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.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's Slay (2005)


We're starting off our DTVC celebration of Christmas in style with Santa's Slay. What's better than an enormous Jew that was a former champion pro wrestler playing a murderous Viking version of Santa? Really, the better question is, what's more DTVC?

Santa's Slay has Bill Goldberg as an evil Santa Claus who was only nice to kids because an angel tricked him into a losing a bet on a curling match. To pay his end of the wager, he's had to spend the last 1000 years giving presents to kids, instead of killing them. Now the 1000 years are up, so he's headed to Hell Township in the Northern US to wreak some havoc. He's got a score to settle, and he'll take pleasure in killing anyone in his way. Now it's up to one high school kid, his girlfriend, and his grandfather, played by Robert Culp, to stop him.


This is pretty sweet. The cover leads one to believe it's a horror film, but really it's more of an action film with horror elements. The beginning is great too. It's your classic bad Christmas comedy film with a family that doesn't get along, and they even have cameos from actors and actresses like Fran Drescher, Christ Kattan, and an uncredited James Caan. Then Goldberg comes down the chimney, and kills them all, letting us know we're watching a different kind of Christmas movie. Everything from that point on is a joke, and I liked a lot of them, especially Santa and the angel curling. Everything you think of in a Christmas movie is turned into violence-- which is just how we like it.

My friends and I used to love watching WCW wrestling when I was in college, especially Monday Night Nitro. It was hilarious, between the characters and the NWO and all that. That being said, I was never much of a Goldberg fan. I don't know, Hollywood Hulk Hogan just worked better for me. Maybe if I was taking it seriously Goldberg would've been my man, but seeing how good he was here as an evil Santa, I realize him being serious as a wrestler was the real missed opportunity, because he would've made a great Hollywood Hulk Hogan type. I haven't seen Half Past Dead 2 yet, but I have a feeling he isn't as good in that as he is in this.


Robert Culp is great. We last saw him in the Olivier Gruner flick Mercenary, and he was great there too. His work has slowed somewhat over the past few years, with the bulk of his work after Santa's Slay being the less arduous voice work for video games, but that can be expected considering he'll be 80 next summer. Still, no matter what role he does, no matter how poor or how silly the film, he always brings his A game.

I'm not a big fan of Christmas, just so you know, and I didn't even want to do a week of Christmas films until the end of last week, when I just decided to go for it. I don't know, it's just the way this country is held hostage for one month every year, between the atrocious music, the crowds at stores, and the stupid Christmas specials on TV. Am I coming off too cantankerous? Perhaps, but I'm not sorry for it. Anyway, this movie let me watch as all the things I hate about Christmas are beaten into a bloody pulp by Bill Goldberg, and now I feel a lot better.


It's time for me to make a big confession: I have a thing for Fran Drescher. I know, the voice is an issue for some people, but I don't think she talks like that in real life, and if she does, it's still not an issue for me. I just thought she was so hot on The Nanny, even if the show itself did nothing for me and I've never watched a full episode of it. I was very disappointed when Goldberg killed her at the beginning of Santa's Slay. Also I thought I'd mention that the hero's girlfriend, played by Emilie de Ravin. People might know her from Lost, but she was also on the amazing syndicated show BeastMaster. Any chance I can get to bring up BeastMaster on this blog is goo. Oh, and don't get me started on why I think BeastMaster was a better show than Lost.

I better wrap this up before I get on a huge tangent. If you're looking for some off-beat Christmas viewing, this is a great place to start. It's not too long, very few dead moments, and a lot of fun to boot. A great way to kick off our holiday celebration.

For more info:


  1. I managed to find this online after I read your review and I have come to the conclusion: "Best Holiday Movie Ever"

  2. I can get behind that. I have a different personal favorite that I'm reviewing tomorrow, but I can get behind Santa's Slay as best ever.