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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Announcement

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.

--Matt

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Am Omega (2007)

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After The Da Vinci Treasure was such a success, The Asylum was given new life and it's shot at potential DTVC Hall of Fame-dom was back on the tracks. For the next film of theirs I decided to play it safe again and rent I Am Omega, which stars another potential Hall of Famer in Iron Chef America's Mark Dacascos. I also thought it would be interesting to review a Dacascos film the same week I did a Brandon Lee one, because we know Dacascos played Lee's Crow character on the syndicated TV series, and is kind of looked at as in the same mold of actor.

I Am Omega is The Asylum's attempt to make a little money on the highly successful (because it had Will Smith) I Am Legend. In this take on the novel, Dacascos plays a dude living outside of a city that I think is LA, in a fortified house that has tons of electricity, despite the fact that most of the human population has fallen victim to a virus that turns them into zombies. Anyway, he plans on bombing the city to kill a huge nest of them, but before he does, some military dudes from a small group of uninfected humans living in a settlement called Antioch come to ask for his help. They want him to get a girl out of the city who has the cure to the virus in her blood. Madness ensues as the Dacasc-inator kills some zombies.

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This was all right. It had its moments. It was kind of weird for the first half or so, because all we got was Dacascos and the occasional zombie killings. We don't really know anything about him or his past, or why he has any of the abilities or knowledge that he does. All the time he's going around doing banal tasks like getting gas or eating, we could be learning these things. One thing that really irked me was at the end, when the bad guy shoots Dacascos in the legs and arm to disable him so he can take the girl; and without medical assistance, and in a very short amount of time, Dacascos is able to use these limbs with no difficulty. It made no sense, especially when no one had to shoot him. The baddie could've just hit him from behind, knocked him out, and left him for the zombies, and Dacascos could've escaped, then recovered believably in time for the final confrontation. I know I'm supposed to suspend belief for the most part, but that was just ridiculous.

I loved Dacascos here. My one issue, of course, was that he didn't use much of his martial arts. He really isn't the quintessential zombie killer, but probably better suited for fighting vampires a la Wesley Snipes. Just the same, I'm really beginning to like his stuff, and am looking forward to reviewing his next picture in my Netflix queue, Scorcher, starring DTVC Hall of Famer Rutger Hauer.

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The Asylum is a different story. This was pretty good for another of their rip-offs, but it also had its quintessential Asylum moments. Probably worst was when the baddie had the girl lying on the ground, and he put his dead friend's head in between her legs. Weird. And I'm not sure in a good or a bad way, but definitely in an Asylum way. I'm still afraid of trying another one of their films without a big name in it, and I think I may play it safe again and try Alien vs. Hunter with William Katt for my next one.

When I looked up adaptations of the novel I Am Legend on Wikipedia, this one wasn't mentioned. According to imdb, the film does give credit to Richard Matheson, so The Asylum does at least consider this "mockbuster" a legitimate adaptation. I was wondering, because in watching it it seemed close enough to the novel to warrant the need to get the rights to avoid copyright infringement, and that just doesn't seem like something The Asylum would do. Now, looking at imdb, Fox has tried to go after them for The Day The Earth Stopped, but nothing came of that. Maybe the net's closing in.

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Another thing I learned when I looked up I Am Legend on Wikipedia was how much it influenced the modern vampire and zombie genres. I guess I just never cared that much. I was always more concerned with how Die Hard and Yojimbo and Raiders of the Lost Ark influenced the action genre. That was an error on my part. Reading that article on Wikipedia was pretty cool, and, if anything, made watching this Asylum picture a positive experience.

I don't know where to go here. It's good to make fun of, but has large parts of inactivity. Dacascos is good, but The Asylum is still The Asylum, and not always in a good way. If you're a huge fan of the novel and other movies, I'd watch this just to see what it's all about.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1075746/

3 comments:

  1. did he bite into a pepper at all?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The city is actually Oxnard where this film is based, not LA. Good review though :)

    ReplyDelete