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, June 11, 2008

Dead On: Relentless II aka Relentless II: Dead On (1992)

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I found this little gem doing a search of Miles O'Keefe on Netflix. Some friends and I watched it while waiting for some other friends to get out of work so we could get dinner together. There aren't many better ways to pass the time than catching a Miles O'Keefe flick, that's what I always say.

Relentless II: Dead On picks up where part one left off-- at least I have to take part two's word for it, because I never saw part one, and all I know of it I saw in flashbacks they showed me in part two. Anyway, this detective played by an Italian That Guy is having a bad time at work and in his marriage. That's when serial killer Miles O'Keefe shows up and starts offing people. Now he's in it. Then this federal agent who looks like any number of other actors depending on the angle we see him at is getting in the Italian guy's way. There's more to this serial killer and his victims than meets the eye, and it's up to the Italian guy to do what he does... or else! (Don't know why the exclamation point.)

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This was a pretty poor movie, as you can imagine from the plot synopsis above. Just the same, as a bad movie, there was plenty to make fun of in it. Right off the bat, Miles O'Keefe lures his first victim, the guy who played La Flors in Mallrats, into a garage, where he tries to strangle him with a large chain. The struggle that ensued was hilarious. Then there's the detectives boss, who for some reason is always working out when the detective goes to talk with him. He'll see him at the gym, at the track, in the pool. Not only that, but the boss is played by Capt. Dale Dye, senior military adviser on Saving Private Ryan et al. Maybe the best came when Miles disguised himself as a cleaning lady to escape the cops after killing some dudes who accosted him at his apartment.

Speaking of Miles, this was a pretty solid performance. He has some great scenes as a killer, and even better ones sitting in an ice cold bath having flashbacks about his killing. For a brief moment, he channels his inner Van Damme, showing off his bare buttcheeks. My friend's wife wasn't as enamored with that as we'd have thought. The biggest disappointment in his performance wasn't really his fault: he doesn't speak at all until the very end, and then he speaks with a horrible Russian accent. One of Miles' great charms is his great Tennessee spiced Southern drawl. Why not give us that? I know he's supposed to be Russian, but was the movie that good that another drop in continuity would've mattered that much? Someone dropped the ball there.

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Leo Rossi is the Italian That Guy who plays the cop. His imdb picture is a bit deceptive, but like every other That Guy, the moment you see him in anything, you'll know who he is. Throughout the film I'd had this feeling he'd played Corey Haim's dad in something, and found out it was in Fast Getaway. Duh! Of course! Then the question came: how did that film not turn up on my Netflix searches of both Corey Haim and Cynthia Rothrock? It's not out on DVD! Can you believe that? They just put out a two-disc special edition of that Jessica Alba stinker The Eye, but they can't put a classic like Fast Getaway out? Why not package it with part two and sell the pair for $10? Maybe put it in a Corey Haim boxed set?

Ray Sharkey is the actor who looks like myriad other actors depending on the angle you see him at. We had Paul Riser, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Stewart, and Scott Baio, just to name four. People like this make watching bad movies even better, because we don't need to think as hard to come up with jokes: we can just reference various movies the people they look like have been in. Sadly, Sharkey died in 1993 from AIDS, which he probably contracted through a dirty needle, considering he had a bad heroin and coke addiction. His imdb bio lists a bunch of episodes of TV cop shows that I must've seen, but I don't remember him in any of them. I must've thought he was someone else.

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Meg Foster plays the Italian That Guy's estranged wife. She's always struck me as the Poor Man's Kirstie Alley. In the Piper hit Immortal Combat she played the head of a corporation that made guys immortal. She was seducing them first, before someone else killed them. You probably remember her as the evil queen in Masters of the Universe, a Dolph Lundgren classic. She's also worked with Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Wings Hauser, Gary Busey, and Peter Weller (Future Kick, The Wind, Carny, and Leviathan, respectively). I haven't checked, but that might be a record for co-starring with DTVC Hall of Famers. That's probably a better thing to hang one's hat on than being the Poor Man's Kirstie Alley.

This was plenty fun to make fun of, but I'm not sure that alone is worth spending money on it for. If you've got Netflix, and you're a big Miles O'Keefe fan like I am, throw it on your queue. If not, you may want to pass. I'd grab it if you see it in a $.99 bargain bin, but I wouldn't pay much more for it than that, unless, again, you dig Miles. We'll call it the Miles Exception.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101672/

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