Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reader's Request: Samurai Cop

Okay after a few weeks of prying ideas out of my readers I finally got a request. Let me say offhand I was probably better off reviewing the Barely Legal Zombi Sequel Zombie 7. Yup the turd waffle I have been asked to give the once over was directed by Amir Shervan (The Owner of Hell, Young Rebels, Hollywood Cop, Killing American Style and Gypsy) so clearly if these titles are to go on, we are in good hands. This is Samurai Cop.

Leave my wig alone!!!!!

Meet Joe Marshall (Matt Karedas of American Revenge, Samurai Cop and JAG) a bad ass cop from San Diego brought in especially to rid the streets of the Yakuza in L.A. His partner Frank Washington (Mark Frazer of Another World, Hunter, Samurai Cop and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) who is clearly only two day from retirement working side by side against the Japanese underworld. Our oyabun, Fujuyama (Cranston Komuro of Samurai Cop) feathers his mullet with cocaine distribution, racketeering and protection. And any of you Segal fans out there will love the bad guy discussion/exposition about Joe as apparently he studied under the sword masters (or kengou) in Japan(didn't bother to give a location in Japan so we will say Tokyo for lazy writing's sake) and he is deemed a samurai.  Main henchman or Wakagashira Yamashita (Robert Z'Dar of Maniac Cop, Tango & Cash, Maniac Cop 2, Soultaker, The Final Sanction, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, American Chinatown, Future War and Hollywood Cops) feels threatened by Joe's mere existence and vows to Mullet oyabun he will dispatch Joe.

Being a samurai cop does take it out of you but fortunately Joe is no slacker. With his tactical genius of yelling at his partner to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot during a high speed chase to his ability to inform anything with a vagina to will herself to “keep it warm” and to wait for him, it is no wonder the ladies love him. Traffic cop/helicopter spotter/patrol cop/love interest Peggy (Melissa Moore of Sorrority House Massacre II, Vice Academy 2, Vampire Cop, Hard to Die, Angelfist, Bikini Drive-In and Hellborn) frickin' one dimensional I think the writer forgot to give her a motivation or back story. I know how she looks topless and in a thong but not much else. Seriously, other than her physical attributes, I know next to nothing about this character.

Uh-oh, that three bean salad is repeating...

Racist to Costa Ricans and Japanese a plenty, with cheeseball lines and music that sounds like it was lifted from Mega Man 2 or Jan Hammer's Miami Vice soundtracks. It varied to a degree. A degree is something our heroes seem to lack, along with procedures, basic Miranda rights and extreme use of violence on the job. Frank just straight clips a guy in the shoulder while Joe lops the arm off another guy holding a gun on them. Who needs pesky crap like search warrants, search and seizure when you can simply apologize for entering a house without just cause. Just on their shots fired forms in less than a week they would still be looking at those stacks.

I kinda got the vibe that Amir rented Lethal Weapon 2, decided to duplicate it and dropped the ball. Paintballs work just as good when you don't have squibs, right? I imagine they hurt about the same. Composer Alan DerMarderosian chimes with a background like: (Hobgoblins,Vice Academy, Mind Trap, Devil Rider, Red Room, High Kicks and Good Girls Don't) so his tunes are...very motley. The dubbing was the most painful as some actors were not able to come in for ADR (automated dialogue replacement) so at least 4 cops had the same voice. Not even a different inflection of the voice or alternative take, just that one voice. As many guys went flying through glass I expected to hear either a Goofy or a Whilhelm scream (stock sound effect used in more than 220 film and TV).   The most painful thing about this movie is the exposure.  Not noticing that lighting looks different throughout the day, this car chase started at 8 in the morning and apparently finished at 5 in the afternoon.  Also our bad guys only operate during the day.  Cause they are nine to fivers or someone didn't have access to some basic portable flood lamps at night.  60 bucks a pop, dude!  Hell borrow my lantern flood lamp, at least you could shoot AT NIGHT!!!!

Matt's line delivery felt awkward until you find out he got called in 6 months later to shoot additional scenes later on with his hideous wig. It turns out he was staring at a couple of lamps, they were not well-synced and he looks like a doofus spouting his dialogue attempting to be suave sounding confused. The lovely lady wig they gave him bounces through several times you can play a drinking game on his wig or real hair shots. I caution you, your liver may get pissed at you.

So this is Lethal Weapon on a nickel and dime budget, with no real retakes, time or money to consider. We are in the barren lands of indy film that paid as they went. The best part of this movie is they are taking it so seriously with the horrific dialogue, locations and car chases. The police department looks like a telemarketing center and the boss's digs looks like a split level house my aunt and uncle bought complete with the thick baize carpeting.   The only legitimate Hollywood stable is Carlos and Charlie's a restaurant on Sunset Blvd.  Ahh, Sunset Boulevard, something else I could be watching.   Remember kids, Katana means Japanese Sword (no it doesn't. That is nihonto).

Not Michael Winslow.