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, September 15, 2011
Dark Secrets aka Cold Earth (2008)
This is one of those ones that I figured would be painful, but I knew I had to do it because it featured DTVC Hall of Famer Gary Daniels. Plus, it was on Watch Instantly, which made it very accessible. We'll see what happens, and if the movie's a stinker, we'll see if I can do my job as a reviewer and make this post entertaining.
Dark Secrets takes place in England, where Gary Daniels and his wife live, him a race car driver, her an actress. Their daughter is kidnapped, and the detective assigned to the case thinks it's the same guy who killed a little girl before-- a case that still haunts the detective, literally, as in the form of a ghost. Now the question is, can she make herself useful and help the detective solve the case.
Okay, so obviously this isn't your classic Gary Daniels DTV actioner. With that said, I'm going to try and critique on what it was, which was essentially a Lifetime movie with more obscene language. It even had the beats of a Lifetime movie, with fade-outs at moments that would've been commercial breaks on TV. I guess as far as that goes, it's a matter of whether or not the psychic/supernatural aspect is too much for you. I gotta say, it kind of was for me. As a movie, it had it's issues, including some awkward transitions, and a hero that wasn't always easy to root for-- beating a handcuffed prisoner for information isn't very heroic. Overall, while this isn't really a DTVC kind of movie, I think you could see a lot worse if this pops up on the Lifetime Movie Network.
Gary Daniels does not have a large part in this, and does pretty much no martial arts, having only one scene where he fights, and in that, you can see that he wants to get after it, but can't because it's not in his character. I also liked that he really went for the London Cockney accent, including tons of foul language. We seldom see Daniels like that, so it was refreshing. Kind of a novelty, like Kiss of the Vampire was, but nothing more.
I chose this image here because I wanted to make a statement. I'm sure a lot of my readers are like a lot of my friends: settled down, maybe even with children. Those friends look at me and sometimes are like "why are you still single?" and other times are like "man, you got a good thing going there, I'm jealous." You wanna know why I'm still single, that's it, right there. Picking out lamps. I can't think of anything more soul crushing. I helped three friends and their families move over the past month. U-Haul load after U-Haul load of years of accumulated trips to Home Depot and Target and IKEA to get one thing, or three things, or four. One friend, who I helped move four full U-Haul trips, had the audacity to buy a new recliner with his wife a week later, after he was complaining to me about how much crap they had. It's like once you settle down and get married and have kids, that's it, all you do after that is buy crap like lamps. Casual relationships do not involve buying furniture, that's why I'm still single.
How do you know a movie is low-budget? When they use Comic Sans font for the end credits. I think when LeBron left Cleveland, and because of the way he did it, everyone was on Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's side... until he decided to post his rebuttal rant in Comic Sans, then we were like, dude, get over it. Comic Sans is the Fanny Pack of fonts.
Gotta throw in the pic of the kid rocking the Arsenal jersey. I know, the Gunners don't look good early this year, and they're in danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the late 90s, but they're still my team, and I gotta rep 'em when I see someone in their gear in a movie I'm reviewing. If you're curious, this is the red currant jersey they wore for only one season, '05-06, to commemorate their last season in their then stadium, Highbury, before moving to their current digs at the Emirates; the rest of the time their colors are red and white with blue trim. I still have my JVC one from the late 90s.
The fact that I used the last three paragraphs to talk about couples buying lots of furniture, Comic Sans font, and the Arsenal football club, must tell you something about this. Nothing more than a Lifetime flick with loads of foul language and no Meredith Baxter-Birney or Joanna Kerns. For Daniels completists only.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0915454/