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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sci-fighters (1996)

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I first saw this on Sci-Fi while waiting for a friend to come by so we could catch the train down to Boston. I made it almost to the end, and had intended to watch it again in its entirety at another point. That was four years ago, and finally, through the magic of Netflix (it had to be sent all the way from Greensboro, SC!) I've been able to relive this bad boy. Not sure what I was missing.

Sci-fighters takes place in the future (2009, to be exact) in Boston, MA. Roddy Piper is some kind of special Black Shield cop who can do what he wants, and what he wants is to investigate a series of rapes that may or may not have been committed by a may or may not be dead Billy Drago. Even worse, these rape victims are getting sick and hatching aliens eggs from their stomachs. Bad deal. Now it's up to Piper and some hot doctor chick to stop Drago before he ends the world as we know it (or as they know it in their fictitious future).

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This movie was rough. Not just because of my bias against Billy Drago. The people making the film had very little imagination for a Boston only thirteen years in the future for them. I remember Boston in 1996, and the only huge difference between then and now is Fenway Park. This movie had a creation of a Little Beirut section, had nasty cars, and cell phone technology actually became worse. That aside, there were some cool parts. Lots of gore and violence. Exploding women's stomachs with Alien rip-offs jumping out and latching onto people's faces. It was sillier than it was good.

Piper was weird in this. He had some good fights, but a lot of them stunk. My friends and I were in hysterics in one scene where he attacks these two cops guarding the bad guy. He looked like a little grumpy kid trying to fight with his dad. Only in this case these weak, unfocused attacks actually worked. That was particularly disappointing because I watched the film for Piper. I certainly didn't watch it for Drago.

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It's so odd looking back to even a time as recent as 1996 to see how people thought that just that switch of the digits to 2000 would mark all these enormous changes in the world. One of the things this film had was a moon base. I was only 17 in 1996, and I knew we were much further off than 13 years from a moon base where the US could store its felons and make them do hard labor. It wasn't as bad as Fortress 2, where an untrained Christopher Lambert was doing work along with other prisoners outside the space station, but this was bad enough. How hard is it to simply push the fake date forward by fifty or a hundred years? It can't be any stupider than the alternative.

One interesting thing you'll note on your DVD. The word "fuck" was dubbed over. According to imdb, the director thought if he did this he could avoid an R rating-- despite all the violence and gore. He failed, so he was left with an R rated film with poor dubbing that looks like a bad TV adaptation. Anyway, I figured I'd bring it up so you'd know that you aren't watching an edited version of the film: it's supposed to be like that.

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I don't know where to go with this. My friends and I got plenty of laughs, but at the same time, it was extremely dumb and boring in spots. The Piper factor was pretty poor, and when you add in Billy Drago, that's a rough combination for me. I can't say completely don't rent it, because my friends and I did have fun, just tread cautiously. Don't rent it at full price, how about that?

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117566/

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