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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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--Matt

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kill Switch (2008)

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The DTVC is getting pretty close to having every Steven Seagal DTV reviewed. Now, I won't lie, we won't finish that deal until Cover Up has been reviewed, because I can't have all of Seagal's films up before I have all of Lundgren's. Just kinda the way things are.

Kill Switch has Seagal with an appalling accent working as a serial killer expert in Memphis. He arrests one serial killer right off the bat, then goes after the next one, only to have the one he just arrested released because he beat the crap out of the guy while arresting him. On top of two serial killers, he's got an uppity rookie female FBI agent up his buttocks. He just needs to martial arts his way through all this crap.

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What? What did I just watch? Seven paired with Above the Law? It doesn't work. Seagal doesn't work in this role. Sure, the fights were okay, but who was he fighting? And that accent was atrocious. There was the occasional shootout, but again, who cares? I don't buy Seagal as a crack detective, and I don't buy the random scenarios where he uses his martial arts. I just don't understand what I was watching.

The identity crisis in the DTV film is nothing new. Sometimes it's okay, but this time it wasn't. Seagal doesn't have the range to pull off serial killer detective. Then, in an attempt to utilize his martial arts skills, they had him beating the crap out of people in contrived scenes a la Lorenzo Lamas in The Circuit 2. As if that wasn't bad enough, in one of the beat down scenes, Seagal does this disgusting thing where he pounds this guy's upper jaw into the bar, so his teeth are pressed into it. Eww. Why? This was just marinated in wrong sauce from the jump.

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Seagal makes a great former secret service or former Marine special forces or whatever. He also makes a good cop on a revenge mission taking down a huge organized crime organization. But as a serial killer expert, it just came off as ugh, and not in a good way. If the best thing is making fun of Seagal's bad Southern accent, then what do I have? We'll see what Belly of the Beast is like next.

Then there was the herky-jerky stop-and-go effects. It annoyed the hell out of me. I felt like I was watching a bad TV, where the picture would come in and out, and when it was fine, I was hoping it wouldn't go back to bad again. Why do directors do this? If Seagal's martial arts is one of the selling features, why not let me see it? This is a bad trend in movies brought about by the horrible Bourne movies, and I hope it'll finally fall out of fashion.

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The movie, as I said, takes place in Memphis. I've never had the pleasure of going there. It seems like a nice city. Of course, there are a lot of cities I'd like to just check out that I've never been to, so maybe I should find some reasons to go to them. Wichita sounds interesting, Omaha maybe too. St. Louis has always looked intriguing, as has Kansas City. When I was in San Antonio, I was close to Austin, and I've always wanted to go there. I've heard good things about Denver too. So Memphis is just kind of on that list. Also the "Walking in Memphis" song has put it on the map. Graceland, Beale Street. If anything, this movie made me want to go to Memphis, so there's one positive there.

Skip this. It's a waste of film. I will say, the one thing this movie had was the two separate villains, so it felt kind of like a Batman film with the multiple baddies. Can you imagine Seagal as Batman? Now that would be sweet. They shouldn't have made this movie, they should've made a Batman film set in Memphis. The Penguin: Vernon Wells.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1107859/

2 comments:

  1. I read the producers did't think the original cut had enough action, so they filmed a Seagal double doing all the choppy fight scenes- that's why you never see his face and only his hands- lol. Indeed, Austin (I grew up there) and Denver are great places. I've lived in both, but would have to give bigger props to Denver. I dunno, this movie made me never want to visit Memphis. What was up with the ending where his girlfriend was killed and he disappears, and starts banging the blonde russian chick out of nowhere? I think the only thing I really liked about it was the guy falling out of the window, literally, sixteen times.

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  2. Thanks for the inside info on the Seagal fight scenes, that explains a lot. So Denver better than Austin, huh? I've always heard the opposite, but I'd also heard Seattle was better than San Francisco, and after going to both, I like San Fran better, so maybe I'll agree with you that Denver's better than Austin. I do agree that this film did nothing for the Memphis tourism industry, it was more like it just reminded me that I wanted to go there, but maybe I should put it on the list behind all the others.

    If you noticed, the pic I put up that wasn't Seagal was his partner reacting to the falling 16 times. So amazing.

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