Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shmucko Cop: Psycho Cop (1989)

Psycho Cop (1989)
Starring: Robert R. Shafer, Jeff Qualle and Palmer Lee Todd

I am aware that the corniness of a horror movie can sometimes be a secondary life-saver from the point of view that it's so bad, it's good! But when one douses everything with cheddar alone with very little to cover for, it could lead to disaster. Like a real disaster. 

Take this movie, for example, released a year after the initial cult success of Lustig's Maniac Cop (1988), Psycho Cop follows the same creed and introduce to us yet another killer in blue uniform. That to say, the only distinguishing feature that separates this generic shmuck from Maniac Cop's titular killer is that he's Satan's biggest fan and all his killings are for the dark lord almighty. In fact, he's so much into worshipping Beelzebub that he decorates his hideout with human blood, draw pentagrams on dirt and nail cats on trees while writing 666 in its blood. Stereotypical worship, but hey, it's his life.

While Maniac Cop is a slasher crossbreeding with a good, old-fashioned cop-out action film, Psycho Cop went with the easiest plot around, about six teens going to a summer house in the woods (like they always do) to party (like they always do) only to have them picked off one by one (like they always do) by a Satan worshipping killer cop. (not like they always do) It can't get any simpler than that.

Tainted with staleness from bad acting to bland characters, there's frankly not a lot to go by Psycho Cop in regards of interest save from the fact that our loon further hammers the ham in with his take on wise-cracking. I mean, you can't go wrong with wise-cracks when you're Freddy Krueger, but if your psycho spits out verbal nightmares like "I'm going to have to throw the book at you!" or "God? Hah! God has nothing to do with it! ...If you know what I mean!" and then laughs a hardy laugh ala robot, then they have every right to remain silent. I mean it.

The murders are decently fair, though. They're well orchestrated and unique at their best but I'm not that shallow or desperate to give a movie five stars for it. I would if I had fun, but as you can see, I didn't have fun. At least not all the way. It's not necessarily a bad film for that case; I suggest a whole keg of beer before, during and after the show to numb its shlockiness unless you pride yourself as a lover of overcooked cheese and just goes with the flow.

You can't go wrong with a silly movie to watch like this when it strikes you. For all it's crazy one-liners, hastily written script and paper thin characters, if you fancy bad movies or just see yourself an 80s horror flick completist, then this nightmare is yours and yours alone. In fact, if you see this as a comedy movie I wouldn't blame you. At least this film knows its place. God forbid if it tries to be anything like Maniac Cop...

Guess the Satan worship pays of. Huh?

1 male found axed on the head
1 female found with throat slit
1 female strangled to death, neck broken
1 male axed in the head
1 male gets a police baton shoved down his throat
1 female hit with a police cruiser
1 male electrocuted ala stun gun to the groin, later found with throat slit
1 cat found nailed to a tree
1 female knifed off-screen
1 male shot in the head
1 male knifed on the chest, heart removed
Total: 11

1 comment:

  1. The sequel (the uncut version, that is) is way better, as it has no pretenses of being a serious horror film, and is as over-the-top as it can be.

    The intro alone has Psycho Cop enjoying coffee and donuts in slow motion, and driving off in a police cruiser he's converted into what can only be described as a Satanic slaughterhouse on wheels.

    And it was written by a guy whose worked on Phineas and Ferb, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Rocko's Modern Life, etc.