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, May 27, 2011

The Devil's Tomb (2009)


My Netflix Instant Queue is a big void where movies available on Watch Instantly get dumped, often never to be seen again, at least until Netflix decides it wants to remove a film, and then I have to decide if I want to watch the movie before it gets the ax, or let it go and get it later on DVD. I almost never want to resort to the latter, so when this Cuba Gooding Jr. flick The Devil's Tomb was set to be removed, I bumped it up in the rotation to get it in and avoid having to use a DVD slot for it.

The Devil's Tomb has Gooding Jr. as the leader of some special ops wet-works team sent to extract Ron Perlman from some underground research facility in Afghanistan. When they get down there though, things aren't what they seem, as gross dudes with gross sores start coming out of the woodwork, quoting scripture and spitting black grossness on people. To make matters worse, Gooding's team start hallucinating. And then, Henry Rollins shows up, overacting more than a rapper in his first film role-- that might be the scariest thing of all...


I don't know, bad horror I guess, that's what this is, but not fun bad horror, more like dreary derivative bad horror. The religious bent made it even weirder. Gooding Jr., along with Perlman, and Ray Winstone in a small part, try their best to save this from blah-dom, but it was too much of an uphill battle. You've seen this before, and you've seen it better before.

This movie, perhaps more than any of Cuba Gooding Jr's DTV stuff we've done on here, really shows how much better an actor he is than the material he's forced to work with. If it wasn't for Perlman and Winstone, I would've felt really bad for him, but he had those two to share in his misery. Word on the street, if imdb is to be believed, Gooding is attached to a project called One in the Chamber, co-starring the Babe Ruth of DTV, Dolph Lundgren! I can't think of a better guy for Gooding to learn under as he gets the hang of this whole DTV thing-- of course, my posts are littered with mentions of upcoming projects that two or three years later I look back in the archives and am like "wow, that one never happened." Cross your fingers.


This is directed by Sean Connery's son. He didn't do a bad job, this just wasn't a really great or original concept, so it just was what it was. I don't even know if an assist from his dad could've saved it. Maybe, if they tweaked the script some, and had Gooding play an immortal from the Highlands of Scotland named Cuba MacLeod. "You can't die Macleod."

This had a few other recognizable names. Jason London, not to be confused with his twin brother Jeremy, Taryn Manning, and Henry Rollins were probably this biggest. I don't really know what to make of Henry Rollins, not just in this, but period. I know people who think he's the bee's knees, so maybe it's more me than it is him. I will say he was guilty of overacting in The Devil's Tomb, which meant I knew even less what to make of him.


I have a habit of calling Ron Perlman Bruce, I guess mixing him up with former Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl. I bet as I go back through this to proofread, I'll find some "Bruce Pearlmans" that need fixing-- and I may even miss some! I know upon seeing that the queue is starting with people wanting to hit me with the corrections comments: "you know, his name's RON, not BRUCE, duh!", and I could call him Ron for 90% of the post, but one Bruce, and boom, there's the comment letting me know.

All right, before I alienate all of my readers who scan my posts for brainfarts they can jump on-- hey, they still count as traffic and comments, so keep up the good work!-- I'll wrap this up. This film's days are numbered on Watch Instantly, but DVD is still an option, though I'm not so sure that's a good thing. Also, the Watch Instantly version was in full screen, but maybe this was originally Made for TV and no TV channel wanted it, as opposed to crammed into Pan and Scan from a widescreen cut. For our UK readers, our friend Lee Nicholson at Straight to DVD Heaven mentioned in the Sacrifice post that this finally came out on DVD over there. We wait for Seagal flicks, they wait for Cuba Gooding Jr. flicks, go figure.

For more info:


  1. OH, I can totally relate to the Netflix instant issues....
    And Cuba Gooding Junior? What the hell happened???

    Good, thorough review, though.

  2. I kept seeing this on the shelves here a couple of years back when it came out and never bothered with it. Still, I'm curious to check out Cuba Gooding in a horror movie even if it's not a very good one.

  3. I think Rollins is the bee's knees, but even my man-crush for him couldn't make up for how bad this movie was.

  4. Thanks Andrew, and yeah, they have so many films on Netflix Instant Watch now that I just throw something in the queue and forget about it, until they put a note up saying they're about to remove it, and then I'm like "man, I don't want to bother with The Devil's Tomb on DVD."

    I'd say you should check this out Sutekh, just for he sake of your blog, because even if the film's bad, it can make for a good post.

    And yeah Aaron, you know a movie is bad if you have a man-crush on one of the actors, and that still isn't enough to make it enjoyable.

  5. This was pretty ridiculous, but the best part of the movie was towards the end: The confrontation between Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Three good actors in the same scene!

    Wished the movie was better.

  6. Yeah this wasn't very good, but it's still nowhere near as godawful as Way Of War.

  7. I usually love films like this, but this one... I don't know, it was ugly. Just unpleasant to watch. This could've been a good popcorn-film but with all that vomiting... Connery did a better job directing this than I expected, though.

    Next up on my list is some more Gooding. The Hit List. Heard it's actually rather good.

  8. Unpleasant is how i'd describe something like Irreversible, this was just mediocre and forgettable, anyways The Hit List does look pretty good, i'll be sure to check it out ASAP.

  9. Agree with Ty, that one scene where we had the film's three big hitters was the shining moment. Too bad we didn't get more of that and less weirdness.

    I'm holding out hope that The Hit List will end up on Watch Instantly, but I may have to bite the bullet and get it sent on DVD.