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 18, 2008

The Rage (1997)

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I first came across this film when I was looking for more Gary Busey on Netflix. When the cast list had Lorenzo Lamas and Roy Scheider on it as well, I had to check it out. Busey and Lamas were great together back in Latin Dragon, and throwing a Scheider in the mix never hurts.

The Rage has Lamas as an FBI agent tracking a serial killer played by Busey. Busey actually heads a band of serial killers, and they're killing a lot of people. Scheider is Lamas' boss, but after a botched raid on a cult compound a la Waco, Lamas has leverage over Scheider, which Scheider doesn't like. So Scheider calls in a female profiler to give Lamas a hard time, and of course, as they're working the case, they fall in love. As they get closer to catching the Buse-inator, Scheider always jumps in with his red tape and stops them. David Carradine guest stars.

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This was good, but I'm not really sure how good and why. It definitely wasn't anything to take seriously, by any means. It was a big old pile of suck, but a funny one. Busey was pretty scary as the killer, but that's to be expected. Scheider is decent as the heel, but that's to be expected too. And Lamas was... well, Lamas, and I guess we had to expect that as well. The movie starts first with Busey and his girlfriend killing some poor family camping by the road. Then Lamas stakes out a guy he thinks is the killer, and chases him all through town, crashing into a sporting event and flying through the bleachers. The movie just gets sillier from there, culminating with a flaming Busey being expelled from an exploding boat.

Lamas was great here. My favorite scene was probably when he was on the verge of tears talking about how horrible the FBI had become: "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity... those words used to mean something!" That's just too awesome. He seems to have a way of taking these horrible scripts and making them still horrible, but cool, because they have Lorenzo Lamas in them. I wonder if he talks to his agent and the guy or gal's like: "Yeah, I just got a bunch of scripts here where you play good cop, and everyone is making your job really hard because of that." and Lamas is like "How much? Yeah, why not, I got some time off from Bold."

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This movie was pretty Abusive. He wasn't in it enough for me, but when he was in it, he was great. In one scene, he tells a guy working under him: "I'm gonna put my foot so far up your ass, you're gonna taste my toes! Would you like that? Do you wanna TASTE!" It was so awesome. He had to have ad libbed that part about the wanting a TASTE, because I couldn't see anyone actually writing that. It was so Abusive, which made it all the more amazing. I must admit the DTVC has been rather bereft of Busey for the most part. This is only his sixth film, which will put him one behind a non Hall of Famer in Daniel Bernhardt. I admit, with the massive catalog of Buse-age out there, this is a travesty, and we here at the DTVC are looking to rectify this situation immediately.

The late Roy Scheider pops up in here as kind of a second baddie working against Lamas, but not with Busey. This is his third film on the DTVC, and in each of his roles, he's been a totally different character. In Peacekeeper, the Dolph great with Montel Williams, He was the president. In Dracula III, he plays a blind cardinal telling Jason Scott Lee he's fired. Here he's an FBI higher-up with no morals and a vendetta against Lamas. I'm not saying I didn't like him, but I would've preferred his role to have been played by Stephen J. Cannell, Donald "Dutch" Dixon from Renegade.

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David Carradine is in this for like five minutes. He plays a Vietnam vet housed in the same mental ward that Busey and his boys were before they escaped and started killing people. This celebrity cameo was about as superfluous as one you might find in a Hip Hop video. I couldn't figure out why he was there. Did he owe a favor to the director? Did he lose a bet and this was the payment? Was he in town shooting Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, and someone asked if he had a moment? I don't know, I just gotta believe Carradine's got better things to do with his time, but who am I?

If you're a Busey or a Lamas fan, you should give this a shot. If you're not a Busey or a Lamas fan, I'd say give it a shot too, but I you may not like it as much. This is a pretty bad yet silly film, and with the inclusion of two DTVC Hall of Famers, it should have enough material for a bad movie night. I'd throw it on your Netflix queue, or rent it on a special night at your local video store, like get one get one half off.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117433/

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