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.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No Contest (1994)


I first got wind of this movie when I was looking up Rowdy Roddy Piper films on imdb. My friends and I are huge fans of his, and after Dead Tides, we were hungry for more. It wasn't an easy film to find, though, and I had to wait until I got Netflix to see it. Then it was pushed down on my queue, and when it finally made it to the top, it sat on the TV for a while before I finally watched it.

No Contest has Shannon Tweed as a martial arts film queen hosting a beauty pageant that is taken hostage by Andrew Dice Clay and his baddies, one of which is Rowdy Roddy Piper, and another of which is the guy from that Da Vinci's Inquest show. Anyway, Robert Davi was hired to protect Miss America in the pageant, and he helps Tweed make her way through the bad guys to try and save the girls.


This was what it was. I hate using that term, is what it is, but it's the only way to describe this picture. Bad Die Hard rip-off that might have been cooler with The Dice Man and Piper, but just wasn't. There were some nice explosions, but they weren't that nice. There was some weird thing going on where The Dice Man had the girls wear explosive wrist bands that would detonate if they were too far from something, and then the Da Vinci guy had one triggered to his heart that would go off if The Dice Man tried to kill him, but The Dice Man's computer nerd just reprogrammed it with some random keystrokes and it was set to his heart beat instead. Weird stupid stiff like that that just didn't do it for me.

Piper was a supporting character, so obviously he wasn't in it as much as one would've liked. Also, he was a baddie, so we knew he'd get the crap beaten out of him eventually. This wasn't the awesome baddies he's played on Highlander: The Series or Terminal Rush with Don "The Dragon" Wilson; this was a one-note baddie with no character whatsoever. His death scene was kind of cool, and he had a good fight scene with Shannon Tweed, but overall he was wasted here for my money. At the very least he could've put Tweed in a sleeper hold to give us fans of his something to get excited about.


The Dice Man. Credited here as "Andrew Clay". Really? You're gonna try the Rick Schroder approach to respectability? You're The Dice Man, damn it. "Jack and Jill go up the hill, both with a bucket of quarters...". He had some great Dice Man moments, though. His disguises were great. When he first gets on stage to take the contestants hostage, he talks about his handsome blue suit, which was pretty funny. He also had a great CGI death scene, where he fell into a green screen. It was like killing off a local weather man. Overall, considering he didn't have much to work with with this movie, he did a decent job. He just needs to cut it out with that "Andrew Clay" crap.

This is the third film I've done with Shannon Tweed in it, the other two being Of Unknown Origin with Peter Weller and Cannibal Women of the Avocado Jungle. This one was well after those two. I think if I was going to pick my favorite, it would be Cannibal Women, because Shannon Tweed seems to do funny really well. I think she wanted desperately to do it in this movie. The movie probably wasn't doing much for her, considering how crummy it was, and I think she wanted to sit with the audience and make fun of it too. As a fan of DTV films, she pops up quite a bit, so I'm surprised this is only the third film I've done of hers. I imagine this won't be the last, though.


Miss America was played by a Canadian woman named Polly Shannon. I bring it up, because she was also in Direct Action with Dolph Lundgren. At first I thought it weird that she'd play a high school girl in this movie, and then a rookie cop in the Lundgren flick, but then I realized the films were shot ten years apart. Sometimes I see so many of this things they exist in their own time: cops and action heroes and women all wearing roughly the same outfits, speaking the same lines; it's only the cell phone technology that changes... how I long for the days of the Zack Morris phone...

Skip this. No buts, just skip it. It's nothing special. Piper's not in it much, and his character's not that fun; The Dice Man and Shannon Tweed don't have much to work with; and there are plenty of better Die Hard rip-offs out there. I had a feeling this was going to be lame, I just needed to make sure for the Piper factor.

For more info:


  1. Gotta love the
    "Andrew Dice Clay-Fu" during the climax with Tweed!

  2. Yes, and those great Dice-Man disguises. This movie was such a missed opportunity.

  3. saw a vhs at the thrift store titled act of evil. the last line on the backcover "it's die hard in an art gallery" sealed the deal for me. turns out it's no contest ii even though they didn't mention no contest 1 at all.

    so now i inadvertently owns the no contest series on vhs.

  4. Nice. I've still been meaning to hit the sequel. I know it has Lance Henriksen. We'll see what happens.