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.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bounty Hunters (1997)


I first saw this back around 2000 when a buddy and I were on a Dudikoff kick. This one stood out rather prominently at the video store, mostly because of its two-word title. While watching Virtual Assassin on Joe Bob Brigg's movie show that used to be on TNT, Joe Bob did a quick piece on Dudikoff before going to commercial. He went over a list of his films, and almost all of them were two-word titles. I think the best action titles either have two words, or are "The" something, like The Russian Specialist.

Bounty Hunters is about a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter played by Dudikoff who tries to steal a valuable bounty away from his former lover and fellow bounty hunter, played by the chick who was MacLeod's girlfriend after Tessa was killed. The guy they're catching steals a mobsters car that has a hooker in the trunk who they were going to kill because she saw something she shouldn't. Dudikoff wants to ditch the broad there, but his ex wants to help her. The mobsters track the girl down to Dudikoff, and kidnap a boy that hangs out with him so they can exchange. Now Dudikoff is in it bad, and it's going to take all he's got to pull this off.


This was pretty standard fare for a direct-to-video action flick. It was good, but not memorable, and there really wasn't much that stood out. The beginning is cool with Dudikoff in his armored van taking down this dude toting a flamethrower in his trailer. It's pretty off-beat, which plays to Dudikoff's strengths, but when it tries to get serious, it comes off forced and uncomfortable. I guess to use a popular phrase, it is what it is, nothing special.

Dudikoff turns in a solid performance. He's a great action hero, and always fun to watch. I think he's at his best when the role is meant to be played with some humor sprinkled in, and this one was definitely like that. There was a lot of him doing things like dodging creditors, or punching bigger guys and hurting himself more than them. One my favorite scenes came when he was going to a hip hop club in a bad part of town to get some information, found himself on the dance floor. He looked ridiculous. It obviously wasn't anywhere near as funny as Van Damme in Kickboxer sporting the thong tank-top, but it was enough. Keep rockin' it, Dudikoff.


Lisa Howard plays his love interest in both this and the sequel. I generally don't use her name, but instead call her the chick MacLeod hooked up with after Tessa died. She's actually hotter in this than she was on Highlander, and I'm not sure why. One thing that was pretty silly was how strong she was for someone her size. She was doing karate and throwing punches and kicks and whatnot, and guys were falling all over the place like they were being hit by Dolph. If you watch Cynthia Rothrock, her fights are more realistic for her size, with her using her opponent's mass against them to throw them off balance. As such, they don't look as ridiculous the ones in this film.

I don't know what else there really is to discuss in this film. There were some things that could've made it better. First, fix the fight scenes with the chick who hooked up with MacLeod after Tessa died to make them a tad more realistic, or to at least make it look like they were trying. Second, more explosions. The film started off big, then died down. They gotta keep that intensity throughout. Third, bad synthesizer music. Never hurts. Four, more bad guys in bad Italian suits with bad mullets. Five, and perhaps most important, a better head bad guy. This diminutive Italian mobster they had was a waste. Pony up the big cash and hire Brian Thompson or Bruce Payne.


If you're not a Dudikoff fan, you'll probably want to pass this on the rack of your local video store. If you are a Dudikoff fan, you've probably already seen this, so it doesn't matter. If your local TV station or Spike is airing it late at night or something, there's probably a lot worse you could be watching, so in that case why not give it a go. It's just really not worth spending too much cash on.

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