Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Samurai Cop (1989)

Let's not waste any time here getting to the point. Samurai Cop is inept nonsense that looks as if it was edited and put together by a team of blind chimpanzees. The acting from everyone onscreen is horrible, not helped at all by horrible ADR, and the main man both looks and acts like some dark-haired Johnny Bravo let loose in an adult world. Written and directed by Amir Shervan, it's hard to tell whether or not it was ever supposed to be played out as a serious action thriller. Sexism, sadism, casual racism, it's all here. The whole thing is awful which means that it's also pretty hilarious, if you view it in the right frame of mind.

The story, as slim as it is, concerns a big Japanese gang that is taking over the city (thanks, in no small part, to a main henchman played by the mighty Robert Z'Dar). To stop the gang, the local cops bring in Joe "Samurai Cop" Marshall (Matt Hannon), a man who spends his time either fighting people, trying to chat up women or . . . . . . . sleeping with women (including an officer named Peggy, played by Melissa Moore - billed as Melisa Moore - who is portrayed as a bit of a nymphomaniac for no reason whatsoever). His partner is Frank Washington (Mark Frazer), a black cop happily playing second fiddle to Joe while also . . . . . . . . . . ummmmm . . . . . no, actually that's it. He shoots a few people, sure, but he looks up to Joe at every opportunity like a child seeking approval from an inattentive father. The bodycount starts to rise, the Police Captain (Dale Cummings) starts to complain about a foot going up his ass leading to a foot going up there ass and people all having sore asses. Or something. I'd lost half of my braincells at that point. Weak action sequences are intersperses with moments of gratuitous nudity for just over ninety minutes and then the end credits roll, featuring a cast list of names such as Miceal Jackson, Gabriel and Holland as some kind of one last finger up to the viewer for enduring such nonsense.

In terms of traditional filmmaking this is a 1/10 movie, but in terms of sheer entertainment, thanks to the comedy (unintentional or not), it's pretty much a 10/10, hence my rating that puts it slap bang in the middle. Matt Hannon and Mark Frazer make one of the least convincing cop duos that I've ever seen while Robert Z'Dar is amusingly over the top for his every moment onscreen. Krista Lane plays a flame-haired female member of the gang, who doesn't do all that much apart from look pretty, and I'm happy to admit that I was shallow enough to enjoy her presence as she sometime hung around and looked pretty. Jannis Farley also seems to have been hired for her ability to look pretty and I also enjoyed her scenes. As already mentioned, Melissa Moore is saddled with a completely bizarre bit of characterisation and Dale Cummings goes through every page of "How To Be An Angry Police Captain For Dummies."

Writer-director Shervan certainly never lets things get dull, which is another saving grace for the movie. There are chases, fights and/or deaths every other scene. None of it makes a lick of sense, there are more than a few moments that may be viewed as outright offensive to some and none of the characters are at all likable, but it's entertaining for all the wrong reasons. If you're not won over by the time our hero is brought down to Earth with a bump and dismissed by a sexy nurse then you may as well switch off the movie because that one moment exemplifies how this atrocious piece of work can gleam like gold. Fool's gold, but gold nonetheless.



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