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 18, 2008

Deathline aka Redline (1997)


This movie was first recommended to me by Amazon after I bought or searched for something else. Like the Netflix recommendations, the Amazon ones aren't always great, and tend to be movies I want no part of. They'll also suggest a book for me based on something I bought for a class five years ago, which seems even dumber. I've always wondered why those futuristic movies with computers that anticipate our every thought don't use something like Amazon as a rubric. You could have a guy going into a GAP and getting sold a skirt because he let an ex-girlfriend use his card. The robot would insist on him taking it, and malfunction when he refused.

Deathline (or Redline if you get it on Netflix) is a dark futuristic tale about an arms dealer played by Rutger Hauer that's sold out and murdered by his partner, Mark Dacascos. They're working in Russia, and the Russian army decides he's better alive than dead, so they bring him back to life, and point him at Dacascos to eliminate him. Hauer likes this idea, but is distrustful of the Russians; he meets up with a woman that looks strikingly like the woman that helped sell him out with Dacascos, and they hook up. As they try to take Dacascos down, Dacascos is trying to solidify his ties in the Russian criminal underworld. Everything's a mess and everyone's trying to double-cross everyone else, and the only thing we can count on is Hauer is our man.


This was pretty cool. I liked their take on the future, where it's a Russia dominated by American consumerism. It was like a reverse Clockwork Orange, where the Russians spoke English as opposed to the Brits speaking with Russian slang words. In 1996-7 that view made sense, but now with the boom in Moscow, it's less likely. Just the same, it was a future that took more thought than some of the others in films I've reviewed here, like America only allowing families one child or a Boston with a Little Beirut. The action was really solid too, with Hauer and Dacascos turning in performances worthy of their names. And there were a lot of boobs.

Looking at his bio on imdb, this looks like one of the last films Hauer's done where he carries it as the lead action protagonist. Considering he's 64 years old, I can understand that. But I don't think he'd be as silly as Harrison Ford in Firewall. I think that's because Hauer might actually be cooler than Ford. Is that possible? Let's see: Ford has Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Last Crusade, and the Star Wars movies. Hauer also has Blade Runner, then he has The Hitcher, Blind Fury, and Nighthawks... okay, it looks like Ford has that one... unless you deduct points for Firewall, Air Force One, Six Days, Seven Nights, Hollywood Homicide, and all those Tom Clancy penis envy films... I guess Hauer's still the man.


This is the fourth Dacascos film I've done, and the second where he starred opposite DTVC Hall of Famer Rutger Hauer. The other was Hunt for Eagle One, which was a politically unaware sack of propaganda asscrack. Even though I've seen plenty of Dacascos' other, better films, I think I've done him a disservice by having the Hunt for Eagle Ones so prominently featured, with only China Strike Force and now this film as the only other representations of his work. Redline and his work on Iron Chef America have reminded me of just how dumb that is. He's put out a lot of stuff recently, and I'm looking forward to reviewing it in the future.

Hauer scores huge in this with the Italian actress Yvonne Scio. She's like 25 years his junior, and ten kinds of hot. How can you not dig that? And he doesn't come across like Van Damme with his "Don't you guys wish you were me?", nor does he come across like a Dudikoff with a "Man, I'm lucky to be hooking up with this chick", nor does he come across like the Kinski "Who wouldn't want to have sex with me? And if they don't they aren't worth my time, because I'll find someone else more willing." He comes off like "Yep, this'll work." I think I like all four approaches, but in this case, with the woman involved, Hauer's fits best. Maybe it's a European thing (even though only Dudkoff's not European of the four I listed.)


You gotta get this. It's pretty awesome. imdb lists it as Deathline, but Netflix has it as Redline, so look for both, but don't mistake it for Red Line, a film with Corey Feldman and Michael Madsen. Anyone who's a huge Rutger Hauer fan will love his role in this. He kicks tons of ass and beds some nice chicks. It's a shame that those days are probably done for him, but we'll always have these. And Dacascos is worth looking into more if you haven't already, and this film is a good starting point if you haven't.

For more info:

1 comment:

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