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.

Announcement

Announcement

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.

--Matt

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Confessions of a Pit Fighter (2005)

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I saw this at the local video store, forgot about it, then saw a trailer for it on another DVD. Between the Flav, The Armand Assante, and the Quinton Rampage Jackson, I had a good feeling. Of course, it could still go terribly wrong, so I went in with my guard up.

Confessions of a Pit Fighter is about a dude from East LA who killed a man in a pit fight, and went to jail for a while for it. When he gets out, he finds out his brother is pit fighting, trying to make some scratch for his pregnant homegirl. What none of them know is that Flavor Flav and Armand Assante are in cahoots organizing pit fights, and they have a horse in the race in the person of Rampage. He kills the pit fighter's brother in a fight, and now the guy is out for revenge.

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This wasn't too bad. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was horrible, but it was fun to watch. No women were raped, nobody's eyes were gouged out-- nothing gross like that. Just a bunch of pit fights that were pretty well choreographed, and Flavor Flav, Armand Assante, and Rampage. I was pretty sure the main character's love interest was a tranny, but wen she took off her clothes her boobs, though fake, looked like they were a women's with implants. Anyway you slice it, good fights, funny plot, great supporting cast-- just a plain old good time.

Let's start with Armand Assante. This guy is great. We've had many people play mob bosses here at the DTVC, but I don't think anyone has pulled it off like he did. He channelled Pacino and Brando, but gave us enough Assante, with a dash of bad movie tongue and cheek. The other film we covered of his was The Killing Grounds, and in that one he played a cop mitigating racial tensions between Germans and Turks in Berlin. He was believable in both roles, but I think he had more fun here. I definitely had more fun with this movie than that one.

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As you may know from previous posts, I'm a big UFC fan. I think if any big name fighter has the personality to pull off an acting career, it's Rampage. He's always funny in interviews, always has something great to say. The one problem I had with him here as the baddie was his lack of lines. At one point I thought they were saying his character, who was from Brazil, couldn't speak English. Then he walked up to the main character at a party and says "He smells like a bitch", which was hilarious. Let this guy talk. The other problem I had was how he looked like he was on the verge of tears every time he hit someone. Don't do that Rampage. This film also reminded me that I haven't seen Never Surrender yet. We'll get on that.

Flavor Flav! I must confess (Confessions of a Pop Culture Junkie), I watched the first two seasons of Flavor of Love. It was just so fascinating. No TV network casts reality shows the way VH-1 does. The people they find are so amazing. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Flav was good here. Better than Treach in Art of War III. Way better. Rappers can act. Yes, Flav wasn't trying to play a secret agent, and I bet he'd have just as much success, but based on what I've seen of Treach, I couldn't see him pulling of Flav's role here either.

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The hero was played by a dude named Hector Echavarria. He also directed Never Surrender. He's an Argentine dude, and according to imdb, he has a lot of projects on the way, so we'll see what happens. If Never Surrender is good, he may find his way into the Potential Hall of Famer section of the blog. I liked him here as the hero, and his martial arts skills were pretty solid.

I'm going to cheat here and work in an extra paragraph, because Art Camacho directed this, and it may be his best work ever. This wasn't that bad. I think I'd put Crooked aka Soft Target, which had Don "The Dragon" and Olivier Gruner, above it, but this was a close second. I'm still kind of afraid to check out Half Past Dead 2, but maybe after this effort, Camacho's earned my viewership. Big if, though.

This is worth a rental. It's bad, but a good bad that you can make fun of. I thought it was funny enough anyway. It doesn't try too hard to be something it isn't, and the cast you're renting it for all turn in solid performances. If you didn't listen to me on Art of War III, listen to me here. (And if you really didn't listen to me on Art of War III, I'm sorry.)

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463947/

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