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

Inferno aka Operation Cobra (1997)


Back in June I did a post for American Kickboxer 2, which starred an amazing actor named Evan Lurie. My goal was to get more of his films on the site, but things happen, and it's taken me over six months to get another done. This one stars DTVC Hall of Famer Don "The Dragon" Wilson as well, which made it a more intriguing pick.

Operation Cobra has Donny as a cop whose partner, played by Rick Hill, is killed in an explosion set by Lurie, a bad guy drug dealer. Donny chases him to India, where he's working on some computer program. Turns out there's some other bad guy named Grayson, and Donny can't figure out how he and Lurie are linked. Then it turns out his partner didn't die after all, but is actually Lurie's boss, or something or other. Either way, D "The D" Dubs is kicking ass and taking names.


Loved this. 82 minutes of pure action movie fun. I was over two-thirds of the way through it before I checked to see how much was left, which is a good sign. Usually I'm twelve minutes in when I do that! (It's called ADD!). The action was great, Wilson, Hill, and Lurie were all awesome, and the martial arts scenes were very solid. Sure, it was silly as all hell, but it was never pretentious, never tried to take itself too seriously, and it knew its audience and what its audience wanted. Can you ask for anything more?

A definite hit for Wilson. He's better when he doesn't have to act too much and can let his martial arts skills do the talking. They spoke loud and clear here. He kept fighting these Indian ninjas or whatever, and they'd pop up all over the place. One time they saved him from having to dance, which we saw him do in Redemption. Two great fight scenes with Lurie, but probably would've liked to see more. Either way, a great Wilson flick.


I can't believe it's taken me so long to get more Lurie up here. He is just so amazing. His smooth voice juxtaposed with his vicious martial arts skills are a perfect combination. He's so cool I don't even mind that he has a ponytail, which is a huge thing for me. He isn't killed by Wilson, but instead is bitten by a snake. While I was getting the image of that, the BSPlayer I use for some reason was playing the film with the director's commentary audio track on. Anyway, the director was talking about how the snake actually bit Lurie in that scene, and after he mentioned it, I could see it. Watch for that when you get that far, it's pretty sweet.

Rick Hill is the bad guy here. He's been in two other films I've reviewed: Class of 1999 II: The Substitute and Dune Warriors. He's one of those guys that's been in quite a bit, and he tends to focus more on post-apocalyptic sci-fi actioners and Conan the Barbarian rip-offs. I don't blame him, those are fun. Unfortunately not many of his movies are on DVD, making him slightly more inaccessible than some actors that don't do as many good movies. I'm going to see how I can mitigate that, because I grew up with a lot of his pictures, and they're a big part of why I'm doing this.


There's one scene I have to mention that was hilarious. Don, lying in his bed, has a snake crawl under the covers with him. It's so hilarious. I don't want to give too much away, but it's the kind of thing someone should post on YouTube. From what I can tell, The Dragon does more of these silly scenes than anyone else in the DTVC Hall of Fame. Of course Dolph has his share too.

You gotta get this. It's on Netflix, so it's an easy grab if you have that. This is what bad action's all about. Donny doesn't disappoint, and the star power of Lurie and Rick Hill is well exploited. If fun is what you're after, there's no shortage of it here.

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