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.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bloody Birthday (1981)


We continue our Halloween 2010 celebration with a camp classic from 1981, Bloody Birthday. By all means, it's okay to sing "birthday, bloody birthday.... birthday, bloody birthday..." When I saw U2 in concert back in I believe it was 2001, in Albany, NY, they performed "Bloody Sunday", and my buddy, a big U2 fan (much bigger than me) said they never play that. No idea why Albany was so lucky, but I'm not complaining.

Bloody Birthday is about three ten-year-old kids who were born on a solar eclipse, and because of that, they have no morals. 10-year-olds with no morals means murderous crime spree, at least as far as I can tell, but because they're 10, no one even considers that they could be the killers-- except for one teen and her ten-year-old brother. Can they stop them before it's too late?


This is a great time. One thing I really liked (and you may not be able to tell from the pics I snagged) is that a good amount of it either takes place in broad daylight, or in well lit situations. I was thinking, as the teen heroine is being chased through a junk yard by a car driven by a couple of the ten-year-olds (one steering, the other using his hands to press the gas peddle), "wow, this is really well lit. When was the last horror movie made that took place in the day like that?" What was interesting about Bloody Birthday, was how they seemed to know ten-year-olds look silly as murders, but they played it straight, especially the kids, which made it all the more fun. You can still beat a sheriff to death with a baseball bat in the afternoon and have it be disturbing.

The leader of the kids looked like a young Skippy from Family Ties. Turns out he was a young Parker Lewis's best friend on Parker Lewis Can't Lose, that Ferris Bueller rip-off show from the 90s (do you remember the actual Ferris Bueller TV show that lasted like a minute?). Whoever he was, this kid was a psycho Anthony Perkins could appreciate. When I think about it though, young kids seem to play better psychos in movies, don't they? (I said "psychos", not "Psychlos", though they might make good those too.)


That's right, your eyes aren't deceiving you, it's DTVC Hall of Famer Michael Dudikoff, appearing in three scenes, and making out with Julie Brown (the red head, not the Downtown variety-- more on that later). He doesn't really have a lot of lines in those few scenes either. Too bad, but back then they didn't know what they had in our man Duds. Speaking of which, imdb has two pre-production credits in his bio. Could it be? After a long hiatus? God, we hope so. As far as the rest of his movies go, I'm not sure what we'll do next, just because I'm having trouble getting my hands on the ones I want. Bear with me, though, we won't give up.

Anyone remember Julie Brown and her MTV show from the late 80s early 90s? Well, if you do, you may not recognize her here, in part because she's naked or in her underwear for a good portion of it. And man, does she have a smokin' body. The ten-year-olds watch her from a peephole her sister bore into the closet. And why wouldn't they, huh? For my straight female and gay male readers, there's some dudage, but nowhere near as much as we get hot naked chicks. Sorry. (I should point out, Downtown Julie Brown, the other Julie Brown on MTV at that time, was in the Gary Daniels flick Fist of the Northstar.


In our seventh paragraph, I wanted to mention the cameo by José Ferrer. He's the father of Miguel, excellent star of one of our favorites, RoboCop. Ferrer the father was a great actor in his own right as well, though-- actually far better, when you consider he won a Best Actor Oscar in 1950. Humphrey Bogart was considered the stand-out in The Caine Mutiny, but if you haven't seen it, Ferrer's rant at the end is spectacular.

I think you'll love this one. A great mix of camp and killing, both silly and sinister. Not only that, but this film is available to rent via Netflix. Wonders never cease, huh?

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