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.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Anyone who's been rocking with us for a little while knows that I try to keep the amount of tags for Jeff Wincott and David Bradley roughly the same, just because I do, and last week we did two Wincott flicks in the two Universal Soldier sequels, so now it's time to balance out the scale with a Bradley flick. Even though Wincott wasn't a star in either film, that's not how tags work, two supporting roles don't equal one starring role, a tag is a tag no matter how much someone is involved with a movie, so expect another Bradley one soon after this one.
Crisis has Bradley as a hitman who visits his environmental activist brother and finds out the guy is planning a home invasion of a famous scientist that is also a major polluter. Bradley tags along to try and keep his brother out of trouble, but when things go pear-shaped, instead of helping, he finds himself tied to a weight bench. Looks like some pesky German terrorists have infiltrated the environmental activist group with a plan to get their hands on some missiles the scientist was commissioned with disposing of, and then pin the blame on the activists. Can Bradley get himself free in time to save the day?
Wow, great beginning, great ending, horrible middle. Jalal Merhi let us down here as director-- though he didn't write it, so maybe we can't blame him too much. I get that Die Hard in a mansion can be difficult to pull off for 90 minutes due to the small space in which the action takes place-- skyscrapers and industrial plants work so much better-- but to mitigate that issue by having our hero spend a chunk of the film tied to a weight bench making Romantic Comedy banter with a love interest in a Jennifer Aniston haircut, that's a bad play. The whole idea is that Bradley is supposed to be a snake in the grass, but when he shows his hand so early in, we're stuck. And this is after an amazing beginning where he offs a bunch of dudes, rides a Harley, and rocks some too sweet shades; and an end confrontation with the head baddie that ends hilariously with the baddie looking to run Bradley down in a stolen car, and Bradley countering by throwing a fireman's ax at the windshield. Can I recommend a movie for roughly 15 minutes of quality footage? Of course I can't. (Though I guess I did for even less in Out for a Kill.)
How is it that Bradley is the one who ends up in a Romantic Comedy scenario tied to a weight bench with another hostage tied up next to him whom he doesn't get along with, but eventually hooks up with? Do we see Wincott doing that? Dolph maybe, but for as long a segment of the movie as Bradley was here? It just seems like tied to a weight bench is part of a bigger pattern of fanny pack behavior. Maybe this is why Bradley got out of acting, because he was tired of crap like this. The thing to do with this would've been to keep Bradley's cover, maybe even have the baddie suspect something's up with him, so he sends him down to the weight room to guard the woman, and the challenge for Bradley then is to keep his cover, convince this girl he's just tied up that he's not really one of the hostage takers, and keep his ear to the door to keep himself abreast of the goings on upstairs. It would've been better than what we got.
What you're looking at right there is Word 97 (at least I think it is). You're probably thinking "great, why would you cap that?" Because that my friends is what passed for the company interface through which the sleazy scientist accessed his company in order to get the release for the missiles. Yep, no cute graphics, no animation that looks nothing like a computer program, but still looks like something. Nope, a Word file, and they just had the guy type into it. At one point he's contacting 911. Yep, just type it in anywhere in the Word document, that will be fine.
Speaking of the sleazy scientist, he was played by Cameron Mitchell's son. You may remember the son from Space Mutiny as the guard that tells Calgon that "the information is scanty" at the moment. Scanty. Most of his credits are under the name "Channing Mitchell", including this one, but now he goes by the name Cameron Mitchell Jr. He was good here as the sleazy scientist, but no where near what his dad brought to the table in all those AIP flicks.
We've started something of a trend here where I use the last paragraph to talk about some outdated cultural phenomena or nostalgia that comes to mind when watching the movie, and I couldn't pass up the Jennifer Aniston hairdo. Was it called the Aniston or the Rachel? It was big in the mid to late 90s, and while this one isn't a perfect example, is Aniston-y enough. I think they went with it here to give the impression that this woman was a modern spitfire of sorts, that she wouldn't take any crap. Like Bradley though, she spends a good chunk of the film tied to a weight bench, though she isn't as well secured, so she gets to hop around a lot. Very modern spitfire.
Though you can check this out on Watch Instantly, I don't recommend it unless you're a Bradley completist. I am by virtue of having this blog, which means I hurt so you don't have to-- and if you don't have to, I wouldn't. Also, it was shot in Saskatoon, so if that does anything for you, by all means.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0136774/