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.

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, July 9, 2008

Warlock III: The End of Innocence (1999)

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Bruce Payne is a name known to many who watch the type of films we do at the DTVC. He's a household name. For a lot of my friends his breakout role was in the movie Dungeons and Dragons, which I avoided like the plague. I thought it was going to be a bunch guys in a parents' basement rolling dice. When I found out it just had Bruce Payne as a blue-lipped guy and Marlon Wayans being killed than brought back to life, I decided I had still made the correct decision. As such, it was Highlander: Endgame which brought Mr. Payne into my life, and I'm better for it.

Warlock III: The End of Innocence does not pick up where part two left off. It seems to have nothing to do with the others. An art school chick finds out she's adopted and her biological family have a colonial mansion out in the middle of nowhere. She and her friends go out to investigate. Enter Payne (and not a moment too soon, because it was becoming a snoozefest!). He knows the girl is descended from a race of good witches that, when their blood is spilled, can raise the big fella downstairs. Payne begins to cast spells on her friends so they help him take her down. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she can overcome this, and him, and kill him.

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Wow. All I can say is wow. Stinker. Really bad. First 40 to 45 minutes hurt like sitting through a local access channel's broadcast of a town hall meeting. Then Payne shows up, and he tries his best to hoist this bad boy on his back and carry it to the finish. He almost does it too, but it proves too much, as the ending sucked, and he falls short, like the guy in the Strong Man Contest who just can't get that compact car across the finish line with his teeth. I feel for them both. I really mean that.

Bruce Payne doesn't show up-- except for like 2 minutes of flashback things-- until about the 40 minute mark. He's straight up awesome. Way better than he was in the other two films I've reviewed on the DTVC with him in them (Sweepers and Dungeons and Dragons 2). He's rocking this leather duster and matching leather pants. His wit and smoothness as he dispatches the girl's friends is so entertaining. The only thing he did as a bad guy that I couldn't get behind was killing the hot Tarot card chick, but we'll get to that later. Bruce Payne is the only real redeeming part of this film.

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I would be remiss if I went any further without mentioning Bruce's Angels, a site dedicated to all things Bruce. (You'll see a link in the section titled "Other Great Sites".) They took umbrage with the statement I made in the Sweepers post that Bruce is always a baddie. In the interests of fairness, I will review some of Payne's films where puts the evil away to play an okay dude-- but not anytime soon. Thanks to their wonderful site, I came across an amazing gem where Bruce sports a mullet, that also stars Brian Bosworth and MC Hammer. That'll be the next Payne film I do, and in that one he's, you guessed it, the bad guy.

As I said, Payne was the only real redeemable piece of the film, but it had one other bright spot: the hot Tarot card girl. She sported the same deck I have. Now I'm sure you're asking: "Dude, really? You read Tarot? C'mon." I picked it up more to fool around with, and I usually give my friends joke readings at parties. That doesn't mean that I didn't think it was hot that this woman was using my deck to try and divine some info on B Piddy. I was so disappointed when Payne killed her off, that I almost rooted for the kids. Her place in the film also left a hole in the story's continuity. There was a character that wanted the main heroine, but couldn't have her because she was in love with another man. Why he didn't just go for the equally hot Tarot woman made no sense, considering she was single. The hole comes because, if he had gone for her, Payne's whole approach in getting the heroine's friends would've been useless.

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Before I wrap up, I must make a quick note. I had this TiVoed from when it aired on Sci-Fi, and my friends actually watched that version. It is drastically cut from the one I got on Netflix. This is the danger with watching movies on TV, especially a channel like Sci-Fi that wants to fit as many commercials in as possible. I'm not sure how different the blog would've been had I watched the one I had TiVoed (I accidentally let erase after two weeks), but I'm glad I was able to get the whole picture anyway.

Bruce Payne is the only reason to watch this. That means the best bet is rent it, then fast forward about 40 minutes, and then enjoy the film. Either that, or you could get some other work done in that time. Maybe try a Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meal; pull out the Stairmaster and get that cardio in you keep telling everyone you're going to start doing; or you could even fill the Payne void by checking out Bruce's Angels. The movie is entertaining once Payne shows up. If you can get a cheap rental out of it, it's worth it for the 45 to 50 minutes of Payne-age you actually get.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157171/

9 comments:

  1. Matt, you are awesome! Thanks for the uberkool review of Bruce in Warlock III and for the nice comments about us. We like you too 'cause you're a funny guy, you write entertaining reviews and you like Bruce.

    Ariel for Bruce's Angels

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  2. Sorry, I just couldn't get past this line:

    "He knows the girl is descended from a race of good witches that, when their blood is spilled, can raise the big fella downstairs."

    Sounds like the description of a Bruce Payne Porno. ;)

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  3. Maat, Warlock 111 was a bloody terrible film. The first Warlock was the best. Did you ever see "Passenger 87" with Bruce Payne (as the baddie) and Wesley Snipes as the cop. Not a bad "B" grade film. Worth having a look at.

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  4. Did I say "Passenger 87". Yep I did.
    I meant "Passenger 57".

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  5. It's funny because I saw "87", and didn't think anything of it. For me, the fact that none of Snipes' DTV work has really compared with greats like "57" and "Blade" (at least none that I've seen), has been a real disappointment.

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  6. Going through your archive today Matt (it's a long boring lunch hour today). This was one of the few movies that I rented back in the day and had to stop. I think I made it 20 minutes in and couldn't take any more.

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  7. Wow, only 20 and that was it, even with the very attractive Ashley Laurence? And I'm glad you had a boring day at work, because your comment here showed me that the link in my archive page was no good, which I wouldn't have discovered, so thanks for that.

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  8. Yeah I'm basically going through and compiling a wish-list on Amazon of good action I need to get and review myself using your site as a partial list. Don't know when I can afford to pull the trigger but I'll keep the cart alive anyway.

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  9. Nice, I'm curious to see what you'll think of them.

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