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

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)


I've been looking forward to this for a while now. I was delayed quite a bit when the film was stuck in the Very Long Wait limbo in my Netflix queue. Last weekend I was at my local video store with some friends and found it, and decided to rent it. I think my friends weren't too impressed.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus is about a mega shark and giant octopus that have been frozen in glaciers for 15 million years or so. They're released when the military drops a sonar device into the water around them, cracking the glaciers. Debbie Gibson (Deborah if you're her or her agent) is an expert marine biologist, and she and a couple colleagues are brought in by Lorenzo Lamas to deal with them. The next hour or so involves a series of catastrophes and attempts to corral the animals, before they finally just decide to let the two kill each other.


This is your run-of-the-mill Sci-Fi channel Saturday afternoon monster movie. That's it. There's plenty of ridiculousness: Lamas, a shark attacking a plane in mid-air, Gibson as a scientist. That definitely gives it a leg up on the average Sci-Fi channel movie, but does it warrant new release money? Definitely not. We got it for free because my buddy's wife works at the video store, so I can't complain much. I'd say either get it free too, or hope it ends up on Sci-Fi.

We're back to The Asylum again. I just don't know. I think the issue is, and I had this conversation with my buddy at Friends in the Attic, Nu Image and Millennium are the companies we think The Asylum should be. They're doing the work Golan Globus and Cannon did 15 to 20 years ago. The thing is, The Asylum have all these low-budget movies with silly rip-off names, and we think, "That's it." In reality, Direct Contact or Driven to Kill are it. Those are the DTV bad action movie titles we're used to. A cheesy CGI shark is cool, but Dolph beating the crap out of someone is cooler. Not only that, but you gotta blow shit up for real. Fake flames on a computer might save money, but it doesn't get me anywhere.


I looked around on The Asylum's website. First, I read a statement they made about people asking for temporal refunds, essentially "can I have my 2 hours back?" They made a great point that first, their movies are only 90 minutes long, but second, they generally don't get any better after the first fifteen. My feeling is I waste my 90 minutes so you don't have to. If you read a review of an Asylum film, and it's bad, and you watch it anyway, that's your own fault. The second thing I read was how they got into this silly business. They started by distributing art house films, and found no money in it. Then they made War of the Worlds with C. Thomas Howell, and wanted to table it after they got word of Spielberg's project. Blockbuster said no, just send it to us anyway, and it was really successful. The rest is history.

There isn't much Lamas here to report. He doesn't fight anyone, he doesn't do any action hero kind of stuff. Maybe someone reading this is thinking "What, do you expect him to fight a giant octopus?" Yeah, okay, I'd like to see him fight a giant octopus. Is that so bad? I'm not sure if you saw Lamas on TMZ chilling with Bush 41 in Kennebunkport, ME, but he's actually performing in A Chorus Line two towns up from me in Ogunquit. I don't know how many readers of the blog live in the New England area, but maybe we should make a DTVC field trip...


I noticed the film stars an actor named Michael Teh. I bring that up because Teh is my number one typo. I think I type "teh" more than "the". I believe I do that, because I type the "T" and "H" with the same finger, and the "E" with my left, so the natural motion is to go "right, left, right," as opposed to "right, right, left".

This isn't bad for what it is. If it's on Sci-Fi channel sometime, it's plenty worth giving it a looksee. If you see it on your video store shelves, I'd avoid it, especially at new release money. There are better ways to spend that cash, like say on Direct Contact.

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