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.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Maximum Potential (1987)


I know it's been a while since I've done a Dolph film. I feel really bad about that. I had been trying to do one every 8 posts or so, but it's been 24 since I reviewed Jill the Ripper, meaning I dropped the ball. After this, I'll only have four of his DTV movies left (Storm Catcher, Cover Up, Hidden Agenda, and Direct Action), and then we'll just be waiting for him to release more while I do all C. Thomas Howell films. (Just kidding...)

Maximum Potential is a workout video featuring Dolph Lundgren. I could tell you what the workout entails, but really it's all about showing off Dolph's body in all its Dolph-ness. Just how big a Dolph Lundgren fan are you? You'll know after you've seen this.


We aired this at the recent Dolph Fest here in Maine, and it was a huge hit. It doesn't work if you're watching it alone, but in a large group, there's plenty to giggle at. Dolph's narration is hilarious. His running is even better. And then there's the gratuitous butt, ab, and pec shots. This is the perfect answer for guys who have women that can't stand all the T-an'-A in their bad action movies. An all around great time.

This is, of course, way outside the box from any other Dolph Lundgren film I've ever covered or ever will cover. One thing I found really interesting when watching him play himself, is that he's not really that different when he acts as someone else. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Dolph's never been presented to us as the next Brando: he's just pure beefcake with a too sweet accent. Let Daniel Day Lewis hand-select his roles. I want the same Dolph in the same two-word-titled actioner.


In terms of work films, I must admit I haven't much in the way of experience in reviewing them. I've never seen Buns of Steel or Sweatin' to the Oldies or even Eric Nies' The Grind Workout Video. My exercise is the mile or so I walk to work and back each day, or the mile I walk to the grocery store, etc. I've lost a lot of weight doing that (60 lbs. since July of 2007), but I'm not very cut, so maybe the workout tape is the next stage in my fitness progression. Maybe I'll try yoga instead. I just don't know.


One of the best parts about watching something like this is seeing what names show up in the credits that you recognize before they were stars. Usually it's someone rather innocuous, but in this one we struck gold: production assistant Quentin Tarantino. According to imdb his job was cleaning dog feces off the lawn. The question is who's had the better career since? Pulp Fiction might be enough to trump Dolph's vast arsenal of great work, but I can honestly say anything after that, from Kill Bill to Jackie Brown isn't as good as Showdown in Little Tokyo or Bridge of Dragons. I'd say Reservoir of Dogs and those two Dolph flicks are a toss-up.

This cost me approximately $20 used online at Amazon. Yep, pretty pricey. Five years ago you couldn't find it for less than $40, so now I feel like I'm getting a bargain. I must stress that this an investment only the biggest Dolph fans should make, but if you're in that biggest category, you and your friends will love this bad boy.

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