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

Friday, November 2, 2007

Star Knight (1985)

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In the endless search for more Klaus Kinski films, I found this bad boy. Also listed among the stars is Scorsese and Tarantino mainstay Harvey Keitel. Kinski paired with Winston The Wolf? This had greatness written all over it, and I didn't hesitate to pull the trigger when I saw it on Amazon.

Star Knight is a Spanish sci-fi/fantasy film involving an alien visiting a medieval Spanish manor. The lord's daughter finds the ship while swimming naked one night, and falls in love with the one alien aboard, a man who looks like the lead singer of any 80s New Wave band. Kinski plays a mystic employed by the lord from time to time to help him out, and he talks to the daughter upon her return. While everyone in town believes the ship is a dragon, and the alien a warrior of evil riding it, Kinski and the daughter know better. Enter Keitel as a swordsman looking to become a knight and also looking to marry the lord's daughter. He promises to slay the dragon and kill the alien controlling it. He and the local priest give it a go, and hilarity ensues. They take the ship from the alien, and accidentally fly it into space, while the alien stays home and marries the lord's daughter.

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This movie is remarkably horrible. This was like MST3K bad. Think Deathstalkers and the Warriors From Hell, only add in Keitel and Kinski, which makes it all the better. This passed the true test of a great bad movie, when it entertained people who usually don't like to watch the crap that I do. There was just no way you couldn't find this funny.

Kinski was Kinski in this. He's in it slightly more than in The Creature, so I'd say it's worth a look if you're a fan of his. He lives up to his standing as a card carrying DTVC Hall of Famer, especially in the way he wears his ridiculous outfits. We spent the movie trying to guess how much he made, what demands he had for the production, and how he might have gotten along with Keitel. His name was top billing, so I have to assume that that was a stipulation on his participation. I must say, he's pretty tame in this, though. No Cobra Verde style freak outs, so in that sense, it was a little disappointing. Overall, a Kinski-esque effort.

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Keitel was a whole other story. Anyone who's ever seen Last Temptation of Christ remembers his role as Judas, where he kept his New York accent. In that role, it just seemed to work, and it was one of the more inspired decisions Scorsese made in making that movie, at least for me. In this, he also retains the New York accent, but speaks in this Shakespearian tongue that sounds hilarious. Everytime he had a line, he elicited laughs. "Thow haath fohrsaken me!"

Being a Spanish movie, the Spanish director and Spanish writer included an ode Spain's greatest literary figure, Cervantes, with a Don Quixote like character called the Green Knight. I think we were supposed to juxtapose his genuine chivalry with Keitel's self-interested brand. I dug it. It was especially cool when the alien donned his gear to fight Keitel at the end. The whole thing was a touch of class in a movie that desperately needed it and more.

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The inside of the alien's ship looked like something out of The Dark Crystal or Krull, both movies I'd think a film maker wouldn't want to have his film in the same sentence as, or even worse, be accused of ripping off. From the outside, the ship reminded me of Close Encounters. I was worried Richard Dreyfuss might show up, and was thankfully spared that pain. Finally, when the ship left the Earth's atmosphere, for some reason it turned into an animated cat toy, you know the ones with the bell inside the wire cage ball. I know it's 1985, and technology wasn't the best, but someone had to think that looked worse than just continuing to use the toy model of the ship that we saw on Earth. I'm not complaining, because it was just another thing for us to find funny, just curious how that decision was made.

This movie is probably too poorly made to be worth buying for more than a buck or two. If you see it to rent, snatch it up immediately, because it's perfect for a bad movie night. It's the kind of thing MST3K would've made a great episode with, and now you and your friends have the opportunity to see what you can do with it. My friends and I are big Kinski fans, and on that score, I'd recommend seeing too.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088870/

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