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

Raiders of the Sun (1992)


I first found out about this film when I saw a trailer for it on the DVD for the Don "The Dragon" Wilson film Operation Cobra. It just looked too fantastic not to give it a go. Mad Max rip-offs always work, especially when they have Richard Norton... okay, maybe they don't always work... in fact, they usually don't... but when they have Richard Norton they're more likely to.

Raiders of the Sun takes place after a nuclear war. People have grouped together for protection, and a democratic republic has formed. They have a solid army of soldiers in yellow uniforms, led by field officers in black leather vests with no shirt underneath. But not everyone is happy, and a colonel has committed treason, splitting off and attempting to take them over. His brother leads a criminal gang that terrorizes communities not protected by the republic, and now the two of them are joining forces. As this happens, Norton's buddy's wife is kidnapped by the gang leader, and the friend infiltrates the gang. Norton leaves him to get gunpowder so the republic can vanquish the traitor. That's pretty much it. Oh, and there's midgets that speak their own language.


This movie is not for the faint at heart. You think you got the chops to take it on? Are you up for the challenge? It's like hiking a mountain: it'll take a lot out of you, but when you reach the summit and see what you've accomplished, you feel like a more complete person. Now I'm not saying when I took down Mt. Washington in four hours and thirty-three minutes (that's up and down) last summer that that feeling is the same as when I got through watching Raiders of the Sun, just the same idea. It's a rough movie, but if you can crack enough jokes and get enough laughs, you'll gain plenty of enjoyment.

Where do I start? Maybe the whole premise of the movie: that gun powder of all things is the limited valuable commodity. What? Don't they know if they have bullets the bullets have the gun powder in them? I'd think manufacturing more ammo would be the problem. Or finding gas ("petrol" for my readers in the UK) to fuel their Mad Max style cars. I guess gun powder was meant to reinforce the primitiveness of the post-apocalypse, but it was just really silly. They aren't muzzle loaded uzis.


You wanna talk about silly, check this out. So Norton and his buddy are moving through the desert, and they find this woman tied to a boulder with a branch in her mouth being held by an extremely racist depiction of Native Americans. They free her and take her with them to this town to find out how to get to the gang. Once there, she chats it up with some midgets. Here's the kicker: Norton joins them and says to her: "You can speak their language?" Their language? Midgets have their own language after the apocalypse? And just what is this language? Spanish with a Mexican accent. That was just simply fantastic.

Another great thing was the way Norton's friend was initiated into the gang. He had to have a fight to the death with another member. Only in movies. You'd think after the apocalypse a gang would want a solid foundation of members in order to raise hell and plunder what they wanted without worrying about being outnumbered by the villages they were raiding. I could see taking a potential recruit and making him fight a sucky member to the death because it would be a win/win: if he wins, you don't have to waste supplies on the sucky guy, and if he loses, it turns out he probably wasn't worthy of the gang in the first place. But they didn't do that here. This guy was pretty high up. It just seems like a bad way to run a gang in the post-apocalypse.


I couldn't go through this entire post without telling you how Richard Norton did. He was the big name in this. First off, he's either completely topless or wearing only a leather vest throughout the film. If he wasn't so cut he'd double for a Bear at a gay bar. At the very least he doubles for a bartender at a gay bar. I'm not saying that in jest. I think it's awesome that he can pull that look off. It's like a flamboyant Han Solo. And he still kicks people's asses. (Did I mention above at all how bad this movie is?)

As I finish this blog, REO Speedwagon's "Take it on the Run" is winding up in the background. Heard it from a friend who... anyway, this movie is for real bad movie veterans. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you watch this and find you don't enjoy it, it might just be that it's a tad too much for you right now. It also might be that the really bad movies just aren't your bag, and you may want to stick to the easier to swallow ones, like Road House.

For more info:

1 comment:

  1. Just watched the movie the other day. While looking for the types of weapons used, I found this blog. (I'm a big weapons person.) So, this is copied after Mad Max? Okay, if you say so. Regardless, love 'post apocalyptic' movies. Have seen some real 'stinkers'. Fortunately for the genre, this wasn't all that bad, but was confused about the powder shortage time. Still all-in-all, it was pretty okay. Want to see one that really 'stinks up' the screen, see 'Bad Landers'.