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.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Outside the Law (2002)


I found this movie used in a local record store in Portsmouth, NH while killing time before my buddy's bachelor party. You can't go wrong when you see Rothrock in the bargain bin, at least that's my experience.

Outside the Law has Cynthia Rothrock as a special agent type cop who sees her fiance gunned down in Columbia while they're trying to work a bust in a huge drug deal. She finds out when she makes it back to the States that her surviving the bust is a problem for the whatever department she's working for, and she's declared persona non grata, meaning she's on the run. Before she gets too far she ends up at a restaurant run by a woman and her younger brother, and the woman is dating an abusive gangster, played by Jeff Wincott. Wincott beats her to death, so Rothrock sticks around to make sure Wincott gets his.


Pretty sweet. Pret-ty sweet. This is one of those where the plot could get in the way, and every time I think it will, a group of thugs comes around the corner and Rothrock kicks their asses. In case there aren't enough explosions, Rothrock and her buddy load a warehouse with dynamite and set the fuckers off. That's what I want to see. I got what i paid for here.

Rothrock just reinforces her DTVC Hall of Fame induction with this performance. Great one-liners, great fight scenes. In one, she smashes a dude's face through a lamp sitting innocuously on a table. How cool is that? Also, this is the second Rothrock film in a row we've covered where she carries on conversations with a dog, with her having done the same in Guardian Angel. Again, she's not as good at that as Will Ferrell in Anchorman or the skecth he did for SNL where sold a video that trains dogs through sarcasm; but it works, and it's a good bumper to the scenes where she kicks guys in the balls.


There's been some call from a few areas to get some Jeff Wincott up here, and really this one's kinda not what they had in mind, I'm sure. I have a couple where he stars in the pipeline, so you can really see his action prowess. This one he never uses any martial arts skills, and never fights anyone. Call it a Jeff Wincott Amuse Bouche, if you will.

There are two elements to creating a great heel in a movie: the first is we have to find him utterly annoying; and second, we need to see him get the crap beaten out of him every time he's on screen. This film does that perfectly. They get some guy with a goatee and slicked back hair (second only to the goatee and ponytail combination for sheer toolishness), have him say obnoxious things and grab women's butts, and then Rothrock shows up and kicks him in the balls. It just works over and over. To contrast this, the Bosworth film we just reviewed, The Operative, has a heel, also with a goatee, and a potential for a ponytail with his long hair; and yet when he acts like a heel, his only retribution is his hitting Bosworth in the back of the head with the butt end of his pistol. This is the message to all film makers out there: if you're going to make a heel, we need to see his ass kicked, and kicked repeatedly. Thank you.


The local detective on the take was played by the dad from The Wonder Years. I used to watch that show sorta kinda when I was growing up. It was cool, but not that cool. I think I always thought Fred Savage was kind of a douchebag. Remember The Wizard, I think it was called, that movie that sucked major ass? I'm sure Fred Savage isn't a bad guy, he just played a lot of douchebag-ish parts, but at 10, I had no ability to separate a person and the characters he or she played. If you're really not a douchebag, Fred Savage, than I'm sorry for ever having thought you were.

If you see this in a bargain bin like I did, go for it. It's so good, and so worth it. I think I paid like $5, which definitely wasn't too much. I don't know if I'd go ten, but five totally worked.

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