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. 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. And check out my book, Chad in Accounting, over on Amazon.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Corbin Nash (2018)

This was recommended to us in August of 2020 on our Facebook page by one of our readers, Kevin Hazell, and it's a little embarrassing that I'm just now getting around to the review. I had planned to do it as part of a move to get more horror on the site overall, and if you look back to what I've reviewed over the past year, you can see how well that's gone--I've done just two horror films since October of 2020, Welcome to Willits and Zombeavers. In addition to us, our friends at Bulletproof Action have covered this as well, so you can head over there to see what they thought.

Corbin Nash has Dean Jagger as the film's eponymous hero, a NYC cop who finds out from an old family friend, Rutger Hauer, that his parents were vampire hunters who were killed out in LA. So Nash goes out there, gets work as an LAPD detective, and starts investigating a series of mysterious missing persons cases. He gets too close and finds himself caught and held prisoner in some kind of human kennel, where he's fed bad food and forced to fight for the enjoyment of a group of evil vampires, among them DTVC favorite Corey Feldman. Will he make it out alive? And if he does, can he stop these vampires?


This is one of those ones where I don't know where to go with it. It's much darker than I prefer my horror, especially with the idea of the evil vampire kennel. By the same token, I liked a lot of the performances, and I liked the action elements. Where does that leave us then? I don't know how to explain what I think is wrong with the film without spoiling it, so as you're reading, if you don't want to go any further, skip down to the next paragraph. The thing is, Nash never really figures out how to beat the vampires, he just gets turned into a vampire by them when they try to kill him, and now imbued with vampire powers, he's strong enough to take them out. It's like Justice League just waiting for Superman to come in and save the day. It would have been nice if, at the very least, he figured his own way out of the kennel. Ultimately though there was enough good in this that I could appreciate it, and maybe with a movie like this, that's not a bad deal.

Normally, we start with the film's Hall of Famer, but in this case, for me the standout was Corey Feldman. He played an evil, transgender vampire, and he completely immersed himself in that role. From the DTV angle, Feldman in that role would be enough of a novelty to make it worth watching, but the fact that he nailed it as well as he did was something else entirely. He elevates the movie beyond simply that DTV level, especially with all the other names in this to help prop it up. At the same time, as I was looking up his filmography on IMDb, I saw something called "Corey Feldman, feat Snoop Dogg: Go 4 It (Video Short)" for the same year Corbin Nash came out. What was this? I had no idea Corey Feldman had a music career, or that he performed this song on the Today show in 2016. Wonders never cease. In terms of what I think of the song? I suggest checking it out for yourself...

Now for our film's one Hall of Famer, Rutger Hauer. We last saw him in 2014, when we did the film Blood of Heroes, which I did as part of the Drunk on VHS podcast. He has a very small part here, only in the beginning, when he's introduced to our eponymous hero through another DTVC favorite, Bruce Davison, who also has smaller part. This was the last film released before Hauer left us in 2019, with the other films he shot before then released posthumously. In addition to them, we had Malcolm McDowell as the "Blind Prophet," whose character is exactly as his name says. He sits on a bench in LA, and the main character talks to him from time to time. All of these guys are as good as you'd want them to be, but there is a sense that, with Hauer and Davison we want more of them, and with McDowell we want more of a character than just the standard blind wise man. With DTV sometimes you take what you can get.

Getting back to the fact that this is only the third horror film I've done in the last year, I looked at some other major DTV genres to see how that compares to them. I've done four Sci-Fi films, two documentaries, and four comedies--of which, two were Welcome to Willits and Zombeavers, so that covers our two horror films, and also means this is the first non-comedy horror film I've done since I did the screener Coven of Evil in September of 2020. I want to say here that my plan is to do more horror in the future, but I said the same thing last year, and look how that turned out. When I first started the blog in 2007, horror was expected to be a big part of what we were doing, but I noticed early on that action films were the ones getting the most traction, and it wasn't so much that I leaned into that to get more people to the site, it was more like I'd get comments saying "oh, this was good but did you see X from this person?", and then I'd watch and review X, which led to more people commenting on X saying "have you seen Y yet?" or "I think Z was even better by them," so then I'd watch and review Y and Z too, and things grew from there. I also think the horror review ecosystem is much larger than the action film one, so my reviews of action films don't have the competition that the horror ones do. An interesting side note to this though: the 1991 horror film Mom is one of our most-read posts, and when I went to its IMDb page, I saw we were only one of 12 critic reviews listed, which is a common number for us when it comes to action movies, but rare for horror. 


Finally, this film also has Courtney Gaines in it. That's important, because it marks a reunion with his costar from The 'Burbs, Corey Feldman. Thinking back 36 years to when that movie came out, it made total sense that not only would it be in the theaters, but that it would be a box office hit. Nowadays, could you ever see a film like that making it to the theater? It would a Netflix original, with maybe a limited theatrical release, but beyond that, it would only exist on Netflix, and in order to see it, we'd have to shell out $13 or whatever a month, as opposed to what we did back then where someone bought it on VHS, and we always had it. Yes, you can get The 'Burbs on Blu-ray for $5, but what about the new movie out there like The 'Burbs that's looking to be made now? Netflix will gobble it up, add some big stars, and give it a social media campaign that makes us think everyone who's anyone is watching it, keep it on their streaming site until they decide they don't want it anymore, and then, long after the faux social media buzz has worn off, it disappears, and we barely remember it ever happened; as opposed to The 'Burbs, where people of a certain age all know and remember it.

And with that, let's wrap this up. You can currently stream Corbin Nash on Tubi here in the US, which I think is a good deal. There were aspects of it I didn't like, and it's definitely on the darker side for me, but there were also some performances worth seeing, especially Feldman's.

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