Further than that, the DTV space is a great opportunity for a level of diversity increasingly ignored by major studios. Out of 2022’s DTV action slate, there are at least ten films prominently starring women, including Netflix’s Interceptor and Lou, with the latter also being directed by a woman. This isn’t an anomaly either; even as far back as the ’90s, the DTV space was more diverse with actors like Cynthia Rothrock and Billy Blanks offering a different type of action star to the muscular white men of their Hollywood contemporaries.
DTV in its original manifestation—cheaper, quicker alternatives to major studio properties—was arguably cinema at its most democratic, allowing filmmakers from all skill levels to produce and distribute films to rental and retail outlets alongside multi-million dollar blockbusters. Now, the democratization extends beyond production and distribution of the films.
It puts on the onus on the viewer to decide how to access these films, allowing them to simultaneously exist as ephemeral theatrical experiences on a grander scale, digital files for rental or purchase or, in the most analog fashion possible, as physical media for collectors to purchase for their constantly growing Scott Adkins or Isaac Florentine collections. Long live the New DTV.