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

Pistol Whipped (2008)


I first found out about this film when I saw it on the side of one of those red things that dispenses movies at the grocery store. I actually didn't rent it there, but made a mental note of it and got it from Netflix. I've never actually used the red thing, and I've never met anyone who has. Is it a good deal? How does it work?

Pistol Whipped has Seagal as Matt (just Matt), and ex special forces cop whose life has gone downhill after he was relieved of duty following an incident on the job. In debt due to a lot of bad gambling debts, Lance Henriksen hires him to do some super secret hits on some bad dudes. Things get hairy when one of those bad dudes is the husband of his ex-wife, and step-father to his daughter.


I must say, this was a pretty good deal. Had this come out fifteen years ago, it would've been considered a solid Seagal effort as a mainstream theatrical release. It's right up there with some of his better ones. The end battle in the cemetery was amazing. I've watched so many bad, overpriced sacks-of-asscrack in the theater that just don't know how to have a great denouement. To find it in a 2008 Steven Seagal DTV actioner shows not only how far the DTV genre has come, but that it's getting harder and harder for us action movie honks to get that same satisfaction in the theater anymore. It's a shame.

Other than Out for a Kill, where Seagal decapitates a man by throwing a samurai sword at him from a second story window, this is Seagal's best DTV film, in my opinion. His fighting and one-liners were top notch. In one scene, while bedding soap opera actress Rene Goldsberry, he tells her "any stupid motherfucka can fry an egg", or something like that. When she tells him that in order to get ahead in the corporate world, she needed to grow a dick, he replied "I find you a lot less attractive if you grew a dick, especially if it was bigger than mine." After the cemetery scene, when he's killed the head baddie, he asks him before he croaks if he wants to be buried or cremated. The guy says cremated, and when he closes his eyes, Seagal lifts him up, throws him through the window of a nearby hearse, then shoots it till it blows up, and says "You've been cremated." God, this is exactly the reason why I have Netflix hit my bank account for $17 a month.


Lance Henriksen plays kind of a bad guy. He's the one hiring Seagal, but he's got him by the balls. I've never been sure on how I feel about him. He just seems like a cat you get when you can't afford a guy like Donald Sutherland. What would be nice, especially in a role like the one he played in this film, is if directors go outside the box, and instead of taking an obvious choice with Henriksen, try a Peter Weller, or Gary Busey. I think we all expect the Lance Henriksen, and we're bored by it-- at least I am.

According to imdb, Matt Salinger is in this as the card dealer at the beginning of the movie. The same Matt Salinger who played Captain America in Albert Pyun's film, and the one that's the son of JD Salinger. I totally missed that, and without the film in front of me, I can't go back and check. I'm usually so good at that sort of thing, and I thought about lying and just saying I saw him in the movie, but who would I really help by doing that?


I thought Seagal's love interest looked familiar, and when I looked her up, I found out why: she's on the soap opera One Life to Live. My mom used to watch that when I was 5 or 6, but she wasn't on it then. I remembered her because I was flipping through the channels one afternoon, and saw her in a scene where she was being burned at the stake in a cheerleader's uniform. Because it was a soap opera, I only saw it for a second before it went to commercial, and then I found myself engrossed in a cooking show and forgot to turn back before General Hospital was on; but I thought, what an interesting concept. You could make an entire teen horror flick based around that. It makes me wonder how many other things I've seen that I thought were created organically, that were probably just ripped off from soap operas I've never seen.

This is so worth it. Don't hesitate to pull the trigger. It's what you're looking for when you go to the video store, it's the reason you have Netflix, and it's the reason you read this blog, so I can tell you about gems like this. Everyone's happy.

For more info:

1 comment:

  1. I agree that this is one of the best DTV Segal movies I have seen in a while. I get upset when Segal is on the cover and you see very little of him inn the movie. This looks like a real movie. Worth a look. I bought it at a pawn shop. It will get watched again.