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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol (2000)

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I've had this in my Instant Queue for some time now, and after a couple Gary Daniels movies I had in my DVD queue weren't sent to me, I went with it because it had been a little time since I'd gotten some Daniels up here. We'll have to do them all eventually, so why not this one, right?

Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol is about a peacekeeping mission between two antagonistic fictitious Middle Eastern countries. When a patrol is ambushed and there are no survivors, Daniels is tasked to lead a recon team to find out what happened. Boy do they find out, as they walk into a big ol' quagmire involving John Rhys-Davies as an arms dealer looking to arm a rebel group with a nuke. Now the remainder of Daniels's crew needs to stop them at all costs.

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Wow, this was a total painfest. It was one of those I look at the counter and find out I'm only 20 minutes in, and I'm like "Oh lord! That's it?" and then I look at the counter and there's only 15 minutes left and I'm like "Oh Lord, I still have to sit through 15 minutes of this?" I've had cardio sessions and hiked mountains less grueling than this. Where do I start? Either large pockets of no action, or some of the lamest, most blah action ever. Seriously, who comes up with a scene where Daniels's Jeep drives through a canyon where rebels fire RPGs all around them, but never hit them, from near point blank range? Daniels barely does any hand-to-hand, and it's only at the very end. There's no tension, a plot that's too plodding and dull to keep us interested in the lean times, and characters so cookie-cutter that we don't really care what happens to them. To give you an idea of how bad this is, there's a scene where one of them has a gut wound and looks close to death, and Daniels tells him "I am your commanding officer, and I didn't give you permission to die yet, do you understand?" Ouch.

I don't blame Daniels for these stinkers, because he has to take what work he can get, but it would be nice if the people who cast him could utilize him properly. It's hard to watch him sitting in a Jeep yelling at bad explosions, or delivering bad dialog, when I know how much ass he can kick. For any film makers out there, here's a tip: when you find out you've cast Gary Daniels, ditch the script and have a chat with your stuntmen and fight choreographer about your new movie with Gary Daniels as the star. I don't think that's too difficult.

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This was produced by Yoram Globus of the famed (and DTVC Hall of Fame) tandem of Golan and Globus. I think with this project he was trying to dispel the myth that exists here in the US that Arabs are somehow genetically disposed to be brutal, murderous, women haters that would kill us all if they could only get the chance. The movie wanted to paint a more complex picture of people who are pretty much just like everyone else, but because of a small segment of the population that is more barbarous and brutal, and who garner much more of the headlines throughout the world, they are not only victimized, but left without a voice. I applaud them for that, but an action movie isn't the venue. Actors like Gary Daniels, Mike Norris, and Bentley Mitchum aren't the medium to broadcast the message. Great sentiment, but overall idea sautéed in wrong sauce.

If we go back about two years into the archives, there was a film I reviewed starring Robert Carradine called Firestorm. The only reason I reviewed it was because it came in a two-pack with a Jeff Speakman flick Scorpio One. Anyway, that film also starred Bentley Mitchum, who you see below. That Firestorm film was a total laugh riot, and Mitchum was a big part of that. He was nowhere near as funny here, which was too bad, because we could've used him. As an aside, I missed then but found out now that he's Robert Mitchum's grandson. (Our one Robert Mitchum film: Midnight Ride.)

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Finally, I'm a big fan of Grand Theft Auto III and now Red Dead Redemption, and something in this film reminded me of a common bug in Rockstar Games' early projects. There'd be these times where I'd do something insane, and the people around me would just walk by as if nothing happened. In Delta Force One, Mitchum and a couple other characters get to this computer console, and one of them knocks out one of the rebels with the butt end of her rifle, while the rest of the rebels go about their business, wandering around near them, totally oblivious. It was very GTA III, though nowhere hear as cool.

All right, you can get this on DVD and Watch Instantly from Netflix, but do you want to? Absolutely not. What irks me the most is that this is so available while so many great DTV flicks are OOP or only on VHS. Is there any justice in the world?

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0176650/

16 comments:

  1. Actually there are TWO justices.

    Steele Justice and Instant Justice.

    Both on Netflix Instant :D

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  2. I didn't tihnk this film was that bad actually, the climax was pretty well done and at the very least, it's nowhere NEAR as godawful as American Streetfighter or Full Impact.

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  3. My man, Mr. Gable, I love the way you think!

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  4. Aw man, what a shame this is balls. There's like 5 of them too. I was tempted to pick them all up on DVD but I think I'll let you take this one for the team. If the sequels are any better I'd sure like to read your thoughts on them.

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  5. Can't agree with your review more DTVC! This was painful to watch.

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  6. yeah, this was a snoozefest. not even the ever reliable Daniels could save this...

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  7. Also (just the very minimum of non-mainstream justices here) Extreme Justice, Urban Justice and Street Corner Justice (featuring the legendary line "There is no justice, just us" and the main guy's name is Mike Justus!).

    Sutekh: This film is not a sequel nor a prequel, it's a one-time deal. No connections to Delta Force 1-3 (even though DF3 also has connections to Golan-Globus and stars Mike Norris). And no connections to Operation Delta Force 1-5 from NU Image you're probably thinking about. ODF films are primarily crap, but the first one is pretty good (Sam Firstenberg directs a killer cast with Jeff Fahey, Ernie Hudson, Joe Lara, Todd Jensen and Frank "Shadowchaser" Zagarino!) and the third one is watchable (has Bryan Genesse in it). The rest... Well, I tried to warn you.

    Great review, as always. And yes, this was really bad. Now, venom IS right, but those two films (I have Full Impact as American Streetfighter 2) are from Cine Excel so nobody should confuse them with actual movies. In fact, can anybody come up with a good term for Cine Excel's...erm..."products"?

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  8. Yeah, this film has notihng whatsoever to do with the ODF series, so don't let it deter you form chekcing those films, i perosnally enjoyed all of those films, especially part 4. Other Daniels films worse then this one are Capital Punishment, Ring Of Fire and City Of Fear.

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  9. Capital Punishment and Reptilicant are horrible, but they are Cine Excel stuff. FULLY agreed on City of Fear! Some people have even liked it but yes, it's total crap.

    Seen "Spoiler"? That one has Daniels and Bryan Genesse but NO martial arts, at all. It's an interesting movie for him, though. And it has a genuinely touching(!) ending which I'd love to say but don't want to...spoil "Spoiler"...

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  10. I didn't really care much for Spoiler, it was WAAAYYYYYY TOO depressing for me and it looked really cheaply made to boot.

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  11. I probably should've mentioned in the blog about the connection-- or lack thereof-- with the other Delta Force flicks. My bad.

    "Snoozefest", "painful to watch", couldn't have said it better, and nice work TJ adding to the Justice conversation. I knew we could count on you.

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  12. There's also Terminal Justice, but didn't mention it 'cause you didn't like it. I, for some reason, enjoyed it quite a bit. Which is weird because usually we have a very similar taste in films. And then there's Blonde Justice, but that's a rather different genre and is for you Janine fans... You know who you are... ;-)

    venom: Spoiler IS depressing, but it shows a hardcore fan of Daniels a different side of the man. And really, I've never seen an ending like that in any film, ever. I think there was a cool concept there and could've made a good sci-fi drama with a bigger budget, a different lead and a REALLY different advertising campaign (tagline used here: "No prison can hold and no system can control this warrior. Roger Mason just BLEW OUT OF PRISON in this HARD-HITTING SCI-FI ACTION THRILLER" - I mean, really!). You've seen the film so you know what I'm talking about.

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  13. Yeah, that ending was certainly "different" and I do commend the filmmakers for tht. But for me, "different" dosen't always translate to "good" and in this case, it just didn't really work for me.

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  14. Also some more justices- Backstreet Justice and Street Corner Justice.

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  15. Lol, apparently rebels can't fire RPGs. That's the real message here.

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  16. Yeah, or the message is "we don't think you care enough to notice how bad this action scene is!"

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