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.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Gingerdead Man (2005)


This just seemed like a no-brainer: Gary Busey in a movie about a murderous gingerbread man. But I've read this book before, and I've been around the block enough to know a Busey bait-and-switch when I see it. I could only hope I was wrong.

The Gingerdead Man has Busey as a mass murderer who is convicted and sent to the gas chamber. His mom takes his ashes and puts them in a box marked "Gingerbread Spice", and sends to the bakery owned by the mom of the girl who testified and put Busey away for killing her dad and brother. The spices are put into the gingerbread batter, and voila, mass murdering gingerbread man.


I don't know what this sack-of-asscrack was. After Busey's one scene at the beginning, I kept hitting the display button on my remote to see how much time was left. My friends and I tried to make fun of it, but it was just too blah. The best parts of this were the one scene with Busey, the Busey outtakes, and the interview with him during the making of featurette. This just hurt too much otherwise.

And believe me, we went into it with an open mind looking for something silly. They just didn't pull silly off well. The jokes weren't funny, the idea of a murdering gingerbread man probably sounded better on paper, and the lack of Busey meant nothing to hold onto. Supposedly he's the voice of the Gingerdead Man, but it sounded so weird it didn't matter. When I want Busey's voice, I want him as the cop talking to Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing, or him taking on Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Here he sounded like the Leprechaun, which was just dumb.


On the other hand, Busey is so amazing that his few scenes and outtakes and whatnot were worth having this on my Netflix queue. I don't know how I'd feel if I spent $10 buying it, but with the small investment I did put down, I think I got my money's worth. My friends agreed. We just wanted more Busey, and we got so little. I'd give the movie an Abusive rating of 2, and the extras a 4. I'm sure Busey was attracted to this role because it allowed him limited screen time and some added voice work, making it easy money, but his fans out there need more. He was so good in that first scene, and the rest of the cast was so bad overall, that it just felt like a wasted opportunity.

Most of the other actors you'll probably recognize from commercials and bit parts in this or that movie. One of them seems to be more on the rise than the others, based on his imdb bio, and that's Jonathan Chase, who played Brick Fields. He's been in some TV shows, and also had a part in the Shia Labeouf crapfest Eagle Eye. There's two other credits he has that look particularly interesting. First, Another Gay Movie, with Scott Thompson, who I think is hilarious; and second, 7eventy 5ive, a horror movie which also has DTVC Hall of Famer Rutger Hauer. That's in my Netflix queue, and this film reminded me to not only bump it up, but also that I haven't reviewed a Hauer film in a while. Of course it's also listed as "Very Long Wait", so who knows if I'll get it...


An actress named Daniela Melgoza has a small role playing a Latin girl working at the bakery who's knocked out by the Gingerdead Man, stripped naked, decorated like a cake, and thrown in the freezer. Maybe not her best moment in her short acting career, but according to imdb, she did a film version of Richard III with David Carradine and Danny Trejo that was made in 2008 where the eponymous lead is a Mexican drug cartel leader. I'm curious to see it, but can't find a release date. I hope it's out on DVD sometime in 2009.

This movie sucks bad, but for the few seconds Busey's in it, he's good. I don't know what that does for you. What I do know is don't be fooled into thinking this is a fun goofy horror film, because it's not: it hurts, and at 70 minutes the hurting doesn't end quick enough. It's fun to watch Busey in things, but sometimes I wonder if it's not better to just watch Point Break again if I want my fix.

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  1. I agree about this movie being a disappointment. My biggest problem with it, though, was that it felt so small -- all of the scenes happened either in the bakery or right outside it. It was claustrophobic to watch.

  2. That's a really cool way of describing this movie: claustrophobic. I like that.