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 13, 2011

TC 2000 (1993)


It took me a little time to track this down, otherwise I'd have done it by now. Just look at that cast. It's huge, robust, dare I say prodigious. I don't remember when I first saw it, probably on TNT or a buddy rented it. It's definitely the kind of film that I made the DTVC for, so it's good to finally be getting after it.

TC 2000 takes place in the future, after the environment has deteriorated, and any humans with means have moved underground, leaving the topside an impoverished wasteland. Billy Blanks and Bobbie Phillips are police officers who keep surface dwellers from getting underground, but after they're ambushed by a gang of them, led by Jalal Merhi, and Phillips ends up dead, Blanks is wrongly accused of her death, and he flees to the surface, where Bolo Yeung teaches him the power of the Chi; while Phillips is turned into a cyborg, and she's sent to the surface to do something for her old boss, who it turns out is a bad guy, with a bad guy right-hand man played by Matthias Hues.


This is fantastic. This is the kind of movie the blog was made for, and the kind of movie you come here to check out. Great martial arts, great stars, and a futuristic plot set in the boiler room of a factory. Does it get any better than that? This is early 90s DTV action at its best, tons of fun, tons of action, and nothing to take too seriously: the perfect combination. Get the crew together and fire it up for your bad movie night.

How do you not love Billy Blanks? He's had better martial arts in some of his other films, but this one gives him more screen time than a lot of those. And he and Bolo Yeung had great chemistry (more on that later). The one drawback might be that he only wears the shades from the cover a couple times, but I'm not so sure that's a bad thing, because he has tons of close-ups with funny looks on his face, which for me is much better. Would I have liked some better martial scenes-- not that these ones were that bad, just that we've seen better, especially in The King of the Kickboxers-- probably, but overall, Blanks was so great, I didn't mind.


In this picture Bobbie Phillips looks pretty hot, right? And as the cyborg, from the forehead down she really does look hot, it was just her hairdo that didn't work. It was one of those middle of the head ponytails where the hair comes out and flows down over the head. It was the kind of hairdo that the girls with bad dye jobs who wore Adidas track suits to the mall and always got into fights used to have when I was growing up. I don't know, I was half expecting her to talk in wannabe Ebonics and come through the screen to try and steal my Da' Brat CD. "Sooo, sooo, Funktafiiiied..." (Was I the only one whose environment was Suburban Ghetto enough for these girls to exist?)

Matthias Hues is a beast. He even makes Bolo Yeung look small. I know how silly it sounds to do the whole "in real life he could take so and so", but other than Dolph Lundgren, who has similar size and speed, Matthias Hues is someone none of the guys who pretend kick his ass on screen would want anything to do with if he came looking for them with bad intentions. I guess that's why he makes such a great baddie, because he is so big and fast-- and because he has a German accent, let's not forget that.


This review marks a first here at the DTVC. In the past I've uploaded video clips from the movies I reviewed, but this is the first time I ever enhanced one. There are two training montages in TC 2000, and I thought they were both great, but when I cut them together, I noticed the transition was bad between the first and second, so I decided to cover the whole thing with my own music. It's on the image page, so take a look at it and tell me what you think. The Bolo Yeung interpretive dance at the beginning was my personal favorite.

This is only available on VHS as far as I know. If you look it up on Amazon, one of the links they'll direct you to is another film, Expect No Mercy, which is on DVD, stars Jalal Merhi and Billy Blanks, but is not the same film. TC 2000 is totally worth picking up if you find it anywhere. Amazon is a little steep, but $5 or so after shipping is worth it, so if you can find it for that, pull the trigger.

For more info:


  1. Excellent Review! Matthias Hues was really good. We didn't like this that much, but there were some great Blanks moments.

    Also we have Expect No Mercy in our pile of movies to watch.

  2. Glad you liked this one as much as me. Blanks is awesome. Love your montage video haha!

  3. "TC 2000" was released on DVD in the UK (all regions/PAL). Most of Billy Blanks movies were released on DVD in the UK. Always fun to watch these.
    It is a shame that Blanks does not make any movies anymore. Probably because his Tae Bo franchise made more money.

  4. Yeah, Expect No Mercy looks like it could be pretty good. It's in my pile now too.

    I'm glad you got a kick out of the video, the whole thing just cracked me up, but I think the music makes it even funnier.

    It seems like a lot of the movies that don't make it onto DVD here are in the UK and Europe. It must be the people who own the distribution rights over there are more proactive about that sort of thing. And it is too bad Blanks hasn't done more, because we're running out of movies for him! I imagine teh Tae Bo thing not only nets him more money, but also guarantees him he'll be more than a sidekick or bad guy-- he's the man no matter what.

  5. Been reading the reviews for a while now and finally thought that I'd know something you don't: that TC 2000 is available on DVD in the UK! And then Eric Roberts beat me to it (he could be the guy who keeps up the Eric Roberts blog, but I think this is Eric Roberts, the actor, since he's in the business and probably knows more about DVDs than some blogger guy - so Eric, I loved you in Best of the Best 2!) - it figures...

    But perhaps a little detail. You guys already know that there are some weird dudes who care about unimportant stuff like plot and characters etc, right? I know, I don't get it, either, but for some people, violence and T&A just isn't enough. Go figure. But bow much do people actually dislike these plotless masterpieces of modern cinema? Here's an example:

    You see, TC 2000 DVD has long been out-of-print. So if you want it now, you have got to use Amazon Marketplace (or something similar). If you just want TC 2000'cause you like Bobbie Phillips or something, it costs you £29.99. But if you're willing to stink up your shelf with a 10-pack containing TC 2000 and nine other sci-fi films (B.E.I.N.G. aka Disturbance in the US, Virus, Creator, Prototype, Def Con 4, Sci-Fighter, Cyborg Cop 1, Cyborg Cop 2 aka Cyborg Soldier in the US and Antibody), you can get that for £4.89, NEW!

    I don't know, I just thought that was somewhat funny - I'm weird that way. By the way, it goes without saying that a lot of that stuff is genuine crap, but Cyborg Cop is good (it would be great if they did a Lucas/Spielberg on it and digitally removed all traces of Bradley's fanny pack), Cyborg Cop 2 is watchable, Antibody has Lance Henriksen and Sci-Fighter has the deadly trio of The Dragon, The Lamas and The Rothrock (in a PG-13 rated crapfest!). It also goes without saying that Virus is not the Jamie Lee Curtis Virus (nor even the Brian Bosworth Virus, which is a PG-13 turd with one of the worst film scores ever recorder and would actually otherwise be a good addition to this, but The Boz don't belong in no sci-fi pack!).

    As for contributing to the conversation, I'll also recommend Expect No Mercy and even offer you two pieces of advice. One, witness Merhi saying the line "You surprise me, I didn't know you could think" because it's the most ankward piece of acting from Merhi I've ever seen and Merhi is...well...he's not exactly a great actor... And second, for the love of everything people believe in, do NOT confuse Expect No Mercy with another Merhi-film, Expect to Die! EtD really, REALLY sucks!

  6. I want to agree with you about Lucasing the fanny pack in Cyborg Cop, but then no one would get the joke about the fanny packs in Cyborg Cop II. And the great thing about Sci-Fighter is that it's also called X-treme Fighter, which makes it the one "X" titled film we have reviewed at the DTVC. It is a funny quirk in the industry that 10-packs are often cheaper than the singles, but it's one that makes the industry more endearing.

    Finally, thanks for the heads-up on the Merhi movies. He is a great actor, isn't he? I can't wait to dive into some of those.

    I'm pretty sure that's not Eric Roberts, but I'm sure our man at Eric Roberts- His Movies would take that compliment.

  7. Was it you or was it some dude at Comeuppance or somewhere else where they talked about what a bad-ass Jeff Wincott is? And they used as an example the scenario where Cyborg Cop would be offered to Wincott and Wincott would just smoke a fag and say "a fanny pack?", then take a brief pause and "i'm not wearing that"? Wherever it was, it says pretty much everything about Jeff Wincott. I don't know what David Bradley was thinking. First a PG-13 American Ninja, then fanny packs, then Merhi-films without action...

    By the way, I just got Tiger Claws 1 yesterday. A weird thing that you can easily find TC2 and TC3 on DVD but not TC1. Ordered a quality bootleg from some dude at Sell and looking forward to seeing it. I read your review and it seems to be at least watchable. And apparently doesn't have those magical blue lightning effects that TC3 had.

  8. That would be me, in the Last Man Standing post, which I did right after the Cyborg Cop one. It just struck me as I watched that "wow, you'd never see Wincott in a fanny pack!"

    Yeah, it seems like Tiger Claws is the most palatable of the bunch, so it makes the least sense that it's the most difficult to find... if that makes any sense.

  9. That was a great comment on Wincott, man! Nothing more on this subject, expect that I noticed you haven't reviewed "Open Fire" yet? It's a brilliant film. So WHEN (not if, WHEN) you do, imagine Wincott saying that thing about fanny pack in the same way he says "the fuel pumps in these old units tend to be a little tricky" (or something to that effect) in the beginning of "Open Fire". And there, my friend... There is the very essence of what a bad-ass Wincott is!

  10. TJ, actor Eric Roberts has nothing to do with my blog, I am just a fan and a fanatic collector of his movies.
    I am also a fanatic collector of martial arts movies, asian and western. That's why I also have the UK dvd of TC2000 (and many others).

  11. I know that, man, I was just kidding (hey, I just read the latest book written by Vern from, so my sarcasm can be a little...erm...hard to follow....).

    I'm actually a follower of your blog. Found out about Power 98's French DVD from there and bought it for $1 from eBay France. Now I'm trying to find the Australian release of "Love is a Gun" but that sucker just keeps avoiding me. Seems to be OOP and has apparently been for quite a while since I have never seen a copy on sale at eBay Australia.

    A suggestion: How about a review of "The Ambulance" for your blog next? A great film and a brilliant performance from Roberts. One of my favorites.

  12. Loved Vern's "Seagology" (needs an update with Seagal releasing a new movie every 4 months and doing series now like "Lawman" and "True Justice").
    It is strange that DVDs like the Australian "Love is a Gun" get sold out so soon. The quantities of DVD releases must sometimes be very low.
    "The Ambulance" is indeed great fun (and a bit weird).

  13. The goal is to eventually have all of Wincott's DTV flicks up here at the DTVC, so Open Fire is definitely a when, not an if. Also, check out his imdb pic-- if that doesn't capture the essence of my comment I don't know what does.

  14. Has Wincott's IMDb pic been changed? Didn't he used to have that "grey-blue" bad-ass pic that's now photo 10 out of 10 of his pics?

    Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on "Open Fire" (there's a badass trailer for it on YouTube). Besides Wincott, it has Patrick Kilpatrick. I'm sure you recognize him and know that THERE'S a villain! I know I'm rambling but there's something you might not know since you concentrate on movies and that, to me, really illustrates the power of The Kilpatrick.

    There was a TV show with Bruce Greenwood called Sleepwalkers where people could go into other people's dreams (or nightmares, as it more often was). Now, Kilpatrick played a villain in one episode. And in a dream sequence, he was - and I kid you not - half-man, half-lawnmower!! And he STILL was threatening as hell!!

    So Wincott vs Kilpatrick... With Leo Lee thrown in and Jeff Pruitt choreographing... Expect No Mercy is good, but this... This is DTVC gold!

    SPOILER: Kilpatrick isn't even 5% lawnmower in Open Fire...but don't worry, he still rocks!

  15. Yeah, he changed it recently I think. I am a fan of Kilpatrick, so I'm stoked about checking it out.

  16. Good to see this classic given the DTVC treatment it deserves! These Billy Blanks movies from the early 90s were the shit! Great review, Matt.

  17. Thanks man, I'm glad you dig them; and I know, it's a shame we're running out of early 90s Blanks to review.