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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

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.

--Matt

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bounty Tracker (1993)

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I saw this while I was paging through the movies available on Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. It had DTVC Hall of Famer Lorenzo Lamas and I Come in Peace's Matthias Hues in it. On the cover it looked like they were partners, which I thought was kind of dubious, and I was right: Hues was the bad guy.

Bounty Tracker has Lamas as a bounty hunter in Boston whose brother is almost killed out in LA. He visits, and when he gets there, whoever almost killed him before kills him now. Turns out the mob's been after him and his partner for this or that, and Whip Hubley, the DA, is stuck with only one witness alive to put this major mobster away. Hues is trying to kill this witness, and Lamas is trying to kill Hues. Sounds pretty cool, until the plot goes wrong and some random teenagers show up to help Lamas battle Hues and his thugs.

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I don't know what happened here. This was going so well. Then these three teenagers show up and everything gets silly. And not silly in a cool way, silly in a cheesy way. There are some very specific rules to making a bad action movie, and one of them, at least in my book, is kids never work. I don't care if they're teenagers from the streets of LA, they only detract from the action. I understand the idea that maybe Lamas couldn't go it alone, and that's cool. Just insert another D-list action star and have them team up.

Lamas was great in this. He was straight off the Renegade set during this era, and it showed. His first scene is awesome, where he pretends to be an uptight Boston socialite who appears to be lost when he enters an establishment frequented by African American gangsters. Then he starts a fire, then he kicks some ass. Later, when his brother's house is under siege, he's just as great taking guys out and dodging bullets. My favorite part came when he took out a bunch of stuntmen at a martial arts dojo. Why they had to dull this fierce fighting blade by adding the teenagers is beyond me.

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Matthias Hues is a great baddie. I liked him here, and I loved him in I Come in Peace. Big Germans with mullets who know martial arts always make great bad guys. It's even better when you pair them with smooth talking Brits. His final fight scene with Lamas was great, but while I was watching it, I couldn't help remembering my initial concept from the cover that they were a team. The idea of a Lamas/Hues buddy picture just seems more fantastic than words can describe. But who would be the villain? Who else, Bruce Payne.

Ken Ober plays Lamas' brother's partner. You may remember him from MTV's first non music TV show, Remote Control. Many look to that as the death knell of music on Music Television, and though they're probably right, I loved that show. Anyway, at my age, I'm not sure I need to see music videos on MTV when there's From G's to Gents and The Hills and the all-time best Paris Hilton's My New BFF. I have digital cable, so I can see Howard Jones' "What is Love" on VH-1 Classic, and leave the Lifehouse to the kids.

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I mentioned earlier that this has Whip Hubley in it. (I'm not sure if I've done another film of his on here, so I may be going over territory I've covered before. If I have, don't get angry, I'm just tryin' ta make a dollar outta fifteen cents.) I've always wondered what it's like to work with him, and have people ask him what it's like to work with Tom Cruise. It must be so cool. I bet he had the whole crew in awe as he told stories about his time on the set of Top Gun, especially when Lamas was in his trailer. He would parlay his success in this film to a role in the syndicated hit Flipper with Jessica Alba, which would sometimes be on at 3 AM on a Saturday. Whenever I watched an episode of it, I always felt dumber.

I dug this. The kids screwed it up for me, but overall it was okay. The beginning is good enough to warrant watching it on Netflix if you have the Watch Instantly feature, or if you see it in a bargain bin on VHS for a dollar or something.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106470/

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