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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Firestorm (1995)

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I was looking for more Jeff Speakman films, and found this movie packaged with Scorpio One in some kind of Robert Carradine double feature. Call me cynical, but I always thought a Robert Carradine double feature was Revenge of the Nerds and Revenge of the Nerds II.

Firestorm is not the movie about firefighters starring Howie Long. Instead, it's a futuristic actioner where a mining planet controlled by a corrupt corporation is using cyborgs as slaves. Robert Carradine is leading the resistance, and a guy who works for the corporation helps him out. That guy is chased to Earth by the corporation, and killed in front of his twin brother. Turns out the twin brother is a former cop, and he wants revenge.

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This was pretty fun. Don't get me wrong, it was atrocious, but atrocious in a funny way. The lead hero guy was kind of doughy, and very silly. He gets his neck shot early on, which forces him to speak in breathy tones. It's so ridiculous, in a C. Thomas Howell trying to be tough kind of way. Everyone else was in like mid-nineties goth club clothes, especially the women in vinyl pants and skirts and boots. The sets were great too. Pretty much what made them futuristic were the automatic doors. In one scene there was a desk lamp that was almost identical to one I used to have. What I loved the most was how bad most actors delivered their lines. They all sounded like non sequiturs, like they were missing lines somewhere in between.

Robert Carradine wasn't in this too much. He had more of a supporting role. I'm not sure it matters. The movie was so bad, his being in it was just an added novelty. Just another thing to make fun of. I looked at him on imdb, and he's actually been in one other we reviewed, Time Cop: The Berlin Decision. I don't really remember him in it though. He has quite a few DTV films to his credit, though, including Scorpio One, which we'll be reviewing next. I remember him in a couple action films, but I don't remember the names now. Maybe I should look into it.

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The main hero was played by a dude named Bentley Mitchum. I'd never heard of the guy, but this is the third film of his we've reviewed here, the other two being Walking Tall: The Payback and Meatballs 4. I seriously don't remember him in either. He was pretty silly in this movie, though. He was probably at his best at the beginning when he was the off-beat jazz trumpeter. After that, when he was supposed to be dark and brooding and talking in breathy tones, it was just ten kinds of silly. On the one hand, I wonder how the people making the movie didn't see that; but on the other, it made the movie much more enjoyable for me, so I'm glad they did it.

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Joseph Culp played the main baddie's hatchet man. He was in a movie that I had been considering posting for a while called Assault on Dome 4. It was a TV movie that was pretty much Die Hard on a space ship, but it's one bright spot was Bruce Campbell as bad guy. I read in his biography, If Chins Could Kill, that he was offered the role of the hero, but he liked the role of the bad guy more, and asked if he could do that. What happened was the Destro Effect, where the bad guy was cooler than the good guy, because Joseph Culp was no Bruce Campbell. Well, in this movie, he wasn't much better as the bad guy either.

I think this film, when paired with Scorpio One, is a great double feature of bad movies. The question is, are you looking for a double feature of bad movies? If you are, then by all means, throw it on your Netflix queue.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113067/

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I was planning on reviewing Crank 2: High Voltage the week it came out on DVD, but I was in Connecticut and I missed it, so here I am, a week late. I've said multiple times that Jason Statham could be one of those ones to carry the torch for that next generation of action stars. His performance here definitely backs that up, because he was awesome. As far as the rest of the film goes, at times it seemed completely amazing, and at others I found myself literally saying out loud "are they fucking serious?" (By the way, I know what literally means, so I was saying it out loud.) In one scene, a guy gets the tip of his elbow chopped off. Why? In another, a guy was forced to saw off his nipples. I'm not kidding, and I literally looked at a sudoku in the paper as it was happening, because I couldn't look at the screen. That's just gross. On the other hand, you've got Corey Haim in a mullet, a car chase that ends when it runs into a porn star strike demanding better wages, and David Carradine as a 100-year-old horny Triad gangleader. I guess the only way I can describe it is it was utterly ridiculous, and sometimes the ridiculousness worked for me, and at others it didn't.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1121931/

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