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Samurai Cop

USA 1989
produced by
Orlando Corradi, Amir Shervan for Hollywood Royal Pictures
directed by Amir Shervan
starring Matt Hannon (= Mathew Karedas), Robert Z'Dar, Jannis Farley, Mark Frazer, Melissa Moore, Cameron (= Krista Lane), Gerald Okamura, Joselito Rescober, Dale Cummings, Ali Teymury, Jerry Black, James Waltz, Reginald Williams, Tom Gleason, Robert Moore, Fred Floyd, John Godfrey, Tom Wideline, Warren Stevens, Miceal Jackson, Mark Baue, Bill Donahue, Stephen Koh, Gabriel, Holland, Allen Rubin, Rick Garcia, Jimmy Williams, Jason Coleman
written by Amir Shervan, music by Alan DerMarderosian

Samurai Cop

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Evil Japanese gangster boss Fujiyama (Joselito Escober) ... is evil, that's why the local police force has requested long-haired cop Joe (Matt Hannon) from San Diego, because he's known as the Samurai Cop, and heck, if a samurai can't take care of a Japanese, who can?

Joe and his black sidekick Frank soon make their first arrest, a member of Fujiyama's gang, but Fujiyama doesn't like loose ends like accomplices who could talk, so he has his second in command Yamashita (Robert Z'Dar) - whom he calls his samurai - kill him while the police have put him under heavy guard in a hospital. Joe and Frank learn their lesson from this incident, and from now on they don't arrest suspects anymore, they kill them right away.

Eventually, Joe meets Fujiyama's girlfriend Jennifer, and the two almost immediately fall in love. Meanwhile Fujiyama has his men track down Joe's colleagues to torture his address out of them (why it's so easy to get the addresses of Joe's colleagues and so hard to get Joe's address is beyond me), and finally they succeed, but Joe of course manages to shoot his way out.

Fujiyama learns that Jennifer loves not him but Joe, so he takes her hostage, and when Joe and Frank stop by to arrest him, he forces them to lay down their weapons by threatening her life - then he shoots Frank, but fails to kill him because Frank was wearing a bullet proof vest. Thought dead Frank shoots back and kills Fujiyama, who isn't wearing one, for real.

Ultimately, Joe and Frank go after Yamashita, and after shooting all his henchmen, Yamashita challenges Joe to a sword duel - which he loses of course. He then begs Joe to kill him according to samurai tradition, but Frank holds Joe back - so Yamashita commits seppuku.

 

When it comes to bad action trash, Samurai Cop has all the elements in the right places: A very silly, even skeletal plot that's still messed up somehow, badly executed and edited action sequences, unconvincing martial arts, Caucasian actors posing as Asians, a lack of understanding for Japanese culture parts of this film are based on, a terrible lead, a below average cast, excuses to show boobs aplenty, ridiculous dialogue, unintentionally hilarious scenes (like the one in which Joe ponders if it's appropriate to interrupt a suspect's sexual intercourse to arrest him, only to be stopped cold by a standard sliding door once his mind is made up), a totally out-of-place synthi-pop score, and of course a total lack of (self-)irony. All this naturally makes up a bad movie, but in the case of Samurai Cop it's a great bad movie, one that isn't ashamed for being what it is (though it should be) and that's so wonderfully uninhibited in its trashiness, as if nobody with a hint of intellect has ever even seen the script.

Of course, Samurai Cop is anything but stimulation for the mind, but with a few beers and a few friends, it's a great watch and more fun than most comedies.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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