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.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Breathing Fire (1991)


I first found this film when I was looking up Jerry Trimble films on imdb. The idea that it also had Bolo Yeung made it a no brainer. My one fear was that, because Trimble was listed as the baddie, that I might fall victim of the Trimble bait-and-switch.

Breathing Fire is about a bank robber played by Jerry Trimble who lives a double life as a family man to his two sons, one biological, one adopted from Vietnam. His latest heist involves using an old Vietman vet buddy who runs a bank as an inside man, and after the heist goes down, the bank man wants out. He gets out, when Trimble and his boys kill him and his wife, but the daughter gets away with her part of the key to the vault where the money is. She runs to Trimble's brother, who takes her to Trimble, not knowing what the score is. Luckily Trimble's two sons want to help their uncle, and now we have a huge conflict of interests. The only thing we can count on is the perfunctory Bolo Yeung pec shot.


This wasn't bad. The only thing I didn't like was the ending, where Trimble went from loving father to suddenly fighting one of his sons for the money. It would've made for a more realistic story if Trimble had been torn about fighting his son. Also, a lot of the martial arts action was done by the two kids, which detracted from Trimble and Yeung, who I love. Overall, though, a good bad action movie.

Jerry Trimble was pretty sweet, but nowhere near his Live By the Fist level. He made a better baddie than I thought he would, though. He looked like Emilio Estevez when he rocked the fake moustache in robbing the bank. Also of note: his character's name is Michael Moore. I think I speak for all readers of this blog when I say I'd love to see the real Michael Moore in an action film. Okay, maybe I only speak for myself. What about him as the tech guy living in his mom's basement that the hero goes to for help? The frumpy clothes, voice, and duck walk would fit perfectly in that role. No matter what, he'd have to escape a bomb by jumping out of a second story window into a pool.


Bolo Yeung is in drag in this movie. It's pretty scary. Or pretty funny. Or both. It's great. anyone who doesn't love Bolo Yeung has a problem with themselves. That's what I say. On July 3rd, he celebrated his 71st birthday. Is there any doubt that that 71-year-old man could kick the average 25-year-old man's ass? Not that it matters. If I met Bolo Yeung I wouldn't want to fight him, I'd want to shake his hand. And what would he have to prove in kicking my ass? The guy swam to Hong Kong to escape Communism.

Trimble's Vietnamese son is played by Jonathan Ke Quan. He has 9 entries on imdb, and included in those are Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies, Head of the Class, and Encino Man. He's 38 now, and hasn't done anything since 2002, but does it matter? Those first two roles alone are so iconic that for people in our generation, we'll always know who he is. The question is: who is it better to have acted with, Harrison Ford, Corey Feldman, or Bolo Yeung?


The main hero, Trimble's brother in the film, is played by some dude named Ed Neil. His delivery of lines was so hilarious, it would've been better if they'd rewrote his character as a mute. Half the time he sounded like he had just come from the dentist, and the other half he was Rudy Juliani on SNL. It just shows that you can't just take any kickboxing champ off the street and put him in a movie and make him act well. Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Jerry Trimble may not be potential Oscar winners, but they at least they don't sound like they've been shot up with Novocain.

This is a fun deal. Look for it on Netflix. You can't go wrong with Bolo Yeung and Jerry Trimble, plus there's the novelty of the kid from Temple of Doom and Goonies. Don't go into it expecting something as awesome as Live By the Fist, and you should be fine.

For more info:


  1. Great review, I was equally scared/amused by Bolo in drag.

    I'll be posting a review for this one this week. With all the hilariously inept martial-arts films out there, I think this one sort of gets lost in the noise. But the odd choices in this one really elevate it above the pack. Swans in funny hats? A dwarf bartender fight? And again: BOLO IN DRAG?! I absolutely love this movie.

  2. Thanks man. Yes, there was a lot to love here, but nothing beats Bolo in drag.