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, October 13, 2011
In inducting PM Entertainment and Art Camacho to the DTVC Hall of Fame in 2011, I liked the idea of this movie, because it was directed by Camacho, it's PM Entertainment, and it features DTVC Hall of Famer Gary Daniels. This felt like it could be everything that you'd want in an induction post. Let's see if I'm right. Also, our buddy Kenner at Movies in the Attic hit this one too.
Recoil has Daniels as an LAPD detective who is called to the scene of a horrifically brutal bank robbery carried out by a heavily armed gang in body armor. The streets are turned into a battle zone as the cops try to stop them, and in the process the robbers are killed, including a young kid who just happens to be the youngest son of the city's most powerful mob boss. Now he wants revenge, and he has Daniels's higher ups on his payroll, making it easier to get to him; but when they kill Daniels's family instead of him, he's a force unleashed. Now the mobster is in big trouble.
I really enjoyed this one. Yes, the killing of the family at the hour mark was pretty mean spirited, and usually a film can't overcome that, but this was so unapologetically bad action that I was okay with it. There's a point where the script doesn't matter, where all we need is the next chase, the next explosion, the next shootout. I could've done with more Daniels hand-to-hand stuff, but when the movie starts with a twenty-minute pitched battle and car chase, I'll live. If you go into a PM Entertainment flick starring Gary Daniels and you're expecting something else, then maybe you're the one with the problem, not them, because this is pretty standard fare, and it's pretty awesome.
PM Entertainment is the first production company and distribution house to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Why no Cannon you ask? Because Cannon existed before and after Golan-Globus, but it was in that era that they ran it that it was the Hall of Fame outfit we know it as, so I wanted to honor them for the work they did. After the Golan-Globus run Cannon though, no one did DTV action like PM Entertainment, and nothing shows us why like Recoil. A very everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to action movies that shows us how much they really get it. When they're at their best, plots don't get in the way, it's just about how much shit they can blow up, how many stuntmen they can put through the ringer, and how many firearms they can shoot off.
Art Camacho is our first ever Hall of Famer inducted for his work on the other side camera for reasons other than directing. Yes, he is a director-- this movie is an obvious example-- but his over 30 tags are for more than that. He's been an actor, stuntman, and fight choreographer, the third of those what he's probably best known for. I thought it was time to start looking at the other people who make DTV movies possible, and when I finally tagged Camacho for more than just his work as a director, it was too big a resume to ignore. While he's not listed on this as the fight choreographer, I couldn't find anyone listed as such, so I had to assume he at least had a hand in it, because it looked great. Art Camacho, a real DTVC Hall of Famer.
Now to Mr. Daniels. I really enjoyed him here. I would've liked to have seen his family survive the attack, and he just be pissed that the mob boss would even attack his kids, and that's what makes him a force unleashed, but when the action hits this pure of a bad action level, wives and kids are merely a means to get us to more fight scenes and explosions. My favorite was right after the family dies, when he sports a white button-up shirt and black dress pants in going to the mob boss's party to go take them down. It was John Woo-like, just a really great sequence, and showed the full range of Daniels's potential. (As an aside, his wife was played by Kelli McCarty, a former Miss America from Kansas who has since had a successful career in porn.)
Be honest, who had the laser background for their school pictures? Sixth grade for me, maybe seventh too. My grandmother still has some of those photos on display at my grandparents' house down in Florida, and it's always weird to look at them when I'm down there. Who the hell came up with the idea of school pictures? Who gives a shit, really? Is school that big of a deal that we need our own individual portrait taken there, then sold back to us in the form of 8x10s and 5x8s and wallet-sizeds? It's opinions like these that show once again why I make a much better uncle than I'd make a dad.
This is the PM Entertainment Gary Daniels flick you're looking for. It's the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to action films you want. This is as good a film as any for PM and Art Camacho's induction post; plus this is some great Gary Daniels to boot. This is out of print on DVD, so used is the way to go, and a few bucks for it isn't a bad deal.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0127751/