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.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)


We're just plugging along with the Howling series, trying to make it to part VI, which has the inimitable Bruce Payne. After this one, though, I'm getting worried. I don't know if I can make it to VI. I know, I only have one more, but if V is like IV, I may die on the inside, and no one wants that.

Howling IV is about an author having bad nightmares who goes up to a cabin in a small California town with her husband. Turns out, the town is just a bunch of werewolves. Even the doctor. He made it through med school despite his werewolf-ness. Anyway, she catches on, and she has to trap them in some church tower or something and set them on fire. Even if it's a fierce, murderous werewolf, that's still a pretty rough way to go.


Snooze-fest. Hard to deal with. Lots of nothing going on. It's supposed to be ramping up the suspense aspect, but because we already know the big surprise is werewolves, there's no mystery, hence the whole trying to keep us in suspense thing was annoying. Some of the werewolves looked cool, which actually wasn't a good thing, because it just pissed me off even more that they weren't featured better in the film.

The only one I recognized was the guy from The Pretender. He has a great voice, and he shows off his man-chest some, but do I really care? I tried watching The Pretender once, but it sucked ass hella. The premise sounded hot, but I think you really need great writers to pull something like that off, and they didn't have them. As an aside, he did a movie with Peter Coyote called Written in Blood that I saw on one of the Encore channels a while back, and I could've sworn I posted it when I first started the blog. Apparently I haven't. Weird how that stuff works.


The female lead had that late 80s hotness that kind of sneaks up on you, but when it gets you, it's there. Her hair was a little big, and her skirts and dresses were all cut at weird angles, but there was something about her... I'm not going to pull one of those "women just looked better back then" because they definitely look hot today too. It's more like I didn't know what to make of this woman at the beginning of the film, and by the end she was irresistible. She was one of the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster sack-of-asscrack.

The guy from The Pretender plays the woman's husband, and she also has her agent, who's a hunky Australian. This brings up a common fact of life regarding women in America: no matter how hot you are, you'll never be hotter than an Aussie to them. That goes for Scots, the Irish, the English, and anyone who speaks a romance language as a first language. How do you counter this fellas? Do what I do: learn to imitate accents. It worked like a charm one night when I was out with some friends, and the girls we were with were taken by these travelling British soccer players. My imitating the accent made it silly and less exotic. Unfortunately, that strategy didn't work for the guy from The Pretender, because he turned into a werewolf. That's part two of the advice fellas: don't become a werewolf.


This is the fourth werewolf film we've reviewed here, which is one fewer than snakes, two fewer than zombies, and three fewer than vampires. Considering three of the four werewolf films are Howlings, that means we don't do werewolves much at the DTVC. I think that has to do with the actors more than the films: the big-time hall of famers just prefer vampires and zombies to werewolves. I'm not sure I blame them. Werewolves are hairy, and vampires generally aren't.

Skip this. Let me suffer the inanity so you won't. I'm going to soldier through so I can make it to part six for my ladies at Payne's Angels. If you haven't you should check out their site. There's a link to it on my page here. It's a better use of your time than watching this horrible movie.

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