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, August 13, 2008

Jill Rips aka Jill the Ripper aka Tied Up (2000)


I first tried to see this when my buddy TiVoed it on a Cinemax channel he was getting during a free preview. We'd hang out, go for some beers, come back, and a group of us would start it, only to succumb to the effects of the alcohol. Eventually it was erased, and the movie faded off as we watched other great Dolph Lundgren flicks. But it was at the local video store, so I decided to screen it for last year's Dolph Fest, giving it the viewing it deserved.

Despite what the box says, Jill the Ripper (my copy has that title) does not have Dolph as a cop named Murray Wilson from San Francisco, but rather a cop from Boston named Matt Sorenson. His brother's been murdered, and it's been set-up to look like a dominatrix did it. But something doesn't fit, and Dolph smells a rat, involving Boston organized crime and the building of a tunnel. As he digs and immerses himself in Boston's seedy underbelly, he goes toe-to-toe with some of Beantown's most depraved citizens. Will he solve the case before the undertow swallows him in?


When looking this up on imdb, I noticed a user comment titled "SURPRISINGLY TOLERABLE". That probably sums this up perfectly. It's not great, by any stretch, but it's not that bad either. We had plenty to make fun of in it, and when it was all over, we all felt like we enjoyed ourselves. I'm sure part of that was the Dolph factor, and part of that was the Boston factor; but the movie itself was just bad enough without being too atrocious to make unbearable.

This was an interesting Dolph. He was still kicking ass in bars and whatnot, so you had that, but he was also going around like Spencer for Hire trying to make it happen and solve his brother's case, and then there was the whole dominatrix thing. Dolph tied up and hanging upside down was hilarious. As you may remember if you read my post on Jean Claude Van Damme's The Shepherd, the Muscles from Brussels found himself in a similar predicament. Unlike Van Damme, who seemed, at least to me, to look like Robert Downey jr. upside down, Dolph just looks like a sillier Dolph. You can see for yourself.


I'm not going to make fun of or judge what people find sexually arousing: if tying each other up and beating each other makes a couple happy, that's cool with me. That being said, I had a big problem finding the dominatrix chick hot. Tight red leather outfit? Yes please. Red leather Mexican wrestler mask? Really, you're gonna wear that? I'm not sure what that's supposed to do for me. Is that bad? The S&M stuff is okay, but the Mexican wrestler mask is where I draw the line. Who's the weirdo here, me or them?

Though the movie's shot in Montreal, it takes place in Boston. Boston always holds a special place in my heart because it's the biggest city near where I grew up. One thing I appreciated was Dolph not attempting the Boston accent. You don't know how grating it is to hear that butchered. I don't want to say it worked as much as Harvey Keitel playing Judas with a Brooklyn accent, or Sean Connery playing a Spaniard or Russian with a Scottish one, but a Swedish Bostonian wasn't too bad.


There's this one character who's like a mysterious bad guy that I guess holds some clues to solve the crime or whatever, and as far as the movie tells us, his name is Joe Kajavia. There is definitely a hard "K" sound in there somewhere. We wanted to find out how it was spelled, so we looked for it in the credits. Lo and behold, it's a "J". Joe Jujavia. I just don't get it. It makes zero sense. Joe Kajavia is spelled with a "J". On the other hand, however it's spelled, it's a hilarious name for a bad guy.

This isn't the best Dolph film, but it's far far from his worst. If you've seen all the other greats, and haven't seen this yet, give it a shot. Don't watch it alone, though. This is definitely a get the gang together and make fun of it. I'll be honest, my review might not have been as good had I seen it alone, and I wonder now if some of the other movies I killed could've benefited from a group screening. Let's not open that can of worms.

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