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, June 10, 2009

Direct Contact (2009)


This was a long time coming. Longer than it should've been. First I tried watching it on Netflix's Watch Instantly, but the audio was a mess. Then I figured I'd wait till it came on DVD in the mail, but I don't live in an urban environment anymore, so Netflix doesn't get to me as fast as it once did. Finally, it arrived today, and I've watched it, and I'm reviewing it now.

Direct Contact has Dolph as a former Marine former gunrunner imprisoned in an Eastern European jail. Michael Pare comes and offers him a deal: his freedom and 200 grr, if he rescues a chick from a Russian warlord near the Black Sea. Before you say "hey, this sounds like The Russian Specialist", hold your horses. Things aren't what they appear, and Dolph has no idea who to trust. The girl was never really kidnapped, Pare's now chasing him in a military issue hummer and shooting explosives at him, and everywhere Dolph goes, he gets innocent bystanders killed.


This is amazing. Vintage Dolph. Great one-liners, massive explosions, ridiculous car chases, and beautiful bar room brawls. The film starts with Dolph in a prison, and these guys are trying to get money out of him. He hands them a coin and says "It's all I got." The head guy spits in his food, and Dolph says "That's no way to start a friendship", leading to a big fight scene. The quintessential way to begin any Dolph movie. And it just hits its spots from there. The only thing this film did that was different from all other Lundgr-flicks, was it had Dolph shot in the right arm, not the left.

2009 might be the year of Dolph. imdb lists three other Dolph films slated for release this year, with Command Performance, Universal Soldiers: The Next Generation, and Icarus. I won't lie, he did show his age some, with his moves looking a little slower and more scripted than usual, but the movie more than made up for it. He just seems to get better with age. This film, maybe more than any he's ever done, really shows this sentiment he has that he's playing with the House's money. He's having as much fun making this movie as we have watching it. That's big, because we who watch these movies don't take them too seriously, so it's nice to know Dolph won't insult our intelligence by taking it too seriously either. At the same time, this isn't too tongue in cheek, which I think would ruin the film for us.


Michael Pare is excellent. I thought this was the third film of his I reviewed, with BloodRayne II being one of the others, and 2004's Gargoyle being the other. Well, it turns out I never did Gargoyle. I could've sworn I did. I feel like I did. But it's not on there. My friend at Movies in the Attic has told me repeatedly that I need more Pare up here, and he's right. The guy is the man. He's more than just Eddie and the Cruisers or Trip Fontaine from Virgin Suicides: he's a grade A DTV action star. I am familiar with some of his other work, and I've always loved him, somehow he just managed to slip through the cracks. We'll fix that soon enough.

As you know, I always look up my movies on imdb before I review them, and this one had some interesting info. First, it takes library footage from a bunch of other DTV films, including Out for a Kill and Derailed, which have been reviewed here. Second, the film was released in Kuwait on 16 April 2009, which is almost two months before we got it here. Why do the Kuwaitis get first dibs? Finally, this dude named ztamir from Israel absolutely hated this movie. Generally I'm not a cat who says "he or she just doesn't get it", but man, ztamir doesn't get it. I have a feeling he or she read The Great Gatsby and was like "why did he die at the end?"


McDonald's gets some mad product placement in this movie. I saw the Golden Arches at least three times that I could remember. McDonald's is my number one guilty pleasure, so, at least as far as I go, the movie made me want to get a Big Mac. I guess it doesn't take much for me to want a Big Mac. I was pissed the other night, because my buddy and I were walking back to his place after our soccer game, and the McDonald's on the way closed it's dining room after ten, and we got there at 10:05. Why the hell don't they have a drive thru type area for walkers? I think I saw one in Seattle or Portland, OR. It would be perfect.

This is must rent material. I saw it at my local video store, and believe me, it's worth new release money to get it. For the Dolph Completists out there, you need to buy it, and I'll be buying it soon enough. A perfect fit for any Dolph Fest.

For more info:


  1. Yeah, I watched this one recently, and I gotta tell you, as someone who has always had a faint interest in B or DTV movies (but is only now really digging into them) this movie was pretty fantastic. Dolph was fairly badass. The sex scene felt a little too forced though, but Vodka will do that to you :-D

    oh, and BTW, I love this site. You give great reviews and review awesome movies. Once I can afford to get Netflixs, I think I am going to go and find the good ones you review. You have great judgement.

  2. First off, than you very much for your comments about the site. It always means a lot to hear things like that.

    As far as just getting into bad movies, as I'm sure you already know from Direct Contact, Dolph is a great place to start. I have every film of his (except Cover Up, which isn't that great) reviewed here. My personal faves are Bridge of Dragons and Showdown in Little Tokyo.

  3. This was awesome. Watched it last night. Prison punch-up, four car chases, multiple shoot-outs, explosions, one-liners, over-the-top acting and the three M's: military, mobsters, 'mericans. Not forgetting the love scene on a haystack by a fire and the walk into the sunset - everything I want in an 80's throwback action movie. It just needed a helicopter exploding on take off, and a cop saying "I'm too old for this shit!".

    Will definitely watch this one again with a few friends around!

  4. Yeah, I've seen this a few times, and it never gets old. Glad you dug it.

  5. Another entertaining Dolph flick! I love the part when the Romanian soldier says he's gone "A.O.L."! he must just got dial-up!

    Another fun Dolph movie i'm about to re-watch and review for the site is "Army Of One".

  6. Ty, you can't go wrong rewatching Dolph films and reviewing them for your blog. I kinda wish I hadn't used them all up, to be honest. And it should be noted, Netflix will be pulling Direct Contact from its Watch Instantly on July 1st, 2010.

  7. Thanks a million for putting this on my radar, Matt! I honestly thought I'd seen all of Dolph's recent DTV flicks but this one had passed me by somehow. It's easily his best; a ton of fun with a seriosuly huge body count. I approve!

    Love the site - only found it recently but have been reading it during breaks at work and found some real treasures to seek out on here!

    Nice to see someone review these kinds of films without being "ironic" and seeing them for what they are: sheer entertainment (or not, as the case may be!)

  8. I love this one too. And thanks man, i appreciate it. Yeah, I think it would be too easy to go the ironic route, and for me that would miss the point of what these movies meant growing up, and what they mean now when I get together with my friends, or even just take them in on my own. Like you said, sheer entertainment-- when they're right, of course!