Samurai Cop - 1989 - USA - Action/Exploitation
Dir: Amir Shervan
Samurai Cop is bad. The production value, acting, music, choreography, even the art direction, are all deplorable. But if you're like me and you get a kick out of terrible movies, Samurai Cop is great fun.
This film costars Robert Z'Dar, the man with the invincible chin. You may know him from his role in Maniac Cop and his small part as a convict in the buddy cop flick Tango & Cash. If you have seen him before, you will recognize him. The chin is unmistakable, and unstoppable.
Samurai Cop dumps you right into the action from the get go. Robert Z'dar, who plays a mob boss big shot for a Japanese gang named Katana, starts doing some wheeling and dealing with some other Asian gangs, which almost immediately results in some sort of small scale gang war. To be honest its so poorly scripted its nearly impossible to tell whats going on at first, or who's fighting/shooting at who. Suddenly, Samurai Cop and his trusty sidekick intercept one of the gangs' drug deals, and a lengthy chase ensues. This film has plenty of bizarre transitions such as this one, most likely attributed to it's broken script.
The plot revolves a man named Joe Marshall, a cop trained in Japan for martial arts, who is hired by the local police department to fix the city's gang problem. Joe Marshall, the Samurai Cop, has a giant, flowing mop of overly groomed black hair, and somehow seems to charm the pants off of every girl that appears on the screen, even ones associated with the gang he is assigned to get rid of. His acting is so shitty its mind boggling, but all these attributes boost the characters' absurdity and bring about some good hearty laughs.
Samurai Cop's charm lies almost entirely in it's shittyness. It's not tongue and cheek in the least. There were a few times when film goes for a joke, but the real hilarity ensues within it's sincerity at actually attempting to be a serious film.
The script in and of itself is a source of chuckles. Some of the lines exchanged between characters are jaw droppingly insane. Several times throughout the film I laughed out loud and thought "did they really just say that?". There's plenty of one liners, but they are so bad they can barely be acknowledged.
Here's some more aspects of the film that attribute to its legendarily crappy reputation. The god awful 80's synth score. It's positively delightful. The fight choreography, something that this film has a heavy dose of, is pretty pathetic as well. There's no shortage of laughably bad fight scenes, and one particularly hilarious scene of a guy falling down a set of stairs as carefully as he possibly can. Its clear that a few of the Asian gentlemen have a little bit of real life martial arts training, but the Samurai Cop himself seems to have little to none.
Many films of this caliber suffer from issues with pacing, but Samurai Cop never seems to slow down. Its action packed from start to finish, and the laughs never stop. Watch it with a friend, crack open a few cold ones and let the laughs begin.
Action - 8.5/10
Choreography - 2/10
Blood n' Guts - 2/10
Laughs - 8/10
Acting - 1/10
OVERALL - 8/10
Joe Marshall: Samurai Cop
A baddie gets decapitated!
Robert Z'Dar. For the record that's %10 beard and %90 chin.
A showdown between Samurai cop and this dude.
The almighty chin wields a katana.