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] I'd love to check out what you got.



Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Godforsaken (2010)

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This is the final film submitted to us by Kevin at MTI Video.  I wasn't really sure what to make of it.  It looked low-budget, the trailer didn't give me much to go on, and I didn't recognize any of the actors.  I don't know, let's say I was a little nervous.

Godforsaken is about a fallen angel who is fallen because he let a 3-year-old girl he was supposed to be protecting die when she's kidnapped for ransom.  Now he wants to atone for that and hopefully get back into The Big Fella's good graces by protecting the father's new child with his new wife-- and potentially protect the child from the father.  Will he succeed?

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Wow, this was an icky movie.  I took a bike ride today before I watched this, and I was caught in the rain and took a shower when I got home.  After seeing this, I needed another one.  I don't know if I've seen a movie for the DTVC that made me feel like that before.  Part of it was that it had some legitimately macabre elements that were weird and gross; but the biggest part of it was the story, which I can't get into fully without giving it all away, but the way it all played out made me feel uneasy and dirty.  The hero, the fallen angel, was also a weird gross guy, so the more I saw him the more icky I felt.  He did some really shady things too-- shady is actually putting it lightly, more like psychopathic-- so I don't know if I was supposed to be rooting for someone like that who really belonged in jail.  I'll just say this was sauteed in wrong sauce and leave it at that.

This is based on a novel, so I don't know how faithful what I saw was to the novel.  Maybe the novel was worse, and this tried to split the difference.  Maybe the novel was better, and this lost something in the adaptation.  I don't know, I just know whatever they were doing wasn't for me.  The idea of fallen angels living among us on the planet was a cool idea, but I feel like it was never quite realized in this context.  Maybe because the fallen angel in this was more creepy than cool to me.

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Don't ask me what's going on here.  Okay, I'll tell you.  This woman, with her Eyes Without a Face mask on, has a sex scene with the fallen angel.  To ramp up the creepiness, it was done on a gross mattress in an abandoned building, and set to this somber, creepy violin soundtrack that is in the background throughout the film.  She's topless in the actual sex scene, so I left it out, but I don't think you need me to tell you how weird that is.  I wonder though, did either the novelist or the director-writer put this scene in as a way to metaphorically fornicate with either Eyes Without a Face director Georges Franju, or his film.  Man, how would that work if I did something similar to symbolically have sex with one of my favorite directors?  Have one of the characters in my film have sex with a red teapot in honor of Ozu?

The main actress in this, Annabel Wright, has been in a couple things before that I haven't seen, but I recognize, one being Sniper: Reloaded.  According to the photos in her imdb bio, she was nominated for best actress at the Milan Film Festival for this role in Godforsaken.  I say good for her, it certainly wasn't her fault the movie was weird; in fact, it might be because I liked her character, that what they did to her in this film irked me and made the film that much tougher to stomach.  Who knows.

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All right, here's my opportunity to really get into what upset me about this movie while giving fair warning to anyone who is planning to see it and doesn't want me to ruin it.  First off, that woman with the mask above, yeah, she had her faced carved up with a razor and needed plastic surgery, and that mask is on while she heals.  The thing is, the angel did it to her, so her face could be remade to look like our lead actress's.  What?  Yeah, so later, he kills our lead actress (who is now playing both women), and after a car accident kills the husband, she raises the new daughter as her own, and we're supposed to be okay with this because the new daughter is the reincarnated version of the dead one.  What?  No, that's all weird, gross, and evil, and I want nothing to do with any of that.  Then, this impostor mom is confined to a wheelchair and raises this daughter to teen-hood, where she tearfully leaves her (fake) mother to go to Paris to study ballet.  She's reluctant to go because she doesn't want to leave her mother, and what happens?  After the plane takes off, the impostor mother dies in the airport.  That's awesome, this daughter gets to land in Paris and find out her mother is dead.  Who comes up with this depraved BS?  It's just too disturbing.

Okay, so you can get this on Netflix, Amazon, RedBox, etc.  You know how I feel, I need a shower.  You might not.  Maybe you read this review and think "I know how you are Matt, and I want to watch this in spite of what you said."  By all means, I gave you the places to go for it.  Proceed at your own peril.

For more info:

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