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.


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hologram Man (1995)


This movie was thrust into my queue after I saw American Kickboxer 2 and wanted everything I could find with Evan Lurie in it. Of course, other things took precedence, from Dolph films, to getting more reviews for guys like Olivier Gruner and Gary Daniels, to our new Wild Card posts on Friday that spotlight mainstream films. Mr. Lurie, along with Hologram Man, was simply lost in the shuffle.

Hologram Man takes place in one of those futures that looks suspiciously like early 1990s LA, where John Amos and Joe Lara play cops after Evan Lurie's gang. In case you're wondering, Lurie's character is named Norman "Slash" Gallagher, and though a relation to the prop comic isn't explicitly mentioned, it's definitely apparent. Anyway, Slash is arrested by Lara after Lurie kills Amos, and Slash is sentenced to holographic detention, or something like that. His likeness is turned into a hologram, and an attempt is made to reprogram him. However many years later, a corporation has taken over LA, runs it like a dictatorship, and when Slash comes up for parole, they want nothing to do with letting him go. That's when the talking Daryl from Newhart turns Lurie into a walking hologram with special powers, and all hell breaks loose. Slash wants to start a revolution from the corporate dictatorship controlling LA, but Joe Lara knows that Slash's brand of government will be no utopia either.


I loved this movie. And I know you'll like it too, at least I hope you will, because if you're reading this there's already an unsaid agreement that films that start with shootouts where John Amos blows away bad guys with exploding bullets, and then some vehicle reappropriated from the Mad Max lot cruises in and blows up cars too, are the most amazing films ever. And if we have that unsaid agreement, then when an Evan Lurie (who also wrote this gem) rocking braids appears in hologram form, it's understood that we both feel like life can't get any better for us at that point.

Bad movies, or really any movies for that matter, are like wines. The person with no experience drinking them can only discern the difference between red and white. The novice knows what makes a Pinot a Pinot, and a Cab Sav a Cab Sav. It's the person who loves wine that can tell you what makes a Russian River Pinot different from a Chilean one, can taste fruits when everyone else can only taste alcohol, and will get angry if you buy him or her a bottle of Yellow Tail for Christmas. I realized just how much I was that way with movies, when I found myself knowing subconsciously what made Hologram Man a distinctly PM Entertainment bad action movie, as opposed to one of the Golan-Globus variety. I could spend days boring you with the minutiae between the two major action producers, but let's just say that in 2010, I'll be exploring more of PM Entertainment's contribution to the world of DTV.


Man we love us some Evan Lurie here at the DTVC. Again, it's a shame that he has such a small filmography. Who saw American Kickboxer 2 and didn't think this was one of the greatest men alive? imdb is very scant on details about him, so who knows if he's still alive, but he hasn't made a film since 1997's Operation Cobra. Seriously, Evan, if you're out there, and you're reading this, we love you. Get back in the game. Write Hologram Man 2 if you have to. Anyway, there are about 8 more films we can review from Mr. Lurie, so I guess I better do that before I go asking for more movies from him.

As much as Evan Lurie is awesome, Joe Lara really isn't. It is surprising that 400+ posts in, and this is the first time Mr. Lara has made an appearance. There are a few, like Armstrong, which I've been meaning to get to, so expect to see him a little more as 2010 rolls on. That may or may not be a good thing for everyone. You be the judge.


I should say something quickly about the science behind the holograms that become people in this film-- it's hilarious. I'm sure if you went over all the other reviews we've done here at the DTVC, you'd find occasions where I read someone the riot act for how ridiculous whatever they were selling us in terms of how realistic or plausible it was. In this case, to do that would make me look stupider than the holograms dipped in a space age polymer so they became humans again were. Sometimes it's better to sit back, laugh, and enjoy it, instead of being critical.

I got this on Netflix, which is a huge score considering the quality of film it was. That this is on DVD at all is amazing, and I'd rent it while you can before it falls out of print, which isn't all that unfathomable. As Martha Stewart would say "It's a very good thing."

For more info:


  1. Yes, absolutely, this is Lurie's 'Citizen Kane', his 'Henry Fool.' A cinematic tour de force. Loved it.

  2. His "Rosebud" was "No one calls me Norman!"