Just like Predator, Wings gets to the chopper and everything's okay. All right, maybe they pull a twist on the "Get to the chopper", and Wings booby traps it for the puppet. Who cares?

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This is abhorrently bad. It's got Wings Hauser in it. That's it. The monster's too goofy to fear, the other actors are ridiculous, and the dog's only slightly smarter than Air Bud or Lassie. While watching it with some friends, we were constantly in awe of how bad this was. It was like MST3K quality.

Wings tries his best in this, and it's plenty entertaining. He continues to reaffirm his status as a DTVC Hall of Famer through his efforts in crap like this. Between his scenes with the dog, to his dialog in funny-that's-supposed-to-be-cool military speak (you know, "Checkmate this is Goose Down, do you read me?"), he delivers. I totally give him an A for effort. The problem is, you can get the same satisfaction out of seeing him guest star on an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger or something, and you're in and out the door in half the time.

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Despite my lack of snobbery when it comes to movies, I'm a bit of one in terms of books, so I must confess, I've never read a Dean Koontz novel. Is he any good? Perhaps the James Joyce of our generation? Was the book version of this any good? As far as I can tell, if what we saw in the film was the basic premise of the book, it's probably not, right? I still gotta finish Manhattan Transfer anyway.

One small part of the film that was kind of funny for me was the woman in Hauser's attack crew. The woman herself was only sorta kinda funny, but her name was great: Gomez. I know that by it's very nature as a last name, some women must have it, and it probably sounds all right in real life when paired with a first name. "Hey, I want you to meet Maria Gomez." Not bad. But when you're just shouting it out, "Gomez!", it denotes a goofy Latino stereotype playing the comedy relief. I'm not saying a Gomez in movie can't handle a piece and be good in a fight, I'm just saying I see more "Oh Gomez, you're such a kook", instead of "Gomez, you're the only chick in this crew, but we know that in spite of that chickness, you'll be tough enough to hold your own."

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This is preposterously bad. Maybe, and that's a big maybe, watch this at 2am if you're typing a paper or up late after a huge night of drinking. Otherwise, run when you see this listed on your program guide, or displayed in your video store. I'm still smarting from it.

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