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, January 8, 2009

Direct Action (2004)


I first saw this film after some friends and I went to a video store looking for The Punisher. We got The Punisher Bait and Switch, where the people at the store told us over the phone they had the Dolph version, but when we got there, they only had the Travolta. We rented this and Army of One as a consolation. I fell asleep before it was over.

Direct Action has Dolph as Frank Gannon, a detective with a large clothing budget on an elite police squad that's gone very corrupt. He plans on testifying against his fellow officers, but before he can, they try to kill him. Now he's been framed for killing some of them, and has so many hours to clear his name and get evidence against them before he's scheduled in court.


Man, I don't know. It's good because it's Dolph, but otherwise it ain't. Maybe the best part was the DVD menu, where we get a montage of clips of Dolph beating people up in the movie. They show us the best parts. The plot was thin, and we knew who was going to double-cross whom at what times. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, because sometimes it isn't, but I think it was here. Also, there weren't that many explosions, which for me was a disappointment, because there was plenty of machine gun fire that was hitting vehicles. I know cars aren't as volatile as movies would have us believe, but I don't want film makers to get the wrong idea and start trying to get all realistic on my ass. Blow them cars up!

Dolph was Dolph here, but I'm not sure what that means. This movie was fun with him, but he's done way more entertaining work. If one were having a Dolph Fest, this one, if it's included at all, should come late at night when everyone's either wasted or not paying attention, because that way you just get the good parts of him kicking people's asses. He still does that well, no matter how boring the rest of the movie is.


This is directed by Sydney J. Furie, who also directed Dolph in Detention. I liked Detention way more, mostly because it was sillier. I didn't know he also directed Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, perhaps one of the finest superhero movies ever. Maybe Dolph and Furie should get together and do another superhero pic, like Moon Knight. I think Dolph would make an awesome Moon Knight. I wish the two of them had contacted me before they made this sack of asscrack, because the last thing we needed was another lousy cop drama, while a Moon Knight movie with Dolph in the title role would have made for an inspired picture.

This might have been the trendiest Dolph has looked in a movie ever. $200 jeans, $45 T-shirt, $100 hair cut (before tipping the shampoo lady, of course). I'm not sure how well it worked. I know in real life Dolph probably wears that kind of thing, but his cop is supposed to be some kind of no nonsense dude who gets shit done. He seems more like the go to the same local barbershop for fifteen years than $100 salon styling type. It also hurt to watch his clothes get destroyed knowing they could've been worn by someone less fortunate, and made that person look nicer.


There's a dude named Alex Karzis in this that you may recognize from Detention. He plays the Euro Trash baddie in that one, and in this one he plays a CIA agent. I'm not sure why he didn't just play the Euro Trash baddie again. Maybe the Euro Trash baddie as a CIA agent. Or maybe the Euro Trash baddie as the main villain in the Moon Knight movie. I'm so mad now that they didn't make that movie.

If you're a Dolph fan, rent this just to see it, but otherwise skip it. If you're a new Dolph fan, still making your way through his filmography, make this one of the last you see: he has so many better ones out there. I think if this film tells us anything, it's if a film maker is given the choice between another crummy cop drama and a Moon Knight film, they should always go for the Moon Knight film, but they probably never will.

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  1. Dude, I've seen this movie last night on cable and, I gotta say, it's garbage, but nice garbage. This movie was probably made with 500 dollars, it looks cheapier than something made on the Philipines, but after a while you see a nice bunch of Dolph kicking and shooting people up and it's alright. They do have few explosions, but a nice amount of people getting shot, so it made things watchable.

    By the way, I read that Furie directed a Michael Caine movie in the sixties that I read some good things about it.

  2. Thought this wasn't too bad. Dolph was doing what he does best: shooting and punching people to death.

    Wished it didn't have such junky production value.

  3. Yeah, I agree with both of you guys on this one. It had its moments, but not the best.