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.

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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.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, June 28, 2010

No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987)

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The procurement of this film was a pretty tight one. I thought I had it coming from one source, but then that fell though, so I went somewhere else, and then it was a question of, do I get it on time for a Monday post? I got it on Saturday, meaning it all worked out. No Retreat, No Surrender 2, ready to go.

No Retreat, No Surrender 2 really had nothing to do with the first one, which was fine with me, because that movie was only okay, and this was pretty awesome. Our hero (Loren Avedon) is in Thailand to reunite with his bride-to-be and meet her parents. Only thing is, she's kidnapped, the fam is murdered, and the dad has to pay a ransom. That's when Avedon hooks up with an old buddy who's into all kinds of military shit. The two of them get a chopper ride into Cambodia from Cynthia Rothrock in an attempt to save the girl. Only possible snag? The girl is being held by Matthias Hues.

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This movie was pretty sweet. Long by about 25 minutes, but pretty sweet. Corey Yuen is an awesome director and fight choreographer, he just needed to take the script and trim it down, because there is no bad action movie story that can't be told in under 88 minutes, let alone the whopping 104 this one came in at. The best way to enjoy this and get the full effect without getting bored? Do what I did, and work on a crossword puzzle. Then when I needed a break from it, I could get back to the film and see another great fight scene-- and I think I'm selling them short, because they were pretty first class. If someone just edited it down so it was only a montage of the fight scenes, you'd have a five-star film.

We'll start, as we always do, with the film's Hall of Famer. Don't let her presence on the cover fool you, she is not the star, or even the co-star, she's more like third, right after Avedon's buddy and above Matthias Hues. That means she does get some solid fight scenes, but not the bigger ones Avedon gets. That's okay, it worked out well for me, I just don't want anyone going in looking for a Cynthia Rothrock film to be disappointed, because this is really a Loren Avedon one.

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And speak of the devil, our man is back, DTVC favorite Loren Avedon. One thing No Retreat, No Surrender 2 did even better than The King of the Kickboxers, was showcase how good Avedon can be. Great fight scenes, and he really goes for it in every one of them. If you thought Corey Yuen's The Transporter was great, this was even better, and a big part of that was Avedon. Right now we have about ten or eleven films left of his to do, it'll just be a matter of finding them all.

Matthias Hues is back again, this time as a Russian. I'm trying to think if we have a film where he plays a good guy. I'm trying to think if I've ever seen one even. When are Germans ever good guys? Uwe Boll employs Til Schweiger, and I guess he counts. Was it Klaus Kinski who started this trend of German baddies? I guess it was probably Hitler, right? If it sounds like I'm dumping on the Germans a bit too much, let me then say that they really got after against the English yesterday. I can't wait to see them play Argentina.

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There was a lot of sex trade going on in this film. Avedon accidentally stays in a brothel, and then he meets his buddy at a strip club in the red light district. In 2000, at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting, I went to see a presentation a woman gave on her study of the Thai sex trade, entitled Little Brown Fucking Machines Powered by Rice. I guess that's what the Western businessmen who go to Thailand call them. Her main issue was with how Western men have it in their minds that these girls love them and love doing sexual favors for them, as opposed to poor girls selling their bodies because they have no other option. This film doesn't really do much to dispel that myth.

This is a tough one for me, because it was long and drawn out, but it also had some really great action, so I'm giving it a solid recommendation. I would say watch it while you're doing a crossword or Sudoku, or maybe while you're cleaning the house. Maybe I should edit together an all fight version and see what that ends up like.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097991/

9 comments:

  1. Looks good, I have this in a "No Retreat, No Surrender" set of which I've only watched King of the Kickboxers so far. Didn't realise Cynthia was in this!

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  2. Good stuff and good kung fu I think my favorite part is when Matthias Hues took one of the hostages on in a big elaborate fight sequence, then shot him and then threw him in a gator pit. Hilarious.

    No Retreat No Surrender 3 is also pretty fun as well.

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  3. It's a real shame that Avedon never acheived his full career potential thanks to Lorenzo Lamas(whom I lost a bit of respect for after hearing about what he did)Anyways i'm wondering Matt, would you consider reviewing Deadly Ransom?

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  4. Yeah, No Retreat, No Surrender 3 will definitely be on the docket ASAP for Avedon's next flick. I'm not sure if he has the resume to make it into the Hall of Fame, but we can at least get as many of his films up here as possible.

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  5. I think Bruce Boxleitner belongs in the hall of fame as the worst actor of all time but in a hilarious way. I just had to throw this out there cause I saw him in a Sci-Fi original and I just couldn't take my eyes off how hilarious he did his lines. This guy is like a rip off of David Hasselhoff.

    Not to go off topic but I just can't help it...Snakehead Terror was utterly hilarious. To be fair I was with a bunch of people mocking it to which my sister asked me if I saw any movies worse than that. I said I haven't seen many worse than that.

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  6. I actually thought Snakehead Terror was pretty entertianing(In fact I have a particular fondness for most Sci-fi channel original films), i've seen FAR worse films then that one-the worst film i've seen by far is a godawful DTV horror film called DArk Heaven-filled with no-name actors who sound incredibly bored whenever they're reciting dialogue, the most threadbare sets imagineable, oh yeah and the worst part-it's EXTREMELY boring, almost nothing happens in the whole film, It's a miracle that I managed to finish that film, though I damn near fell asleep afterwards. The only thing that film is good for is curing insomnia.

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  7. Thanks again for the link we really appreciate it. Also looking forward to your review of Angel Of Fury.

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  8. I have yet to watch this movie. To let you know there is a 86 minute cut of the film that came out here in the U.S. only on VHS right now though. I have both the UK version and the US. There was also an Australian release which is said to have the snake cutting scene intact that the BBFC cut out of the film.

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  9. The version I had definitely was longer than 86 minutes, so it must not have been the US VHS release. Thanks for pointing it out though.

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