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.

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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.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rage and Honor (1992)

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In middle school and high school I'd seen this film more times than I could count, between rentals and all the times it would show up on TV late at night. For some inexplicable reason, I moved on from this and others like it for newer, badder films. One great aspect of The Direct to Video Connoisseur is that I've reexamined these old greats. It's probably been a long time coming.

Rage and Honor is about a teacher, Cynthia Rothrock, who is also a martial arts expert. One of her students witnesses some crooked cops kill someone. It just so happens these crooked cops are hanging the rap on visiting Australian cop Richard Norton. Now Rothrock and Norton must fight their way through the bad parts of the city to clear Nortons name and avenge the beating of Rothrock's student and find the kid's video of the murder. Oh yeah, and Brian Thompson is the lead baddie, and he not only sports a too sweet mullet, but he's Rothrock's brother.

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This film is too awesome for words. Watching it again recently, I just had this feeling that this was what bad action was supposed to be about. The plot was simple and kept to a minimum. The fight scenes were plentiful and well choreographed. And most of all, there were tons of explosions and whatnot. I think a lot of bad movie directors could do themselves a service by watching this gem. Cut out the useless plot exposition, forget the cute Bourne Whatever camera cuts, and forgo the techno in favor of some good old fashion synthesizer music. The formula works.

I must admit the DTVC has been remiss in not showcasing more of Cynthia Rothrock's films on the site. This film makes me feel that much more like a moron. On the other hand, unlike her counterparts in the DTVC Hall of Fame, Rothrock hasn't made a film in four years, and in the last ten she's only made eight. Compare that with Dolph who has done 19, and Seagal who's done 22. (Obviously we can't count Kinski because he's dead, but you gotta believe if he was still alive he'd have done more than eight films in ten years!). She's on par with Miles O'Keefe, who's done 10 in ten years, and none since 2005. What got him noticed ahead of her was his Ator work.

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Another DTV mainstay featured in this bad boy is Mr. Richard Norton, one of my personal faves. Australian accents always work. I've never seen them not work. Then you couple that with kick ass martial arts, and you've got a fantastic combination. He's been in a lot of Rothrock films, so we should expect to see him pop up more here at the DTVC. Also, he's in one of the all time great films, Gymkata, which it has recently been brought to my attention is conspicuously absent on the blog. I plan to rectify that soon.

Brian Thompson plays the bad guy/Rothrock's brother. He sports this afterthought of a mullet that looks like it was tacked on to his real hair. It's ridiculous. And he even has the audacity to tie that beaver pelt back into a ponytail. Are you kidding me? Just the same, I think Brian Thompson is one of the all time great baddies, even as an American. He's one of only a few that can compete with his British, German, and Russian counterparts. He was an excellent choice, despite the afterthought ape drape.

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One thing I noticed in watching this film again that never made a difference when I saw it in high school was the classic ATM machine Rothrock gets money out of before she's accosted by a gang of toughs. It's so awesome. It takes up most of the wall it's posted on, and has these two big buttons labeled "Withdrawal" and "Deposit". I wonder if any of those things are still kicking around. I'd totally buy one on E-bay or something if they were affordable. It'd look great in my apartment.

If you've never seen this before, what are you waiting for? If it's been a while since you've seen it, you really need to check it out again. If you're a fan of bad action and martial arts, this is a must. My sense is that this kind of film is considered a dinosaur in the industry, and it's something new DTV film makers want to stay away from. Nothing could be sadder, because I'll take this bad boy over 90% of the new crap out there any day.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105212/

3 comments:

  1. Big fan of Norton also! Have you seen Kick Fighter or Deathfight?

    This week we will have a review for the late 80's Norton flick Crossfire.

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  2. I can't wait to check that out. I need to see Kick FIghter and Death Fight. I'll put them on my list for next Richard Norton flick.

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  3. The Crossfire (1988) review is up! Check it out dude!

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