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.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cyborg (1989)


There's been a kind of back and forth between myself and my friend who runs the site Movies in the Attic (a link to which you can find in the section labeled Other Great Sites) as to whether or not this movie belongs on the Direct to Video Connoisseur. I always thought it was a bit too mainstream, and he thought I was being a little too restrictive in the movies I picked. As you can see, I've finally relented. I had actually planned on making this the 250th post, but I miscounted, and Toby Keith's Beer for My Horses ended up being that one. I am a moron.

Cyborg takes place in a post apocalyptic future where the world sucks, and the only one who likes it is Vincent Klyn. He runs a gang of baddies that capture a cyborg woman carrying vital information for the cure for a bad plague. The goal is to head down to Hot-lanta from New York and meet up with some scientists there. Van Damme meets the cyborg before Klyn's baddies get her, and he's talked into rescuing her after she's captured by some random woman he meets. Van Damme gets down to the A-T-L and deals with Klyn before they reach the heart of the city.


The moment I saw the opening credits again, I realized I'd made a mistake in not including this gem. It is DTV in all it's glory, it's just that rare DTV flick that made the big time. It's the Skip to My Lou of bad movies. (For those that don't get the reference, Skip to My Lou is Rafer Alston, a streetball legend who made the NBA, and currently starts for the Houston Rockets). I can't think of a better movie for post 251.

This is really good Jean-Claude Van Damme. I know a lot of people aren't big fans of his, and I think they look at his sillier work from the early to mid 90s as their reasoning. I can understand that, but his stuff from Bloodsport to Universal Soldier, is just so off the chain, that you've got to give him his props as a great action star. I mean, Cyborg was set up so well with Van Damme as the protagonist and Klyn as the baddie, that we not only wanted him to win, but we wanted him to dispatch as many dudes using awesome martial arts moves in the process. It just doesn't get any better.


For my money, this is Albert Pyun's best movie. He's made some other ones I dug, like Captain America and Kickboxer 4 and Omega Doom; and he's done some ones I couldn't stand, like Crazy Six. It's too bad he can't only do good ones, or great ones, like Cyborg, but I guess he thinks going in they're all going to be great, so I can't get on him too much. He deserves his spot in the DTVC Hall of Fame, there's no doubt about that.

Back off War Child, seriously. The only thing that detracted from Klyn being the perfect villain was the weird fake blue eyes they gave him. I don't know why they did that. Anyway, it was fine when he had his sunglasses on, so I can't complain too much. One small gripe for a movie with so little to gripe about isn't a bad deal. Klyn hasn't done anything since the Albert Pyun 2004 film Max Havok. Why? He should be in such high demand he has to turn down calls from Scorsese and Spielberg.


The Dirty South. Hot-lanta. The A-T-L. That's the city that was chosen by the writers to be the last bastion of civilization. I can't say I disagree with them, because as far as I can tell, Atlanta has a pretty decent airport. I've never actually been outside of it to see the city, but that's a minor technicality. Van Damme and his female companion actually walk from New York to the A-T-L. I looked it up on Mapquest, and even though Mapquest isn't entirely accurate, because it keeps one on the highway, and they'd be traveling almost as the crow flies, I still got a number of 883 miles between the two. I don't know exactly how many days it took, but it didn't seem like more than a few in the movie-- I'll say four-- so they were traversing about 220 miles a day. Subtract 8 hours for sleeping, and that means they were walking close to four minute miles.

If you haven't seen this, I'm not sure what's wrong with you, but are you sure you've found the right blog? If you have seen it, and it's been a while, give it another look for old time's sake. I did recently, and it felt great. I think I need a Van Damme Fest, with this, Lionheart, Kickboxer, and Bloodsport.

For more info:


  1. This is some very interesting news. A 'darker director's cut' of Cyborg has been found by Albert Pyun's composer. Apparently the cut was not to JCVD's liking and it has a whole new soundtrack to it, and is more noir than the action movie we actually got. Albert is cutting DVDs of the alternate cut for sale.

  2. Hey, thanks for the info. I saw something about it from his Pyun's Facebook page, but this makes it more clear. I can't wait to see what this is all about!