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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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lone Tiger (1999)

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This was one of those sneaky ones that I had in my queue, not at the top but near it, and then, when all the ones above it were deemed unavailable, it was sent to me. Will it have been a nice surprise or worse than a Daffy Duck themed tie for Christmas. Also, Ty at Comeuppance Reviews took the plunge on this bad boy as well.

Lone Tiger is about a dude from Japan who comes to Las Vegas with a very furry tiger mask-- it looks like a furrier skinned it off a real tiger's face!-- and an eye for revenge. His dad used to wear the mask as a wrestler, and our man needs to know who murdered him. Also, he has his dad's score to settle with wrestler The Dark Tiger, played by Mattias Hues, the guy his dad was supposed to wrestle before he was killed. Anyway, when shady underworld dude Richard Lynch offers him some cash and a shot at joining Timothy Bottoms's wrestling league-- and as a result a shot at Dark Tiger-- he takes it, even though he and his trainer, Robert Z'Dar, are total douchebags. Oh yeah, and our hero befriends some street urchins too.

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The only thing that made sense about this film was that it wasn't very good. First off, it has a running time of around 105 minutes, and we know if you're moving past the 88 minute mark, your film better be damn good, and this one wasn't even close. Second, was I supposed to take it seriously? I mean, between the mask, and the wrestling that was I guess guys fighting for real or something, and Timothy Bottoms's well-feathered hair, the whole thing seemed like a joke. The fights were extremely clunky too-- I wonder why, oh wait, I think I got it, the fights were clunky because the main hero was doing all his scenes with his vision obstructed by a ridiculous looking tiger mask! And the thing is, usually you can take something like this for the so bad it's good ride, and it would have been, except now we're brought back to that extended running time. By the time we hit the awesome stuff at the end with Robert Z'Dar coughing up his cherry Starburst (TM), any fun energy this film might have had had been exhausted.

One element of this film that looked intriguing going in was that we had three of the best DTV baddies, Richard Lynch, Robert Z'Dar, and Matthias Hues, all in one film. I had a feeling one of the three would end up being a good guy, and that was Hues, which was actually a really cool turn for him, because he works well as a good guy. I don't know that I'd like to see him as a good guy all the time, because he makes a better bad guy, but it's nice for a change. The other thing is, he had a really fun scene where he got to do some pro wrestling. This is where this film went wrong though, because they didn't give us more of that and less of our hero eating fried chicken or telling Richard Lynch he wouldn't kill for him.

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Something tells me Robert Z'Dar was sold on this film when his agent told him he'd only have to wear sweatpants and act like a douche the whole time, only exerting himself for one scene at the end. Where do I sign up, right? Still, as long as that meaty face is featured prominently, I think we're all all right. I do think it wasn't very fair of the director to continue shooting while Z'Dar was coughing up his cherry Starburst at the end. Someone should've performed the Heimlich or at least kicked him over a dining room chair so he could perform it on himself.

We're much more used to the Timothy Bottoms that looks like our former President, G.W. Bush, so this extremely hair-feathered version is a bit of a trip. He and Richard Lynch-- whose hair is also fairly well-feathered, but we're used to that with him-- are like former adversaries or something, and they have a score to settle or something, I don't really know, by that point I was like 75 minutes in, and had really stopped trying. One could've double-crossed the other in an amateur bowling tournament for all I knew.

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There was one plus, another McDonald's made an appearance. I'm wondering if I should start tagging them. If anything, it made my mind wander all the more as the film dragged on. I was like "man, that McDonald's sounds good right now, I bet I could run over there and back without missing anything..." It was cold out that day, though, and my tiger mask was at the cleaner's, and I couldn't risk the frostbite on my face.

You can get this from Netflix on DVD. How bad does that taste, huh? Almost none of the Bloodfist films are available, but hey, we got Lone Tiger. I don't know why I'm complaining, I was the moron who put it in his queue...

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285680/

7 comments:

  1. Great Review! This was hilariously bad! Z'Dar was amazing in this: "We are having fried chicken...GO TO LUNCH!" and his martial arts were hysterical.

    He definitely honed his skills when he made Samurai Cop all those years ago!

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  2. Oh yes, you gotta love him in Samurai Cop, where his attempt to cover up his Chicago accent made him sound like an obscene caller. I never thought I'd say this, but Lone Tiger could've used a little hot bacon grease.

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  3. I totally agree about the bacon grease! Also Z'Dar had a killer beard in that. We just watched Samurai Cop a couple weeks ago for the site.

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  4. Did you get the Joe Bob Briggs version? It has his commentary, plus a great Robert Z'Dar interview.

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  5. Yeah we did! Didn't listen to the commentary yet, but watched the Z'Dar interview. It was great!

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  6. I only had time to catch the beginning of the commentary before I had to send the DVD back, but it started off pretty good.

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  7. This supposed to be inspired by an old pro wrestling manga called Tiger Mask, which inspired the real wrestlers. In fact I read that this movie is sort of based on a third Tiger Mask manga series.

    The film is still crap, though.

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