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, November 19, 2008

Beer for My Horses (2008)


Last weekend I'm at a buddy's watching the Couture/Lesnar fight, when I get a text. "Would Keith Toby's 'Beer for my Horses' qualify for DTV Connoisseur review? It is pretty bad." I was fairly hammered at the time, so much so that I didn't notice that my friend had switched the Keith and Toby in Toby Keith's name. When I got back to Portland the next day, after a quick nap and five double cheeseburgers from McDonald's, we tackled it.

Beer for My Horses has Toby Keith as a sheriff's deputy in a small Oklahoma town. The chick from Mallrats comes back to town, and I guess she and Keith had a thing way back that they want to rekindle. Unfortunately Keith has pissed off some Mexican meth manufacturers trying to steal fertilizer in his town, and they've kidnapped her. Now he has to go to Mexico with his buddies, Rodney Carrington and Ted Nugent, and get her back.


I don't want to sound elitist, but I got the sense this bad boy isn't meant for anyone who places a high priority on what they call Book Learnin'. Dick and fart jokes abound. And I don't mean Stepbrothers style dick and fart jokes, where you find yourself crying as Will Ferrell says he's gonna tea bag a drum set; I mean six years old, the family dog farts, and you and your friends can't stop laughing, and the adults in the room are laughing because you guys find it so funny. As an adult, farting dogs can only take me so far.

I talked to a friend of mine who likes country, and she told me Toby Keith does a lot of funny songs. I didn't know that, because I'd only heard the America will put a boot in your ass song. It makes sense, though, because this film tries a lot to be funny. But it's kind of not a comedy. It's like a bad action film slash slapstick comedy that equals ten kinds of identity crisis. My favorite scenes were the attempts at back story and plot development, because they came across as stiff readings of somehow pertinent information, as opposed to actors performing in a movie. In one of these scenes, we actually see Keith mouth another actors lines, I'm assuming so he doesn't miss his cue. Sweet. Even better, the Mexicans were really uncomfortable stereotypes, and the impression was that had it not been for these dark skinned outsiders, their happy little Oklahoma town would've stayed happy. And they referred to Mexico like it was Las Vegas, as opposed to a big country. "You're gonna wear that to Mexico?"


This movie had tons of guest stars, and I wonder how many of them knew what they were doing. Empty Nest's Park Overall: probably did. Tom Skerritt: I have to hope he didn't. Willie Nelson: maybe too baked to care? Ted Nugent: looking for new beef jerky markets. The Chick From Mallrats: guess she didn't get the bump she expected from Meet Joe Black. And if I can say anything positive about this film (and I can say a few things, not just this), it's that it is actually better than Meet Joe Black.

I spent some time doing graduate studies in political science, and one of the things I learned about was international relations theory. I say this because I must defend Mr. Keith's America boot in the ass song. People wrote it off as patriotic to a goofy level, but I disagree. Mr. Keith was simply stating through his song that with the fall of the Soviet Union, we now lived in a unipolar world, and as such, we, The USA, needed to adopt a unilateral foreign policy. He felt the multilateral policies of Bush 41 and Clinton were outdated. I'm not saying I agree with him, I'm just saying we need to give him more credit in his knowledge of foreign policy affairs than we have been.


Then there's Rodney Carrington. I'd never heard of him before this movie, and probably would've never heard of him after, had it not been for a clip of a certain song of his played in one scene. The song is titled "Show 'Em To Me", and it's about his want of women to show him their boobs. In the movie, all we heard was show them to me... show them to me... unclasp your bra and set those puppies free... my friend and I looked at each other, not believing what we were hearing, but knowing it couldn't be anything else. We looked it up on YouTube, and the video we saw was of one of his concerts, where when he performed the song, tons of women in the crowd bared their chests. This thirty second bit of the movie was one of the highlights for me, proving, I guess, that though I've outgrown dick and fart jokes, the occasional boob one still gets me.

This movie's pretty hardcore. You may see it on CMT, and if you do, I imagine it'd be heavily edited with all the bad language in it. I must say, a big group might have fun making fun of it. Also, if you're a country music fan, you may get a kick out of it. I'm not too familiar with that genre, so that aspect didn't do anything for me. I think if Toby Keith or any of his cohorts read this, they'll write me off as just not having got it, and consider my criticisms invalid. I wish I could say I didn't get it, but unfortunately, that just isn't the case: I got it, and it ain't that good. Also, I labeled this direct to video, when it was actually in the theater, made $660,000 over 91 screens, and is still floating around out there. Definitely avoid this on the big screen, unless the place you go to lets you heckle it.

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  1. One of the worst films i ever watched. Unfunny, unbearable.

  2. Sounds like it put a boot in the ass of your sensibilities.