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.

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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.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, July 21, 2008

Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon (2004)

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This was strictly a Pyun pick. Well, and the fact that it had Richard Roundtree. And Vincent Klyn didn't hurt either. I'll pretty much watch anything if Vincent Klyn's in it for five minutes. "Back off, Warchild..." Back off indeed. Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering, Max Havoc kills a guy he's fighting in a kickboxing match.

Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon is about the eponymous hero (just the Max Havoc part, not the rest of the title-- he's Swiss, not a Kiwi!) who has to eke out a living as a photographer because he can't fight anymore after the trauma of accidentally killing an opponent in the ring. His old trainer, Richard Roundtree, is living in Guam, and Max is sent out there to do shots for the local hotel. He meets some extremely hot chick and her extremely hot sister, and ends up getting into a mess when the hot chick buys a dragon off Roundtree that some Japanese crime bosses want. By the way, the chick is an art historian, and she sounds like it too. Oh yeah, and Max Havoc accidentally killed an opponent in the ring.

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This was a pretty fun deal, but I'm not sure that was enough. I mean, the movie mostly sucked, but the martial arts were pretty solid, the chicks were hot, and it had Vincent Klyn. I'm not sure what else I was looking for in an Albert Pyun film. It was definitely ridiculous. I laughed out loud when told the female lead was an art historian. It wasn't her looks that made this implausible, it was the stilted, overly rehearsed way she delivered her lines. It was like telling me Paris Hilton was an expert on elite politics in Cote d'Ivoire. I'll take that. But there wasn't much there to make this worth while, you know? As an aside, Max Havoc accidentally kills someone in the ring during a kickboxing match. Richard Roundtree was there.

The hero was played by Mickey Hardt, a Swiss dude whose only acting credits other than the two Max Havocs are German films. I'm not sure what we were supposed to make of him. He's funny, I guess. I imagine the chicks dig him. His English ain't bad. His martial arts were pretty sweet. I don't know, he just didn't do it for me. He wasn't Dolph, or Seagal, or even Jerry Trimble. I guess that's why he isn't in more films over here. Also, Max Havoc accidentally killed a guy in the ring during a kickboxing match. David Carradine was there.

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As far as the women element goes, this film did not disappoint. Havoc's love interest, this amazing blond art historian, is so hot, when Carmen Electra has a cameo and hits on Havoc, we're actually like "dude, don't screw it up with the art historian." And that's not a knock on Electra, because she's hot too. Then you factor in the art historian's sister who's going to med school. Also amazing. Now, usually these films counter the eye candy for the guys with something for the ladies, like Dolph's abs, or Van Damme's buttcheeks, or Seagal in a sweatshirt. It wasn't that Mickey Hardt wasn't great, but compared to what us straight guys and gay ladies were given, it was obvious who made out better in that deal. Oh yeah, and Max Havoc accidentally killed a guy in the ring during a kickboxing match.

Vincent Klyn. What can you say? "Back off, Warchild..." Is there anyone else in the history of cinema who could be a Warchild better than Klyn? In this film he plays a dude named Moko who's an athlete in a sport that's the Guam equivalent to crew. He's kind of an asshole that Havoc beats up from time to time, but in the end they become friends because they aren't bad guys. Not what I want from Vincent Klyn. You can't list Warchild on the menu, and give me dog meat. Very disappointed. And in case you're wondering, Max Havoc killed a guy accidentally in the ring. He's pretty broken up about it.

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I'll bite: here's the deal with me bringing up the Max Havoc killing someone thing: there's a flashback to it every five minutes in the fricken movie. I'm serious. It gets ridiculous. With all the hot chicks and solid martial arts potential, not to mention Vincent Klyn, you're going to muddle the film with hella flashbacks? And the same one every time? It just started to hurt my soul, you know. Sometimes I ask myself: why does it always have to hurt? And I know the answer: because you wanted it to. In the immortal words of Evander Holyfield: "Time to get your whuppin', Charlie."

I just can't see it. Kinda fun film, but there's so much out there that's also fun and has more action and better acting and less flashbacks. Considering Pyun's had some great ones, he's on a two-game losing streak right now, with his last reviewed film, Crazy Six, also proving to be a stinker. As a Hall of Famer, he's gotta do better than that, and let's hope the next one we do I can recommend. Please.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404225/

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