When discussion of movies that are so bad they’re fun occur often films like The Room, Birdemic and The Last Vampire On Earth are suggested, and with good reason. But now when said conversation occurs I can add Samurai Cop to the list, a film which is funny simply because it’s not only incredibly dodgily directed, edited, written and acted, but every other element that is involved when making a film is handled badly too.
A lot of the scenes are peculiarly framed, like director Amir Shervan hadn’t seen a film before and so guessed where the best place the camera might be positioned but is almost impressively slightly off each time. Amazing it was his thirtieth movie and lord only knows what the others are like, but it’s also his final credit and that didn’t come as a surprise as the script (which he also wrote) is terrible and when it comes to editing there’s lots of moments where you’re left thinking “Wait, what, how did we get from there to this?” or “Why is the camera lingering for so long on this non-moving actor?”.
The very simple plot is that our lead cop Joe (Mathew Karedas) has been brought over from Seattle to fight a Japanese gang led by Okamura (Gerald Okamura) and violence ensues while seemingly every woman Joe meets wants to sleep with him. Joe’s partner Frank (Mark Frazer) is along for the ride, and so most of the time the scenes see Joe and Frank entering a new location, bantering nonsensically with the villains, and then a fight scene will break out, that or someone will go off and have sex because Shervan does like pointless nudity.
The way the action is filmed is often oddly funny, with the punches only looking like they connected about half of the time. In one scene a car explodes and the man driving it emerges in flames, but it seems like he’s unaware of what fire is, or pain, as he mutters “Ah” and “Ow” in a hilariously unconvincing fashion. A lot of the time the blood splatter is either missing or looks like tomato paste, and chase sequences are so poorly edited that it’s often uncertain who is chasing who or how near or distant the characters are.
Given all of the above it probably won’t cause many heart attacks when I mention that the dialogue is poor, but just how poor is still quite the surprise, and this is a film where when Frank laments his destroyed car with the line “Captain Rohmer’s going to burn my arse”, Joe responds with “Yeah he’s going to burn it, charcoal black”, leading Frank to reply “It is black” and Joe says “Right on”. Both seem to think the exchange is the height of wit when the opposite applies, and it’s just one of a great number of exchanges between characters that really doesn’t make any sense at all, and I wouldn’t be shocked if The Room’s Tommy Wiseau saw seen this film and was convinced that this is how you write memorable dialogue.
It’s once again a case where I could be here all day and most of tomorrow quoting some of the unusual dialogue, but I’ll keep it to two more, with first place going to a strange seduction scene where a nurse asks Joe “Would you like to touch me? Would you like to go out with me? Would you like to fuck me?” before suddenly out of the blue deciding that Joe’s penis “Doesn’t interest me, there’s nothing there”. Also strangely weird and strangely funny is a scene where when the bad guy’s lawyer complains about the way his client has been treated by Joe and Frank, only for the police captain to bizarrely whine “You motherfucker, leave me alone, get a job”.
Throw in on top of this deranged concoction a fair bit of really bad dubbing, some of the most unerotic nudity ever committed to celluloid, a wig which is so fake it doesn’t even stay on properly at times, fight scenes which you’ll fear will never end and a soundtrack which I’m guessing was created on a casio keyboard, and you’ve easily got one of the worst films of all time, one which is enormous fun to mock and so best watched when you’re under the influence of alcohol and with friends.