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.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Silencer (1999)


I hadn't seen a Michael Dudikoff movie in a while, so I watched this one on my computer using the watch it instantly function on my Netflix account. I chose this one among a few Dudikoff options because it had the shortest running time. It's weird how with books, length isn't too big of an issue, but with movies, running time is a big deal. Sure, if the movie's great, it can be three hours. But for the most part, I want to be in and out in less than 90 minutes. Is that so wrong?

The Silencer is kind of a trip. Dudikoff plays an assassin working for some secret right wing organization that the FBI wants in on. They send a rookie in undercover as another assassin to infiltrate them, only for him to be used by them as a patsy in the shooting of a senator. That's when things get weird, and Dudkoff feels bad for the undercover agent and wants to run away with this teacher he's been hooking up with. It just gets worse when the movie suggests J. Edgar Hoover had his own hit squad in the FBI, and that he ordered the assassination of JFK. I smell libel suit.


Wow. This movie was not only a boring sack of asscrack, but it also made the outrageous claim that J. Edgar Hoover killed John F. Kennedy. How does that even work legally? Is it just so ludicrous it would be impossible for Hoover's family's suit to be taken seriously? Can one just say something outrageous like that and qualify it with a "what if"? It's a slippery slope at best, and I'm sure the people who made this movie wouldn't appreciate me making a film saying they ran a cult that eviscerated young children while rocking out to the Gin Blossoms, but what's to stop me if I qualify it with a "what if"? Cue the "Allison Road".

Dudikoff's character had immense potential as that spy/hitman in the Le Samourai mold, but the usage of him was a complete waste. Total lack of action, but not broken up with the kind of stylized imagery that the other film I mentioned was. What would've been better would've been some kind of adversary for him to deal with; say he falls out of favor with the baddies over a job he doesn't want to do, and they send this other cat in to take him out. We action fans dig that kind of thing much more than these boring actionless conspiracy yarns.


One of the best things to do while watching a movie is to use this deep, goofy voice to talk for any animals you see, like a cow saying "Gee, it's Dolph Lundgren. Maybe I can get him to autograph my copy of He-Man." Anyway, this film had one of my favorite animals, the manatee, and it was great watching them swim around in the background while two of the main characters carried on in some desultory inanities. I loved saying things like "Hey, wasn't Michael Dudikoff supposed to be in this movie." I just wish they had been in the movie some more.

I love Michael Dudikoff. In terms of Hall of Famers, he's probably one of the least known, and you really have to be a fan of DTV to be familiar with his work. Most of his films are two-word titles: Fugitive Mind, Virtual Assassin, Bounty Hunters, Gale Force, Soldier Boyz. His work in the American Ninjas is probably some of the best DTV stuff ever committed to tape. The problem is: he hasn't made a film since 2002. Even Miles O'Keefe is more current than that. That makes it tough for me to justify posting his movies when there are newer films out there that need to be reviewed too. Come on, Duds, get out there and give us a new picture.


Recently in the news it came out that Dick Cheney may have commissioned assassinations that reported directly to him. First off, I bet that dude who gave his frank opinion to the former VP at that ski lodge is glad he got off with just getting arrested. But the second thing that comes to mind for me is the possibility that thirty years down the road the next Michael Dudikoff will star in a similar movie where Dick Cheney is implicated in something sinister, the way J. Edgar Hoover was here. Sure, it may be an assassination or something like that, but I hope someone has the bollocks to make a film suggesting Dick Cheney runs a cult that eviscerates young children while listening to the Gin Blossoms. Cue "Hey Jealousy".

I went back through the other nine Dudikoff posts, and I couldn't find a movie as bad as this one, except for maybe Gale Force. That one had the issue of too little Dudikoff. Here, it was a Dudikoff in a movie idea marinated in wrong sauce. I guess my Dudikoff posts are meant for a very small group of my overall audience, because I don't know of many people outside of me that need a service like the one I provide to help me know which Dudikoff movies to rent when I see them at the video store. I think I'm the only one who sees Dudikoff and says "I gotta get that."

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