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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In Her Defense (1999)

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I always said that I would save this Michael Dudkioff film for last, because it was so outside the norm of what we were used to with him. Well, now we're here, the end of the DTV line with Mr. Dudikoff, and he joins Dolph, Seagal, and Van Damme as the only other Hall of Famers to hold that distinction.

In Her Defense is a Film Noir in the mold of a Double Indemnity, about a lawyer in St. John, NB, Dudikoff, who falls in with a very hot artist, played by Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, and has an abusive husband. Somehow, Dudikoff ends up at her place when the husband comes home, and in the ensuing conflict, Dudikoff shoots him dead. Now Dudikoff needs to cover up this crime, and get Matlin acquitted from her murder charges. But, as in all, Film Noir, things aren't what they seem.

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This wasn't too bad for what it was, though it veered quite a bit into Lifetime Movie territory, and the only thing keeping it DTV was the language and Marlee Matlin simulating oral on Dudikoff. Definitely, this kind of thing has been done before, and done better before, but because I dig this kind of thing, I liked it. I'm not so sure if everyone else will, especially considering what we expect out of the usual action fare from Dudikoff.

Dudikoff proves again that he's not a one-note actor, because he's really great in this. In a way it's a more fitting final DTV film for him, because it shows how much he could really do. Don't get me wrong, I prefer Dudikoff kicking ass and taking names, but I like seeing him switch it up, and I like that it works when he does. This isn't the total end for Dudikoff at the DTVC though. He has two films in development according to imdb, plus he has a few major release films like Uncommon Valor and Bachelor Party that I may cover too.

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I was trying to see how many Oscar winning actors Michael Dudikoff has worked with. You have Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party, and Gene Hackman in Uncommon Valor, but I think Matlin is the first winner that he's acted with in a DTV flick-- you have Robert Mitchum in Midnight Ride, but he was only nominated. They (Matlin and Dudikoff) actually have a lot of chemistry on-screen, which is really cool to watch. She pulled off the Film Noir leading really well too, which I guess is to be expected considering she's an Oscar winning actress.

I really liked Daniel Pilon, who played Robert St. Laurent, or the Film Noir detective who knows something's fishy, but doesn't know if he can crack the case. He was also in another Dudikoff flick, Musketeers Forever. He had a very Edward G. Robinson mixed with northeastern Canada feel that really worked in the role, and just added another layer to the film that it needed.

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Add St. John to the list of McDonald's sightings. I really do have to start tagging these, but I can't remember them all now. In my life, the only time I've had McDonald's outside of the US was on a school trip to England senior year of high school. There was a 24-hour McDonald's near our hotel in Earl's Court, which I partook in many a night drunk. Coolest thing about that: they still used the Styrofoam containers. I grew up about four or five hours away from St. John, and have never been there, or anywhere else in Canada, which is crazy, considering I grew up so close. It looks like a very nice city, so I'll have to check it out.

You can get this on Watch Instantly right now, which is good. It's up to you and what you're into, but just know going in that this is in no way an action flick, and in fact, it borders on Lifetime Movie. I still kind of liked it, so maybe you will too.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0158671/

8 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting all the Dudikoff movies on your site!

    Thought In Her Defense was a decent legal thriller too. It was cool to see Dudikoff in a different role.

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  2. Thanks. I think Lambert will be next, once I get Metamorphosis from Netflix. Then there's Don "The Dragon" Wilson, who we're six away from.

    Yeah, it definitely hit those legal notes well too, which was especially cool with it being a Canadian court instead of an American one.

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  3. Nice! Definitely interested in your opinion of: The Hunted, Gideon and Highlander: Endgame.

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  4. The Hunted I wasn't going to do, but I see now that it made less than $10 mill in the box office-- which is my DTV criteria, so thanks for pointing that one out. Highlander: Endgame, though too successful to be DTV, is one I plan to do in a future date for shits and grins. Gideon I don't know how to get, or even if it is DTV of a TV movie, but It's one I'd like to check out anyway.

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  5. No problem. The Hunted has some cool action in it. Highlander: Endgame is absolutely ridiculous!

    Gideon is an odd drama with Lambert playing a mentally handicapped man. A different role for him.

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  6. I saw Highlander: Endgame in the theater, which was a trip having Adrian Paul on the big screen. I've heard a lot of good things about Gideon, but it seems almost impossible to get a copy of it. Did it air on TV initially?

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  7. That is really cool you saw Highlander: Endgame in the theater!

    About Gideon: I think it aired in the U.K. on Tv. Saw it on VHS a long time ago. Also saw there is a VHS of it for 15 dollars on Amazon. Should be a lot cheaper.

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  8. The imdb page doesn't even have a link to the Amazon listing, which is rare for something like this, but usually means it's a hard movie to get at. I'll keep my eyes peeled though now that I know it does exist somewhere.

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