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.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Alien from L.A. (1988)


Like many people, I first saw this on MST3K. I didn't see that Albert Pyun directed it, and didn't put two-and-two together that the genius behind Cyborg directed a film panned by Mike and the 'Bots. Now, maybe fifteen years later, I have a blog where I review DTV movies, and Albert Pyun is in my Hall of Fame, so I have the task of watching it sans silhouettes.

Alien from LA has Kathy Ireland as geeky girl from the beach who finds out her professor-father fell down a bottomless pit in Northern Africa. She follows him out there, falls down the same pit, and finds herself in the lost city of Atlantis. Because this film was made in 1988, the locals don't call it Hotlantis or the ATLS, and the inhabitants look like something out of a 1984 New Wave video. Now Ireland has to find her dad, escape back to the surface, and put on that bikini we've all been waiting for her to wear.


This was hard to deal with without Mike and the 'Bots to mock it. Very slow, lots of things not happening. It's just this endless cycle of Ireland almost being caught by someone, escaping, telling people about herself, and then almost being caught again. Netflix described it as a slick retelling of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. I don't know if by "slick" they mean Deep Roy with disgustingly long, red eye lashes, but I didn't see a lot of slick going on. What it needed was Sasha Mitchell kicking people's asses. Cute and quirky works when something's happening, but nothing was happening here.

I wasn't sure if I should be hard on this or not considering I now know Albert Pyun is reading my posts. But when I found myself knee deep (Roy) in a plot that didn't look like it would ever resolve itself, I felt like I had to be honest. I do wonder, though, what it's like as a director to have a film used in an episode of MST3K. I've seen plenty here at the DTVC that could've been used, and one other, Future War, that was used, so it's always kind of crossed my mind. Is it an honor, is it taken in stride, or is it a low point? I will say, as far as Alien from LA goes, the MST3K commentary makes the film complete-- fills in the dull parts, if you will.


Kathy Ireland is supposed to be playing a type of ugly duckling that matures and becomes a beautiful swan by the end of the film. I didn't see it. She had big glasses that were very unflattering. Big deal, she's also very hot. She had a high-pitched voice. Again, big deal. It was only hard to listen to when she spoke loudly, which she barely did. I guess she wined a lot, which would've been tough to deal with, so maybe the point of the film was she learned to wine less, and became beautiful. I don't know.

The hero was played by a dude who's been in tons of Perry Mason TV movies. My mom eats that kind of stuff up, so I've seen him a bunch. He dons this atrocious Australian accent, which sounds fake right from the jump. How anyone can't do an Australian accent is beyond me. And you call yourself an actor? I think it's funny too when people mistake accents for dialects. Dialects are almost separate languages. Speaking a Russian dialect does not mean speaking English with a Russian accent, it means speaking an actual form of the Russian language.


Pyun mainstay Thom Mathews makes an appearance. Maybe I should tag him. I think he's been in like five or six other films on the DTVC. Norbert Weisser, another Pyun mainstay is tagged, along with Vincent Klyn. I think I did have him tagged at one time, but deleted it. Does it really matter? Are there any Thom Mathews fans out there that'll be upset if I don't? Are there any Norbert Weisser fans out there that are happy that I did? I'm a huge Vincent Klyn fan, and I'm stoked I tagged him.

If you're going to see this, make sure it's the MST3K version. You'll dig that one more. If you're looking for good Pyun, stick with Cyborg, Nemesis, Omega Doom, etc. More action, less snoozefactor.

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1 comment:

  1. Thom Mathews plays a fella named "Charmin' ". I think that needs to be mentioned.