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, March 5, 2009

Attack Force (2006)


Steven Seagal has had a Dolph-esque run here on the DTVC. Other than Flight of Fury, which was a misguided attempt to put Seagal in the cockpit as opposed to on the ground kicking ass, most of his films have been successes. Hopefully this one can keep up the momentum, especially since the film of his I'm watching next is Against the Dark, which has the potential to topple Blade as the best vampire flick ever.

Attack Force is about Seagal as a military commander whose attack force team is brutally taken out by a hooker after a night of partying. As he investigates, he uncovers a drug called CTX that turns people into super strong super fast killing machines with weird eyes. So, in fact, that was no ordinary hooker. As Seagal digs deeper, he finds out that a dude hired by the military to design the drug has gone rogue and intends to dump it into a European city's water supply (I must confess here that I wasn't paying attention too well, and I think it was in France, but it might have been in Eastern Europe too-- does it really matter?). He's already given it to tons of people, and now it's up to Seagal and another crack attack force to take these people down.


I must confess, a lot of this film made no sense. I got that people were super strong, but ordinary people also had super human abilities too. Like Seagal's partner was thrown through a stone wall-- like literally-- and after rolling over a bit, he was able to get up and dust himself off like nothing happened. Even crazier, the tiny female military officer they were working with was also tossed through a wall, and she endured it in a similar fashion. They never said, at least I never picked up on it, that Seagal took the serum. Nevertheless, he was as quick as the people on it, and he could also throw them through stone walls.

Speaking of Seagal, he was all right, but there was something else involving him that was way funnier. For certain scenes his voice was dubbed over by a man that sounded like Martin Sheen. I am not kidding. In some of these scenes, he even went back and forth between his own and the other. This had to be a joke. No one could've actually heard this guy speak and thought "Wow, he sounds exactly like Seagal. Sweet, now we don't have to call Steven back to do his voice overs." It had me wondering who would've been better to use to dub over Seagal's voice. Paul Hogan or Michael Hurst first come to mind. Jackie Chan is another. Governor Bobby Jindal might be the best one at the moment. Can you imagine that sing-songy voice coming out of Seagal's mouth? "Now I think we need to go to the cathedral, and stop these bad guys and their bad CTX. Let me tell you kids a story about big government..."


As far as Seagal's martial arts go, there's no real drop off in this. He doesn't fight often, but he fights well, and with bad guys that are sufficiently bad, I found myself actually hoping he'd come in and kick their asses. Now I did think because the bad guys had superhuman powers, there would be some sort of obstacle in Seagal's way when it came to fighting them, but there wasn't. All he had to do was show up and kick ass. He was as omnipotent as always. I'm not sure it worked here as far as making for a good plot, but it worked in sheer Seagal silliness.

That's where this movie fails and where Pistol Whipped and The Foreigner succeeded. Those films had some element of the Seagal silliness, but they were also very cool. This wasn't that cool, but had more silliness. On the other hand, it didn't have the amazing silliness that say Out For a Kill had, with that amazing scene where Seagal decapitates a man by throwing a samurai sword from a second story window. I still believe that was the single greatest moment in cinematic history.


Two posts ago I mentioned that Wesley Snipes' The Detonator was filmed in Romania, and that was something of a trend for a lot of DTV movies. Well, for Seagal it's more than a trend. If you count the upcoming vampire film Against the Dark, that will be four films he's done in Romania. Even better, he's done another four in Bulgaria. Making sure he keeps the numbers even so there's no animosity I guess. Looking on imdb, I've found about ten films I've reviewed that were shot there, and that's just titles that start with the letters A-D. I'd personally like to visit both countries to see what they're like, considering they pop up in so many DTV films. On the other hand, I've seen Hostel, and I'm not sure I could hack it in Eastern Europe.

All right, here's the what's what: this is pretty good if you're looking for some Seagal with your buddy's on a random movie night. It's not his best, but it's pretty close to what you'd expect from a Seagal DTV actioner. The real question is: will Against the Dark be as good as Blade, or even better? Keep rockin' with the DTVC to find out.

For more info:


  1. Great Review! This is Seagal's worst DTV flick!

    Don't mean to be a shill, but check out my similar site: for more direct-to-video action!

  2. By all means, be a shill. I'll have to check out your site, and thanks for checking us out.

  3. I hope you like the site! also leave a comment on any movie!