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.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Bad Pack (1997)


We'd been looking to get some more Rowdy Roddy Piper up here, so when I found The Bad Pack, I figured why not. It also sports Ralph Moeller, Robert Davi, Marshall Teague, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Larry B. Scott (Revenge of the Nerds and Snake Eater II), and Brent Huff ( Strike Commando 2, and he also directed). Ensemble cast, Seven Samurai or Magnificent Seven remake, can't go wrong, right?

The Bad Pack is about a town in Texas near the Mexican border that is terrorized by a militia group run by the evil Marshall Teague (he might not be overtly saying he used to fuck guys like you in prison, but he's certainly thinking it.) A couple townspeople get bold and go looking in LA for a mercenary. They find Robert Davi, who's less than impressed, until Larry B. Scott, a CDM (Can Do Man-- though he often calls himself a "CDM Man", which I guess would make him a "Can Do Man Man") lets him know that there is tons of money at Teague's compound. So Davi rounds up his friends-- four of them-- who with Davi, Scott make a six-man army ready to hand that militia it's ass. Then they find Brent Huff on the side of the road, and that rounds out their seven.


I kind of liked this movie. Sure, it had some shortcomings, first and foremost among them, Vernon Wells is only in like 1 and 1/2 scenes (more on that later). It also was somewhat light on the action, but what action it had, it was pretty fun. Also, Davi, Piper, and pretty much everyone else did a great job. This really is DTV made for DTV fans. You get the great one-liners, the great explosions, the great baddie that you really want to root against, and the great heroes you want to root for. This one worked for me.

This is only post number 13 for Mr. Piper. Looking over his DTV oeuvre, there aren't many DTV films left that are really appropriate for this site. He doesn't have a huge role in this, and he plays a driver with a bum leg, so no body slams or sleeper holds. You're certainly not watching The Bad Pack expecting Tough and Deadly. You're probably wondering why, if his DTV output is so scant, he's a DTVC Hall of Famer? Most of ten or so DTV films where he's a main star are really great. Plus, he did They Live. Plus, he he's Rowdy Roddy Piper. Inaugural Hall of Famer, and well deserving of it.


Many of you know my taste in movies spans many genres and styles, and that includes a enormous love of Akira Kurosawa's films. We've seen some remakes of his other works in the past, in particular, Omega Doom and Desert Heat remaking Yojimbo. The plot of Seven Samurai also lends itself to remakes, and though this might be better classified as a remake of a remake, Magnificent Seven, the idea is roughly the same. I think this one did a pretty good job with the source material, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

You might be wondering about Robert Davi as the main hero. In the first diner scene, when he takes out a bunch of armed robbers, it doesn't look as great as it should. But Davi sells everything else, playing the stoic old warrior to the hilt, then really bringing it in his final fight with Teague, delivering one of the all-time best gun to the back of the head disarmament scenes. One issue I had, though, was in an earlier scene, he plays blackjack with Teague, and with twenty showing, he hits, drawing an ace. Later, when he kills Teague, he calls him a bad card player. In actuality, it was Davi who was the poor card player, because he hit on twenty.


Man, we got robbed on Vernon Wells. Only one scene, and he looks like John Goodman with a mullet. Seriously? What happened to Bennett? Why isn't anyone telling him to let off some steam? And am I the only one who noticed that he has an Australian accent? Why waste that? Sven-Ole Thorsen isn't supposed to have lines, and you gave him more lines and scenes than Wells. Bad move Brent Huff. Bad move.

I'm thinking VHS is the only route on this bad boy, depending on where you're living, though Amazon has a few DVD versions floating around on their website. If you find it, and don't have to spend a lot on it, it's a pretty fun time, and I'd say worth it.

For more info:


  1. Nice review. Big fan of all these people especially Davi. One of these days will have to pick up a copy.

  2. If you're a Davi fan, you'll love this movie. Definitely a must in that case.

  3. Wow, I haven't thought of this film in years! Can't even really remember if I've seen it now. I am upset that it doesn't seem to be on Netflix at the moment. I do love some vintage Davi though so I will be looking for it. Recently saw him in NO CONTEST w/Roddy Piper & Andrew Dice Clay. Rough film.

  4. Good stuff, man. Another flick with Davi you might want to check out is The Taking of Beverly Hills. It's...Well it's not good but it may be the only movie where the main bad guy has asthma. Branscombe Richmond is also in it as the main henchman.

  5. No Contest was pretty rough, from what I remember. This one definitely delivers much better in the Davi department, so if you love Davi, you'll love this.

    The Taking of Beverly Hills looks absolutely amazing. I can't wait to get after that one, especially with Ken Wahl. Thanks for bringing that one to my attention.

    Yeah, Netflix can really be hit or miss, especially with these kinds of movies. I gotta hope though that films like R.O.T.O.R. will be a sign of better things to come though.