As regular readers of Busted Knuckles, you know that I love nothing better than a Direct-to-DVD movie. You can usually count on the genre being action, sci-fi, martial arts and some times horror. The budgets are small and the box art is lurid. It might as well has a sticker on it that reads: “BEAU, RENT ME!!”
It’s been a while so I figured I’d tell you about some recent DVD’s that I’ve watched that you may be interested in watching?or not.
Director: David Chameides
Cast: Danielle Burgio, Bas Rutten, Lauren Kim, Kevin Levrone and G. Anthony Joseph.
This is pretty much the same bunch that starred in and brought you THE ELIMINATOR, an action DVD that I reviewed a few months ago. This one stars noted stuntwoman and actress, Danielle Burgio (former Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week). She’s great looking in that sexy Tom-Boy way and does her own stunts. In BACKLASH she plays a secret agent named “Skye Gold” (I know, it sounds like a porno movie name). She’s supposed to be on vacation in Trinidad when some bad guys that don’t really like her find out she’s hanging around. Within a few minutes the bad guys show up to kill her, one of them being the very hot Lauren Kim, and the bullets, knives, feet and fists start getting thrown around like they were free.
It’s pretty much just that, action, bikinis, gunfire, stabbings, lots of bones getting broken and pretty good stunts. On the bad side the sound of interior scenes have that low budget echo that remind you you’re watching a low budget movie. The soundtrack/score is annoying and I’ve seen better directing on a low budget action movie.
Does Danielle Burgio deserve better? Of course she does. My hope is that she has a really good agent and at some point somebody with a little power and deeper pockets puts her in an action movie where she can show that she can really act AND do stunts. This DVD has a “making of” special feature that is basically some home movie shots from the movie where everybody mugs for the camera and says the same things we all do when a friend sticks a video camera in our face. There’s an interview with the writer and director, but they neglect to give any real stories about how the film was made.
BACKLASH is worth the rental cost easily if you like low budget action movies like me. Danielle Burgio is always worth the time and cost. If you’re looking for something new or different then pass on this one.
Director: Art Camacho
Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Olivier Gruner, Gary Bussey, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, Dianna Kauffman and Lorraine Farris.
I know what you’re thinking? Great Action Cast! I thought the same thing. On paper it does look great. On film it doesn’t. Gary Bussey, Martin Kove, and Fred Williamson have just a few scant moments of screen. I think they did this movie as a favor to their long time director friend, Art Camacho. Even though he’s the one of the nicest guys in the world and a true world champion kickboxer, Don “The Dragon” Wilson proves that some things don’t get better after you do them a lot. In this case it’s his acting. If anything Wilson has lost his chops, not the ones he does with his hands, but the ones he acts with. I can’t help but feel bad for him when he’s delivering lines more than 10 seconds long. I really think that if he had a role as a mute hero he would really be great. I am sincere. I don’t mean that as a snarky remark.
The directing is probably Art Camacho’s worst to date. The camera shots are choppy to the point where it makes the fights look really bad. Camacho is not known for his innovative fight scenes. He sticks with the same ones that have been used since the mid 1980’s.
Olivier Gruner is wasted in this one. Gruner isn’t an oscar winning actor, but with the right scripts and directing he’s very good. He was great in NEMESIS, THE FIGHTER and AUTOMATIC. I recommend all of those DVDs highly.
CROOKED (a.k.a Soft Target?I know?sounds like another porn movie) is one of those movies that just makes everybody in it look bad. The lead babe actress, Diana Kauffman really ought to think about removing this movie from her resume. She looks good, but when she spews her lines? she spews her lines.
As much as I wanted this one to be fun, it wasn’t.
Bobby Z (The Death And Life Of Bobby Z)
Director: John Herzfeld
Cast: Paul Walker, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Lewis, Keith Carradine, Joaquim de Almeida, Chuck Liddell and Josh Stewart.
Paul Walker is a young actor that has gone from pretty boy actor to one of my favorite new generation real man actors. Trust me, that’s a huge leap to make in this modern film making world. He really proved that he could make the leap when he did RUNNING SCARED.
This movie is based on the great tough guy novel THE DEATH AND LIFE OF BOBBY Z by one of my favorite fiction writers, Don Winslow. It’s about Tim Kearney, a former marine, in prison that gets a shot of getting out and away from the skinheads that are trying to kill him? IF? he does a favor for the DEA. All he has to do is risk his life acting like he’s this notorious drug dealer named Bobby Z and help the DEA. Needless to say it sounds like a good idea at the time, but Tim soon finds out that there are even more people on the outside that want to kill Bobby Z than the dozens of skinheads in prison that want to kill him, and these new guys have guns. Lots of them.
This movie has a great 1970’s grit to it. You can see it in the filming and locations. It reminds me of crime action movies before things got all PC. Bad people were bad and the good guys?weren’t that good. There are loads of great fist-fights and shoot outs. I was real happy with the way that director John Herzfeld handled the fights because he’s not known for rough action in his other films. A few years ago he directed a small movie that I really enjoyed called 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY.
I highly recommend this one to you and it was just released on DVD, so it’s in your local Blockbuster and online as well.
Well, there ya go. I hope you find something out there you like. I always try to give you a heads up on what to get and what to avoid. Kinda like those sex education movies we used to see in high school.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
In Nashville there are tons of great bands, singers and songwriters, but there’s only one Lisa Torres. She does a great brand of country rock that can sound like a sexy whisper in the ear or she’s knocking down your bedroom door with a sledgehammer. You should wear a seat belt when you see these curves. Learn more about Lisa at her website at http://www.lisatorres.com.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
The Sub-Mariner #2
Atlas/Marvel Comics 1941
This cover is pretty much one of the manliest covers ever in comics. Namor, The Sub-Mariner shows the bad guys just where to shove a torpedo. The best part is that as he does it he kicks another bad guy in the head just because he can.
This is a magnificent cover that is a real lesson on how to do a dynamic cover. This should be a poster or litho.
Since the last Busted Knuckles my poison ivy has cleared up and the weather has gone from hot and humid to almost Fall like. I took the dogs on an extra long walk this evening because it was so damn nice outside. I’m looking forward to the leaves and temps falling.
Speaking of falling, it was a bad weekend for me football-wise. My school, Marshall University had a great first half and was winning against the much hated West Virginia University, then the second half started and WVU got us all figured out and spanked the Thundering Herd pretty bad. The stadium was packed and the game was shown on ESPN 2. I just wish the outcome would’ve been different.
The same story was told with my Chicago Bears. They had the San Diego Chargers reeling in the first half stuffing Tomlinson to ?12 yards rushing. I guess that just pissed him off because he came out in the second half and ran, passed and caught balls on us left and right. I’m hoping we do better this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. I also hope we don’t lose anymore players to injury.
While on the subject of football, we all might get a treat this week if Eli Manning can’t shake his shoulder injury. If he can’t throw then we’ll get to see Jared Lorenzen, the 285 lbs. Quarterback from Kentucky man up and throw the ball for the New York Giants. I watched him play a lot of college ball and he is very entertaining. While sitting on the sidelines in one Kentucky game he saw some fans leaving their seats and he yelled up at them “Hey! Where the hell are you going? We’re gonna win this game!” It’s fun to watch linebackers bounce off him.
Okay, that’s it. You’re on your won until next week.
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