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.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Druids aka Vercingetorix (2001)

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I'd heard big things about this movie for a while before I actually watched it. It was supposed to be absolutely hilarious. How could it not be: Lambert in a movie about Druids with hair like that? This one had to be a lock.

Druids is actually called Vercingetorix, and is a bio-pic about the famous leader of Gaul who fought Julius Caesar. Lambert plays the eponymous hero, a great German actor plays Caesar, and Ingmar Bergman mainstay Max von Sydow plays an actual Druid. The movie starts with Lambert as a young boy seeing his father murdered as clansmen looked to consolidate power. He returns later to take the throne of power that was rightfully his. He first leads his men in battle with the Romans, only to learn this isn't the way to do it. He does his best to fight off Caesar, but we learn it's the people under him that make mistakes that lead to his downfall and the eventual Roman victory.

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This actually isn't that bad as a bio-pic. Maybe it's not the most accurate historically, but as a movie it's better than a lot of Lambert's other films. I went into it thinking I was getting a silly medieval tale with witches and magic and whatnot. I'm not sure if the distributors here in the US were afraid of marketing a film about Vercingetorix with Lambert as the lead role, so they overhauled the title and targeted the Dungeons and Dragons demographic, but it was a bad move, and more so, and insult to the intellect of us bad movie watchers. Okay, maybe not so much the second part.

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Lambert's not bad in this. A friend of mine who's a history buff hated his hair, but I'm not so sure that's that big of a deal. He was better in this as the hero of Gaul than he was as a Eurotrash Beowulf. I think the thing to do now would be to cast him as Franklin Pierce in a film about the life of the Doughface fourteenth president. I bet he could pull it off. I'm not saying he's a Southern sympathizer, I'm just saying he'd make a good Franklin Pierce.

The guy who played Julius Caesar was the man. I don't think I've ever seen a better one. His name's Klaus Maria Brandauer. It's rare to find a gem like that when looking for a bad Lambert movie. As far as I can tell from his imdb bio, he mostly works in Germany. I think that's good, because he'd probably be pigeonholed as a bad guy in horrible Nicolas Cage films if he hung out in Hollywood too much. Germans are just too easy to use as evil masterminds.

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Max von Sydow's in this in a few scenes. I was looking through the other films I've reviewed on here, and I believe he may have the most quality resume. His work with Bergman alone speaks for itself. It's amazing that a man who's done The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, and Through a Glass Darkly, just to name three, has also done Judge Dredd and Rush Hour 3. According to imdb, he did a film that hasn't made it to the US yet called Final Inquiry, and it has fellow stellar Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren in it too. Word on the street is it'll be released in the US in February of 2008. The DTVC will keep you posted.

I don't know what to do about recommending this. If you and your friends can make fun of anything, give it a shot. Otherwise, if you're looking for something bad to laugh at, this isn't it. The US or Canadian distributors falsely packaged this not-so-bad bio-pic as a cheesy medieval tale of magic and sorcery. Just remember when you rent it that it's not about Druids, but Vercingetorix, and it's a pretty good movie.

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