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.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Interceptors aka Interceptor Force (1999)

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I don't really know what's taken me so long to get this movie done. I've had it on Watch Instantly for over a year now, maybe close to 18 months. I think what happens is I throw a film on my Instant Queue, and then forget about it, with the idea that I can get to it whenever. Right now I don't just have DTV films in there, but tons of Criterion Collection movies. If you have Netflix, Criterion on Watch Instantly is one of the coolest things, because a lot of the great foreign classics you've maybe not gotten to yet but have always been meaning to are on there. Of course, if you're like me, there's so many I've been meaning to see, and I just never seem to be able to get to them.

Interceptor Force has Olivier Gruner with 80s teen sensation William Zabka and Showgirls alum Glenn Plummer as mercenary extractors that are called in by Brad Dourif to go to Mexico and pick up the debris of a crashed fighter jet. What they don't know is the debris is really extraterrestrial, and the alien that came with it is a dangerous killer. Not only that, the Mexican town is run by a drug cartel, and they want to kill Gruner and his crew too. And not only that, but Dourif made them take two extra people with them, Boa vs. Python's Angel Boris and a guy who looked like a young Adrian Monk, and these people are keeping things from them, only revealing them as the plot requires. Will Gruner make it out alive?

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First 15 minutes, amazing film. Gruner kicking ass and taking names, then picked up by a plane and joking around with Zabka and Plummer. Who'd a thunk we'd only get one more great scene like that for the rest of the film. Everything else was bad Predator crossed with bad Terminator 2. The problem with all these alien invasion films is they get caught up in their crummy plots. They make these aliens that are impossible to stop, write themselves into corners, and then walk all over the paint and track it back into the house, making a bigger mess, instead of starting over and making a better overall story. The way to go would've been politician's daughter is kidnapped by the drug cartel, and Gruner's men are called in to get her back.

Gruner was awesome here, which made this all the more disappointing. At least they didn't completely waste him, but they didn't use him enough. Gruner's at his best when he's allowed to really get after it. He makes the one-on-ten fight believable, which in turn makes it awesome. This also puts Gruner in double figures for movies up here finally, which is kind of surprising. I looked back at my past Gruner posts, and a lot of them say the same thing-- why doesn't he have more reviews? I guess he's just one of those ones who gets lost in the shuffle. Next up for him will be T.N.T., which I'm shocked Netflix still has.

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This is our second William Zabka film, the first being Gale Force, starring Michael Dudikoff and Treat Williams. Anyone who digs 80s movies like I do, has to love William Zabka. It's often hard to reconcile how he looks in these DTV films with the bully or heel from a lot of my faves. What I found interesting when going over his bio is how few films he actually did. He was such an icon of that era, in my brain I associate him with so many other movies that he didn't have anything to do with. I'm trying like a trooper to get my hands on the Shootfighter films, which are must haves. Cross your fingers.

There was a pretty sweet supporting cast, with Ernie Hudson jr., Brad Dourif, and Glenn Plummer. Also, we have Angel Boris, who is special because she starred in Boa vs. Python, the first film we ever reviewed here at the DTVC. Shows you how big of a deal it was to me, considering I was away for the weekend and forgot that Saturday marked the three year anniversary. I'm a moron, because I thought May 5th was our first day. Anyway, we've come a long way in that time, and I want to thank everyone for all their support. If it wasn't for you we wouldn't have even made it out of May 2007, let alone May 2010 and beyond.

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Whenever I feel like a moron, I found a new way to raise my self-esteem: Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. Have you seen this show? All these crazy dudes with crazy hairdos try to explain everything in human history by saying aliens did it for us or taught us how to do it. I saw it late Saturday night, only to find out it's actually on in primetime! I can see 2AM to capture that crazy insomniac demographic, but primetime? There's enough of a market for that? I want to believe they're all just like me, and want to feel smarter, because the idea that that many people are watching that show and thinking everything humans ever accomplished was through the aid of fictitious aliens... that kinda scares me.

Interceptor Force is pretty pedestrian outside of two great Olivier Gruner fight scenes. Considering it's on Netflix Watch Instantly, if you have that you're only investing your time, which isn't so bad. I'm not even sure it's in the "so bad it's good" category, because the story is so lame and derivative. Again, other than the two great fight scenes, nothing to write home about.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167215/

17 comments:

  1. This movie is really just a forgettable, unimaginative and flaccid piece of dross. I really don't know how to explain it as anything but the lame and derivative movie it is. Ernie Hudson and Brad Dourif are in both in it but barely andit was just an uninspired throwaway. Also you don't see much of the monster in question possibly due to the film's cheap budget.

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  2. Yeah, with the cast involved, I was just looking for something better. Still, you had to admit those two Gruner fight scenes were great. T.N.T. has a great cast as well, how do you think that one will turn out?

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  3. I thought T.N.T. was decent but I don't think you're gonna like it very much as it dosen't have much action(pretty much the wohle middle section of the film is devoid of it) and let's it's story get in the way, which I know you don't like. So my advice is don't expect very much from that film. Another weak Gruner film i'd advise having low expectations for is Crackerjack 3.

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  4. Wasn't Crackerjack 3 the one where Gruner puts bombs in Garden Gnomes?

    TNT was very dull, Eric Roberts isn't in it much, Sam Jones was wasted and Randy Travis against all odds actually gives a decent performance. Really after Mercenary Gruner flicks tend to be all lame. Perhaps Pyun's Sword and Sorcerer will change that.

    I didn't like The Circuit movies (Although 2 was hilarious and fun to mock)Mars was dreary and uninspired, Extreme Honor Gruner was fine in but the lead in that was a total tool, G.O.D was another Jalal Merhi yawnfest and Crooked was a big disappointment.

    Savage though I highly recommend for a unique WTF experience

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  5. Letting the story get in the way of the kinds of films we're talking about should annoy everyone, not just me. These are not top notch script writers, and when they get full of themselves and think we want to sit through their crap as opposed to see shit get blown up and a bunch of amped up martial arts fight scenes, yeah, you better believe I get annoyed, especially when the trailers for these films sell me on their action quotient. There are too many great directors and screenwriters out there for me to turn to when I want that kind of thing, but when I pop a DTV actioner into my DVD player, I'm looking for something else, not a wannabe thinking he has something to say.

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  6. Well sometimes it bothers me and osmetimes it dosen't, it depends on whether the action is good enough to make up for it, Ninja And Marine 2 were both decent enough for me, one movie which had too much plot and not enough action was Black Rain, definitely not one of Ridley Scott's finer moments(though I didn't hate it NEARLY as much as I hated Gladiator, how that awful film won best picture is beyond me, and it looks Scott is trying to replicate that success with that new Robin Hood film, which dosen't look very good either)

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  7. I wasn't the hugest fan of that Gladiator either, but what would you have rather seen win the award that year? Crouching Tiger? O, Brother Where Art Thou (which wasn't even nominated)? 2000 was a weaker year for films in general, and I think Gladiator was the best of a weak field.

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  8. Sorry, I forgot to mention Traffic too, but I stil think Gladiator was just that little bit better.

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  9. Yeah I did slightly prefer Crouching Tiger and Traffic(though I still found both overrated), never saw O Brother though and don't have any plans to do so, to tell you the truth I really don't care for Oscar nominated films for the most part, most of them just don't really appeal to me much. Especially historical epic films, like Gladatior, which pretty much bore me to death, Alexander being the absolute worst one, what an abonimation that film was!

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  10. If you were wise Matt, you'd pick up a copy of Angel Town on video. For sheer Gruner kung fu you really don't get much better than that. Although I must admit I seem to be alone in that regard. Well part of it is that nobody has really seen it. But I just think this trailer showcases how sweet it is. I do recommend the movie though even if the politics get a little too heavyhanded. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW4l7P2aVfU

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  11. If I were wise? You mean if I were rich and could afford to buy all these movies that aren't on Netflix or Hulu or whatnot, right? I'm not getting paid to write this blog, so I gotta do what I can to keep costs down. If I were wise that's what I'd do.

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  12. I just looked at the price of the DVD on Amazon (I bought this on DVD when it was relatively new...I'm so glad my dad bought a DVD player in 98) A hundred bucks for the DVD that is absurd, espevcially considering I paid 13. I also bought Nemesis for 10. On VHS it's like ten bucks...Problem is you gotta make a choice since the ma and pa shops are closed down.

    I'd donload it if I were you.

    As for Hulu, that shit is free so don't guilt trip me. Were still waiting for that Pray For Death review...Obviously someone has dropped the ball.

    See you should've started the website back in 2002, you would've had none of these problems locating such. I mean hell, they used to even have these movies on TV a couple times.

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  13. If you were wise, you'd worry less about me dropping the ball, and you'd consider updating your own blog. If it makes you feel any better, I have the schedule for this month entirely mapped out due to my upcoming vacation, and Pray for Death is on there. I think I found something else on Hulu that you might like a little more, if you'll just trust me. You know, I had a look at Movies in the Attic, and I didn't see Pray for Death reviewed either, nor did I see Angel Town. Come on Kenner, we're still waiting on those... in fact, we're still waiting anything for the last 2+ weeks. Obviously someone dropped the ball there.

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  14. One word man, Finals.

    Touche though and you're absolutely right.

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  15. Well, all kidding aside, I'm glad you still made a point to shoot over here and support the blog when you're busy, and good luck on your finals.

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  16. Yeah good luck man, I got my finals next week also, also it should be said that Kenner actually DID review Pray For Death back when he was on Geocites.

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  17. If you slightly enjoyed this one, you really need to check out the sequel. Far more over-the-top, far more Gruner, more actually fighting aliens and of course, it was filmed in Bulgaria.

    It was released in the UK as 'They Have Returned' because they released the original IF as 'Last Line of Defence' and then for some reason billed 'Extreme Honor' (yes the 300lb Pork Roast movies) as 'Last Line of Defence 2', so apparently this one had to have an entirely different title even though it is a direct sequel.

    I reviewed it just before Christmas: http://mondo-esoterica.net/Interceptor%20Force%202.html

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