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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

When the Bullet Hits the Bone (1996)

Photobucket

This just sounds awesome, right? DTVC favorite Jeff Wincott in a flick titled When the Bullet Hits the Bone? How can you go wrong, right? But if there's anything we've learned in our 4-plus years of posting reviews at the DTVC, what sounds awesome can just as easily be not.

When the Bullet Hits the Bone has nothing to do with the Golden Earring song "Twilight Zone", but rather has Wincott as a trauma surgeon who has had it, and the vegan straw that finally breaks the carnivore's back comes when he's almost killed after witnessing some drug dealer business gone bad. He decides he's had enough of drug problems and all the work they send him in the ER, so he takes things into his own hands, hoping to save a woman he saw at the scene when he was almost killed, and take down the kingpin she works for.

Photobucket

This is another of the Noir-ish Wincott dramas, and though it wasn't as poorly made or as convoluted as Fatal Combat, it still was a little off. Fingers were cut off, surgical blades were stuck under fingernails, old men were forced to do push-ups before murdered-- it was just kind of weird. Not to mention, Wincott doesn't do any martial arts, which makes it a step down from Fatal Combat. The thing is, the Film Noir is genre isn't as easy to pull off well as people think, and maybe because I've seen a lot of it and seen it done well, I'm harder on stuff like this than others who watch more action flicks and think "hey, cool, Wincott's trying something different." Both this and Fatal Combat miss a lot of the style that makes Noir Noir: the steamy plots, the intrigue, the mystery. A few cute camera angles, a voice over, and a few severed limbs does not Noir make. What we're left with then is a substandard drama with very little action or solid substance.

Thinking about it though, of all the great 90s DTV action leads, Wincott might have been best suited to play a legitimate Film Noir lead. The smoking, the scowling-- plus, he had a great voice for the voice overs, I had no complaints with those. If you could somehow merge the two genres, go really Nikkatsu/Seijun Suzuki-style action based Noir, but infuse it with a fight scene like every fifteen or twenty minutes, yet still have that Raymond Chandler detective element, I think you'd have something really cool. There's no reason why Wincott couldn't still make that movie.

Photobucket

One of the funny things about this is that it was obviously shot in Canada with pretty much an all Canadian cast, yet they were adamant that the film was set in New York. The main baddie's hatchetman had this thing where he grilled people on somewhat obscure American history trivia, like he asked Wincott who the 13th president was before he shot him. It's like "Hey man, I'm sorey, but I grew up in Canadia, eh?" Come on, mix it up, why not just set the movie in Toronto or Montreal? It'll be more fun for everyone-- I'd love some obscure Canadian history trivia in my DTV action.

This had a fair amount of Canadian character actor mainstays: Michelle Johnson, Douglas O'Keeffe, Richard Fitzpatrick, Phillip Jarrett-- Jarrett is Canadian, right? My favorite was Torri Higginson, whom most of you will know from Stargate: Atlantis, but whom DTVC fans might remember from the Roddy Piper flick Jungleground, where she plays his love interest. In this movie, Higginson plays a hospital nurse that helps Wincott escape the baddies trying to kill him as he's recovering, then restores him to health-- and after that's she's hit by a stray bullet. I would've liked to see more Higginson, maybe even her own close-up, but alas, that was all we got.

Photobucket

You may have noticed that all the pics have been of Wincott making funny faces in the same scene. I may be incorrect, but I believe the last time I did something similar was when I did three Gary Busey pics in the sack of asscrack The Stoned Age review. Anyway, this scene from this movie came when Wincott had his finger chopped off. They don't show it, we just see the knife placed near his finger, he's given one last chance to give up the information, then all we hear is a thump, and Wincott starts making these faces to show us that, in fact, his finger was severed. As if that wasn't enough, the baddie then takes said severed digit, and holds it up to show us he'll use it to activate a bomb attached to Wincott's parents' car. Hey, stay classy movie.

It looks like in the US it's VHS or bust-- that's what I viewed this on-- but the Aussies have themselves a DVD cut. Good for you guys. Not sure how worth it is in any case, this one just didn't work for me. Kudos to Wincott and everyone involved for going outside the box, but unfortunately, going outside the box just isn't enough.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114918/

9 comments:

  1. Surprisingly, this isn't the first Wincott film that revolves aorund missing organs, "The Donor" released two years earlier, had a somewhat similar plot, it would be interesting to compare the two films.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good write-up! Saw this ages ago, don't remember too much, but thought it was mediocre.

    Plus can't stop thinking Golden Earring's song Twilight Zone when i hear about this. Good tune though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some guys can go outside the box, but I think Wincott is one actor that needs to stay in the box. Sometimes going outside the box is a bad thing. Any cat owner will tell you that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was so mad, I tried to find the video on YouTube to post on the DTVC Tumblr, and it's not on there! How can that be? That was a great video!

    And that is one of the best quotes I've seen here, "sometimes going outside the box is a bad thing, ask any cat owner." And the thing is, the box Wincott is in is a really great one, when he stays inside the box, it's usually a ten-- when he doesn't, well, like you said, ask any cat owner.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Damian Lee... I know you loved Ski School, but that guy's filmography is quite something. If you haven't seen Deadly Heroes which he wrote and produced, I highly, highly recommend it for all the wrong reasons. Truly awful and truly brilliant from beginning to end! I liked Fatal Combat quite a bit and you liked The Killing Man, but I think we can safely say Lee and Wincott was not really a match made in heaven. It seems like Wincott just didn't want to stay inside the box and Damian Lee was too willing to let him out. Didn't really care for this too much, but I did like the music score and I have something of a crush on Michelle Johnson, so it was worth the few bucks. Now, go and track down Deadly Heroes!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh man, I totally forgot to mention the score. That's one thing you might dig about this Ty, so I'm glad TJ brought it up. Some really great 80s corporate rock, including a too sweet power ballad. Thanks for picking me up there TJ.

    Deadly Heroes has been on my radar for a while because of the Pare and Michael-Vincent factor, plus it's Golan-Globus-- or rather, Golan.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I thought this one was largely lame and utterly forgettable. It's been a really long time since I watched it, almost 13 years or so but the biggest problem I had was the idea of a doctor being able to duke it out with druglords. I mean come on. Plus there really wasn't much action and what there was very disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Also The Killing Man pulled off the Film Noir, so Wincott can do it, it's just that I believe Wincott as an assassin more than as a doctor turned vigilante.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Killing Man definitely was an example where Wincott went outside the box and it worked. That one hit the Noir notes the right way.

    ReplyDelete