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.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Capitol Conspiracy aka The Prophet (1999)
The tagline for this Don "The Dragon" Wilson actioner is "When they're in your head, how do you watch your back?" You know, that's an excellent point, how do you? It's definitely something to consider. I mean, I've always wondered how I watch my back period, right? But when they're in my head, of course, that would bring up a whole new set of difficulties. A lot to think about.
Capitol Conspiracy has Wilson as a Company Man sent to take out five deadly terrorists spread out over LA. Turns out he's taking out five people who, like himself, were a part of a CIA experiment when they were kids that gave them ESP. Now The Company wants to retire him, and he doesn't know who he can trust-- but Wilson is used to it being him against the world, and it's The Company that should be worried.
This had some lull moments and lost steam about midway through, but otherwise was a pretty serviceable Wilson actioner. It got a little too bogged down as the plot replaced the action, which we know is a no no, but Wilson made up with it with some solid fight scenes, and a couple good shootouts. Where Capitol Conspiracy makes its money though is in its mockability. Wilson makes some great faces, there's a hilarious love scene set to the same piano music you'd expect during a stalking scene in a Lifetime movie, and the bad guy looks like he's modeled his career on Frank Zagarino (more on him later). I don't know, so much of this was sauteed in wrong sauce, but it's also a lot of fun.
This is kind of rare for a Wilson flick, they're usually either pretty sweet, or they suck hardcore and we're wondering what the hell they were thinking. This one worked in spite of itself-- though not through any lack of effort on the part of the film makers in trying to kill it with a bad plot. This also had deleted scenes on the DVD, which were very telling. None of them had any action, and in two of the three, Wilson was doing more acting, which we know is never a good thing, so it's nice to see that some positive editing was done. Can we thank director Fred Olen Ray for that?
This guy here looks, sounds, and smells like Charles Napier. How can that be? Who casts a poor man's Charles Napier? How does a poor man's Charles Napier get work? Napier is in like five-to-ten movies a year, how did Fred Olen Ray and Roger Cormen not lock him up for the three or four scenes that this guy was in? Wow, poor man's Charles Napier-- I guess if you watch enough of these, you'll see everything, and I kind of feel like I've seen it all now. Time to just don that sombrero, hop on that mule, and ride off into the sunset.
A buddy was telling me about how a friend of ours called a salon about ten years ago to see if they could cut his hair so he'd look like David Bowie. This is what he said the phone call was like: "Hello, are you familiar with the artist Dav-id Bow-ie? Are you familiar with the Low era?" When I saw how much the bad guy in this looked like Frank Zagarino, I thought of my buddy. "Hello, are you familiar with the actor Frank Zag-ar-in-o? Are you familiar with his Project Shadowchaser films?"
The crux of this film was about CIA experimenting on children in order to give them ESP. Awhile back I saw a link on Tumblr to a Wikipedia article on unethical human experimentation in the US, and the section on government research during the Cold War was particularly chilling. A lot of psychological tortures in the attempt to make easily manipulated human zombies, done on innocent people off in secret hospitals and a horse stable in Montreal. The ESP aspect of this was far fetched, but the rest of it was pretty realistic. Okay, the majority of Capitol Conspiracy was not realistic, but the experimenting part was.
This is not available on Netflix for some reason or another, but you can actually buy it new at Amazon on DVD. I'd wait on this one though, until you've made your way through more of Wilson's other flicks, including the Bloodfists. Not his worst, but not his best either, so if you're going to commit $5.88 or whatever, make sure Wilson is someone you want to invest in.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0155060/