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, May 13, 2008

Gunmen (1994)


I first found out about this film when I saw it for sale at the local Christmas Tree Shop. It was my first trip there, and I must say, I wasn't all that impressed. For instance, they wanted $10 for this movie on DVD. Have they heard of Amazon? I can get it for half that, and that includes shipping. I guess if you're a mom looking to by knick-knacks for the house, the Christmas Tree Shop is where it's at; but for buying Christopher Lambert films, it sucks.

Gunmen has DTVC Hall of Famer Lambert as some conman-ish dude in a South American prison that US cop Mario Van Peebles breaks out. The deal is Lambert knows the town where his dead brother is hiding $400 million of crime lord Patrick Stewart's money, but Van Peebles knows what boat the brother hid it on. Now they've got to get to it ahead of Denis Leary, who Stewart sent to retrieve his missing fortune. That's pretty much it.


This is your run-of-the-mill buddy picture, and I'm guessing Lambert and Van Peebles needed to do this considering that same year Highlander III: The Final Dimension was released in theaters, and they were afraid we'd think they hated each other. There are some ridiculous parts, like where Lambert shoots Van Peebles in the leg to keep him from running, then Van Peebles returns the favor a few minutes later; yet the leg wounds seem pretty superfluous, like a Lundgren shot to the left arm. This also rips off a lot of Spaghetti Westerns, especially right off the bat when Lambert catches a bug in his mouth while in prison.

But it's a pretty fun romp for a bad action movie. There are tons of cameos: Kadeem Hardison, Dr. Dre and Ed Lover, Eric B. and Rakim, Kid Frost, Big Daddy Kane, and Sally Kirkland, to name a bunch. There isn't much of a plot, and it feels like when in doubt, they blow stuff up. Obviously you can't really take this seriously, but I think that makes it a good bad action film. Give me this over National Treasure any day.


Lambert is pretty good in this. He's supposed to be some kind of off-beat conman type, which is okay, I guess. I'd rather have him wielding a samurai sword, but I understand that must get boring, and he needs to branch out some. I will say this is probably the movie Albert Pyun should've made instead of Crazy Six, and I can only assume he didn't because this was already done. It's not like he hasn't worked with Lambert before, though!

I rented this from Netflix, and one of the interesting features they offer is a link to famous critic reviews of the film. It just so happens Roger Ebert did this one.
He absolutely killed it. One of the best things he had to say involved the name Cole. In his mind no movie has been made in the last twenty years or so with a character named Cole in it that was any good. The only movie off the top of my head other than this one (Van Peebles' character was Cole) that had a Cole in it was Days of Thunder, and as I recall that was equally stupid and awesome. Now I want to see how many movies have Coles in them out there and find out if his theory's correct.


Patrick Stewart's in this. I'm sure many of you out there know him from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I used to watch it because I had some friends who loved it, and two things surrounding Stewart's character puzzled me. First, he was obviously from England, yet they insisted he was from France. Do France and England trade countries in the future? I asked my friends that, and they thought the concept was hilarious. The second thing involved Stewart's prowess with the ladies versus Jonathan Frakes. How did he get so many chicks? I know there's the accent, but he was still old, and Frakes was still awesome. If you put their resumes side-by-side for the Pepsi Challenge, maybe Frakes scores with Troi, but I have to deduct points because A, Stewart had Dr. Crusher, and I thought she was hotter, and B, Troi did Warf. Frakes just can't follow a Klingon on a wet deck.

I'm digressing out of control here. Needless to say, this isn't worth paying ten bucks for, but it's definitely worth renting. There's plenty to mock, it doesn't seem to take itself that seriously, and it has some great people in it, not the least of which is DTVC Hall of Famer Christopher Lambert. If you see it at the video store and you're torn, give it a shot.


  1. 12 monkeys had willis playing John Cole.
    ol' chinless ebert is full a shit.

  2. Last Boy Scout = Billy Cole