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.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

White Cargo (1996)

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I don't know why I went in for this one. David Bradley is one factor. Shannon Tweed another. Tiny "Zeus" Lister a third. Is that enough to go out of my way to get my hands on something? I don't know if I'm qualified to answer that question...

White Cargo has Bradley as a jack of all trades independently wealthy police detective who works just for the fun of it, investigating a murder that leads him into a dangerous underground world of drugs, models, models as escorts, Asian and Italian mobs, and his ex-wife. Can he take the heat? He's David Bradley, if not, he can always pull one of those mini handheld fans out of his fanny pack, right?

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Okay, no fanny packs here, just a lot of double-breasted suits. I don't know if I can recommend this, but I liked it. No real action other than the end. Not exactly stylish enough to be good Film Noir though, or sexy enough to be a sexy suspense thriller. It was just Bradley, betting on horses, investigating murders, trading proverbs with wise old Chinese men, eating pasta with Italians, playing blues on his guitar when his ex stands him up, and doing karate when people give him a hard time. Then there's Shannon Tweed, who is hot as a modeling executive, but she doesn't have a huge part; and Tiny "Zeus" Lister (Tommy "Tiny" Lister before I get a comment from someone trying to correct me) plays a bartender at the bar Bradley owns and lives above who helps him raid a drug warehouse. I don't know, it's a funny combination of stuff that just works as funny for me, but it may not for everyone else.

This might be one of Bradley's better roles, outside of the amazing Hard Justice. There's something about it that allows him to do what he does, without forcing him to overreach. It's as if it's so silly and over the top (Stallone style) that Bradley can't go wrong with how he plays it. Also, his martial arts, though not a large part of the film, when it's there, it's solid. All around, he enhanced the fun factor, which is a good thing.

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What is that, Karl Kani Tiny "Zeus" Lister is wearing? Remember Karl Kani? It was like before Rocawear and Phat Farm, right? An urban Chessking, so to speak. If Color Me Badd wore Chessking, then Bel Biv Devoe rocked Karl Kani. I don't really know what Lister was doing here, like 90% of the film he's just a bartender, laughing at Bradley's jokes, holding onto money for him, and shaking his head when Bradley scores with a new chick. Then, apropos of nothing, he's sneaking into the drug warehouse to back up Bradley, and later wields a machine gun. Was that on his resume when he applied for the bartending job at Bradley's? "Ooh, you're handy with a piece, huh? And able to covertly enter heavily fortified buildings? Hmm, those are qualities I may need someday... I'll tell you what, I think you're our best applicant so far..."

This is like our fourth Shannon Tweed flick on here. You'd think it'd be more, but she does more erotic thrillers and sexy suspense yarns that aren't exactly what we do here at the DTVC. Her role in this was kind of odd, because at first it made sense, where she's the modeling agency exec who's getting her clients to have sex with rich people for big money (no whammies); but then she's kidnapped at the end of the film-- why, I must've missed-- and then is rescued by Bradley, which is when she decides that she too can handle a piece and knows the layout of the drug warehouse. There also wasn't a lot of her in this movie, which was a bit of a disappointment, just because she was one of the more talented members of the cast.

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This guy here was like a combination of Brent Huff and Torgo from Manos: The Hands of Fate (and before more correction comments, yes, I know the Spanish word for hands is manos). It was just a cool novelty to have a character that was that combination of those two people. He takes the business end of a shotgun to the torso, which sends him five feet in the air and ten feet back into a bookshelf. Great way to go.

Amazon does have this on VHS, but you have to navigate some interesting titles to get there if you follow the link from the imdb page. This is really for the big time DTV fan, and even then I'm not sure if it'll work for you. I don't know, it just has so many quirky attributes that as a whole, it all worked in a funny way.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114925/

6 comments:

  1. I've had this one for awhile but haven't yet got around to seeing it, i'll definitely make sure to do so ASAP now though!

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  2. I want to see the Shannon Tweed/Reb Brown flick The Firing Line so bad.

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  3. Yeah, Firing Line was pretty fun, that film oughta be reviewed on here.

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  4. Reb Brown is always good. There are a lot of films that oughta be reviewed on here that may never happen... too many movies, too little time...

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  5. Watched this a few months ago after trying to find it for quite some time. Took a while to get going, but eventually some nice action and Bradley was good here. Some more violence, nudity, corny lines and a car chase with that Porsche and this would be gold.

    Did you have the VHS copy with the wonderful "Every woman's dream... Every gangster's nightmare... David Bradley is detective Joe Hargatay" tagline?

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  6. Oh yeah, which was pretty sweet. I should start bringing up the taglines more, because they're usually great.

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