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, March 25, 2008

X-treme Fighter aka Sci-Fighter (2004)


I found this movie when I was looking up Lorenzo Lamas films to rent. I saw it also had Don "The Dragon" Wilson in it, so I knew I needed to rent it. The idea sounded cheesy, but I felt the star power would see me through.

X-treme Fighter is the ridiculous story of a boy who gets his brain trapped in a virtual reality video game. The game is designed by his grandfather, who gives it to him as a birthday gift, despite his son, D "The D" Dubs', resignations. Now it's up to Donny to go inside the machine and beat all the fighters one by one to save his son. Lorenzo Lamas and Cynthia Rothrock also star.


This movie could've been so good, and it so wasn't. Forget the ridiculous idea that a virus in the game has trapped the kid's mind in it, and for whatever reason that means Don has to beat all the other fighters; what they did with the video game idea was boring. All Don did was fight bad guys. It would've been cool if he had to get things in the game to make him more powerful, or figure out how to get into new worlds. How much would it've taken to play Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter and see what made those cool. Give me some fireballs. Give me some finishing moves. Give me some hyper-combos. Just give me something.

That was too bad, because the film had some top notch talent. Beyond Lamas, Wilson, and Rothrock, there were also a bunch of professional fighters with championship status in a host of disciplines. None of them were in cool outfits, or did anything special, or even have any sweet one-liners. Come on, put some make-up on these people and make them teleport or, or, or something.


As far as Wilson goes, he was all right considering what he had to work with. I've seen better plots in his Bloodfist movies, and those are usually just one man against the world yarns. Also, the fight scenes weren't choreographed that well. There was a lot of him putting a foot out and guys waiting to be kicked. Even Seagal and Van Damme don't do that. Maybe not his best, but not his worst either.

Lamas was completely wasted. He's barely in it, and when he is, he's mostly flirting with Rothrock, even though she's got the hots for Wilson. In one seen, they put Lamas and Wilson together, saying it was a glitch in the system, and Lamas is gone before we know it. Again, a complete waste. He should've teamed up with the glitch Lamas. Just another missed opportunity. Not worth it at all if you're a Lamas fan.


According to imdb, this is the last film Cynthia Rothrock has been in. That's kind of too bad. I think if anyone has a shot at being the first woman in the DTVC Hall of Fame, it's her. I think the one thing keeping her out is the low quality of some of the films she's done so far. I know what you're thinking "low quality here?" Yes, most of the films at the DTVC are bottom barrel stuff, but some of her movies were pushing that Bruce Penhall Julie Strain level. As such, other members of the DTVC panel are unfortunately unfamiliar with her work. I'm hoping through the magic of Netflix to change that.

This is a pretty dumb and boring movie. It has all the right credentials, and sounds like it might be a good deal, but it really isn't. My fear is that you rent this with a group of friends ready to make fun of something, and then the ADD kicks in and people start firing up laptops and browsing the Internet. If anything, this is not a film for people saddled with ADD.

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