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.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Martial Outlaw (1993)


I've been meaning to get some Jeff Wincott up here for a while now, and Netflix's Watch Instantly had this among a couple others, so I went with it. The deciding factor when faced with a few Wincott options was the addition of Gary Hudson.

Martial Outlaw has Wincott as a DEA agent who comes home to LA on business, where he's forced to work with his older brother who's a beat cop in the LAPD. His brother, Gary Hudson, is hella jealous of him, despite having a hot wife, and he sees Wincott's operation as an opportunity. He signs on with the Russian mobsters Wincott's investigating and trying to bring down. Now Wincott's getting it from all sides, and it'll take all he's got to bring these guys down.


This is pretty sweet. Wincott's the man, and the movie doesn't spare any opportunity for him to flex his martial arts muscles. In one scene he has to fight a bunch of dudes standing in a circle around him. I could've gone for more explosions and car chases, but the fight scenes were good enough that I couldn't complain too much. Hudson was solid, as was Stefanos Miltsakakis as the baddie's hatchet man. All in all, a very entertaining early 90s bad actioner.

I had a conversation with my friend at Movies in the Attic about the future of the DTV action star. With Dolph, Seagal, and Van Damme getting older, who's out there to step into those big shoes. I'd go one further and say, who's the next Jeff Wincott. Who is that thirtysomething martial artist from Toronto that can step in and do a ton of bad police action films. You could maybe see a Statham or Diesel dropping off the way Seagal and Van Damme did, turning to the DTV movie; kind of the way Wesley Snipes has. But where's the Wincott? The guy that only does DTV films.


Jeff Wincott also underlies one of my biggest issues in running this blog. There are only so many hours in a day, and the unfortunate reality is I don't make any money from the site. As such, with limited time, it's people like Jeff Wincott who end up being left behind like Kirk Cameron. I don't want to do it, because Wincott was a big deal for me growing up, and it's certainly not something I do on purpose, it just happens. That's why it's important to make your suggestions if you want to see a certain actor or movie up.

But Martial Outlaw underscores the point that I want more Wincott up here too, and with guys like Dolph and Seagal having nearly exhausted filmographies, there should be more room for a Wincott. Many of his films aren't available through Netflix, so it may take some time to get them via VHS. I have Open Fire available on Watch Instantly, so maybe that's where I'll go next, before I get the Martial Laws on VHS.


Getting off the Wincott subject, this film takes place in LA, and I just visited there a month ago. The reason I bring this up is this film uses the classic storyline of local boy leaves the small town he grew up in, makes good, and comes back to resentment. The only thing is, the small town he leaves is LA! I grew up an hour outside of Boston, and have been to many cities from London, to DC, to San Francisco, and LA felt big to me. Like really big. Maybe because it is really big. I don't know if they intended for the film to take place somewhere else, or maybe they just decided to go the postmodern route. In any case, it was a very interesting take.

This is a good time. If you find it cheap at your local video store or a bargain bin somewhere, go for it. And if you have Netflix Watch Instantly, this is a good deal. As far as I can tell, it's only available on Watch Instantly and VHS. I wish more movies like this were on there, like all the other movies I can only get on VHS.

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