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, October 8, 2008

The Da Vinci Treasure (2006)


The Asylum production company has a reputation of putting out DTV films with names similar to more popular mainstream movies-- Snakes on a Train and Transmorphers are two examples. We here at the DTVC have reviewed three of these so far: the two listed above, and When a Killer Calls. Of the three, only Transmorphers was even passable, and The Asylum was on it's last legs on our site before we were going to pull the plug and stop reviewing their stuff all together. Let's see how they did with their last chance.

The Da Vinci Treasure is more a knock off of National Treasure than The Da Vinci Code. It has C. Thomas Howell as an anthropologist that's an accomplished cat burglar and martial artist. He's in search of a treasure hidden by Leonardo da Vinci. Also in pursuit is the evil archaeologist played by Lance Henrikson, and he'll stop at nothing to get it. Twists and turns abound as Howell and his sexy partner travel the green-screened globe.


The verdict: I actually liked this. When people watch crap like Pirates of the Caribbean 18: Why Johnny Depp Will Never Win an Oscar Making Shite Like This or National Treasure 14: Nicolas Cage is Just in it for the Paycheck Now, and they tell me these are "fun movies", I know they're just too stupid to realize how wrong they are. The Da Vinci Treasure is the "fun movie". It wasn't pretentious, it wasn't too long, and it was plenty silly. Archaeologists with henchmen that shoot priests in cold blood and steal The Shroud of Turin is just amazing. Nicolas Cage isn't. You and your buddies will have a great time making fun of this, and at 85 minutes, you won't have time to get bored.

The Asylum came through on this one. When I tell my friends I'm watching one of their movies, the silly titles evoke images of films like this. Unfortunately we instead have gotten sacks-of-asscrack like When a Killer Calls and Snakes on a Train. This movie played out almost like a spoof of National Treasure, as opposed to a misguided tribute. It just worked, and now The Asylum is back at .500. We'll see how their next offering does.


C. Thomas Howell is great in this too. A lot of people don't like him, and he's probably a ways, if he ever gets there, to an induction in the DTVC Hall of Fame. He seemed to get a kick out of playing in this, yet he didn't act like it was all a big joke, which is better for us as viewers to make fun of it. This is what we want out of Howell, and if we get it more, I may be able to make some more converts. He's done a lot of work recently, so I have a huge selection to choose from.

You may have noticed in my brief bio at the bottom of the page that I have a degree in anthropology. Contrary to what the film industry will tell you, a BA in anth is not a ticket to the good life. Neither is a PhD. Most anthropology professors aren't trendy dressers, good in a fight, or affluent. If they are, they do a great Clark Kent routine on campus. I wouldn't bring it up, except I know some people out there actually think on some levels some of this is true. When I was going for my BA, I had many assume a professor makes a solid six-figure salary, in the range of $300,000 a year. Let's put that to bed right now: no anth professor is worried about Obama's tax policies.


Another thing we have to get straight in these treasure hunting movies is the cost of clothing. In National Treasure, Nicolas Cage and his two buddies were able to score three complete outfits at Urban Outfitters for two hundred dollars. Impossible. Cage's coat he bought would've been over 200 alone. In this film, Henrikson's female crony is wearing what looks to be a $50 TJ Maxx deal, and Henrikson warns her not to get anything on what he termed "$2000 Versace" threads. Really? First off, we already established no anthropologist is wearing Versace; and second, just because you say it's Versace, doesn't mean it is.

This is what you want if you're a bad movie honk. You can make fun of it very easily, and you'll enjoy yourself as you do it. When we think of The Asylum's movie titles, this is what we want, and at least in this case, this is what we got. Keep it up Asylum.

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1 comment:

  1. Pirates 4 is slated to come out in 2009 or 2011. Word is it's gonna be a Depp-fest and it's no doubt because they probably can't afford any more actors after forking over $56k for him.