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, April 22, 2008

Crazy Six (1998)


I found this film looking up Albery Pyun on imdb. The mixture of Rob Lowe, Mario van Peebles, Burt Reynolds, and Ice-T seemed intriguing to me. After Ticker, which was another Pyun film that was something of an ensemble cast (featuring Steven Seagal, Dennis Hopper, and Tom Seizemore), I figured this one had a good chance of being entertaining.

Crazy Six is about Rob Lowe as the eponymous junkie conman living in Prague or something who gets involved with a hot Russian lounge singer right after he pulls off a bad job for Mario van Peebles that involves ripping off Ice-T. People kill other people, people double cross other people, Burt Reynolds plays a US cop living in Eastern Europe, and Rob Lowe gets the girl.

This was really bad. As bad as the name sounds. The beginning had this exposition that read like a post-apocalyptic thriller, only it was describing Eastern Europe post-communism. Not only that, but the titles and graphics in that beginning looked more like a low-budget state funded student film airing on the CBC. I won't lie, I can accept that kind of production if I'm watching Degrassi Junior High, but a film maker should have a different set of goals. Beyond that, the film had it's moments, with the hilarity of Lowe and Mario van Peebles' characters; but overall there was way too little action for this to be anything but boring.


Rob Lowe has been in the news recently for various indiscretions. This comes after he'd had a huge career comeback post The West Wing. Crazy Six was made before that comeback, when Lowe was still living down his first scandal. That doesn't mean he's a Dennis Hopper or Tom Seizemore-- someone that's a great actor who a Pyun can get on the cheap because of his problems in Hollywood. Lowe doesn't really bring it here. He looks as ridiculous as his name with his mullet and moustache, and his acting doesn't really elevate an otherwise silly character, rather relegates it to that head shaking level, where everytime we see him on screen, we just say "no".

I got a kick out of Ice-T. Pyun really wastes him, and I have to assume because he's a Pyun mainstay, he took this rather small, one-dimensional role, as a favor to his buddy. For the most part, Ice-T spends the films with a look on his face like he smells something funny. Then, at the very end, when he gets his one scene where he has some legitimate acting to do, he actually turns in the best performance other than Burt Reynolds. That one scene might be the coolest thing I've seen Ice-T do as far as acting goes after the Player Hater's Ball on The Chapelle Show.


Burt Reynolds made no sense in this, but he did a great job. Unlike Lowe, who couldn't transcend a poorly conceived character, Reynolds shined. He played a US cop working in Eastern Europe, for whatever reason. Do a lot of American cops work in Eastern Europe? What do the local cops in those countries think of this? Are we paying for these cops with government money? Either way, if this was the kind of stretch Pyun needed to make to get Reynolds in the film, I can't begrudge him that. He could've made him a Martian sent to Eastern Europe to protect Rob Lowe, and I would've been cool with it. In fact, I'd have liked it better.

Mario van Peebles plays a French ganglord, and he has the worst French accent ever. He's not speaking like someone who speaks English as a second language, but English with a little French mixed in and an occasional "th" replaced with a "d". At some points he loses the accent all together, like he stopped trying. Why he had the hubris to think he could pull this off is beyond me. But if he didn't, though, it wouldn't have been as funny or entertaining, so I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much.


One quick note. Two Pyun mainstays other than Ice-T feature in this. Norbert Weisser has done 16 films with Pyun, of which I've reviewed 5 (Captain America, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ticker, Omega Doom, and now Crazy Six). Then there's Thom Mathews, who's done 11 films with Pyun, of which I've reviewed 3 (Mean Guns, Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor, and now Crazy Six-- though it's important to note he was also in the MST3K classic Alien From LA, which Pyun also directed.).

Overall, I'd avoid this. It's too boring: the action is too sparse, and the plot itself is too useless to invest anything in. That's too bad, because if you see this at your local rental store or on Netflix, you'll probably want to check it out, just based on the cast. You can watch it at your own peril, but I'm warning you, it's pretty rough.

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