Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Joe Bob Briggs just tried to kill me people. I know, right? Because it’s not like I’ve ever done anything to the man. You see, I had just seen ‘Samurai Cop’, no doubt in the discussion as one of the worst movies ever made by anybody who has seen it. Then I made the critical mistake of watching this movie a second time, this time with Joe Bob’s running commentary activated on the DVD. This clown had me laughing so hard that I fell off my rocking chair, my air passage ways closed, and I hit my head on the nearby end table. If I actually used my brain I probably would’ve died. So here’s the deal. ‘Samurai Cop’ is… indescribable. But it is infinitely entertaining. The problem is that Joe Bob’s commentary is even better, but you would have to watch this movie once without, and then again with, to get the full effect. That means watching ‘Samurai Cop’ twice. As a caring and concerned American citizen, I can’t recommend this course of action… but it’s on you.

The story, as it were, centers around evil Japanese mobster Fujiyama and his ‘Katana Gang’. Katana means ‘sword’ in Japanese. I know this because our star Joe ‘Samurai’ Marshall (Matt Hannon) speaks fluent Japanese, and that will pretty much close the door on Joe’s use of Japanese in this movie. Fujiyama and his gravelly melodious voice is mighty upset a Joe right now because he’s come up from San Diego to totally wreck his drug transactions. Of course we could ask Fujiyama-san why he chose to make this transaction in broad daylight, at a crowded marina, using a bright blue conversion van with electric stripes down the side, but we don’t want to make the man mad. You might also ask why is Joe here in Los Angeles from San Diego? Well, nobody in L.A. speaks Japanese to translate for the Katana gang, even though they all speak English, but mainly because when you need help bringing down a bloodthirsty gang of thugs, San Diego is where you go to get the help you need. Duh. Anyway, during this absolutely hilarious chase scene with the blue van, Joe and his partner Frank (Mark Frazer) caused the driver of this van to catch on fire and subsequently sent him to the hospital. Fujiyama has a mandate that you shall not be captured alive and thus he sends his top assassin, one Yamashita (Robert Z’Dar) to the hospital to cut off the man’s head and place it on his piano. He’s pretty damned adamant about that whole piano scenario. And yes, we recognize that Morgan Freeman looks more like somebody named Yamashita than Robert Z’Dar.

So there’s a lot of magic in this movie, but probably none more magical than the scenes at the hospital. First Joe attempts to hit on a nurse in arguably the greatest scene of sexual banter between a man and a woman in any movie ever, then Yamashita is snuck into the hospital by his long legged girlfriend (Cameron) to cut off this cats head. What’s amusing about this scene is that Yamashita is hiding in a clothes hamper… while dressed as a doctor. It seems to me that a doctor in a clothes hamper would draw more attention than just some random dude in a clothes hamper. But then I’m not an international samurai assassin, so what would I know?

Moving along, eventually Joe meets Jennifer (Janis Farley), the rather comely owner of the restaurant that Fujiyama hangs out at. Joe picks Jennifer up at church, then takes her home and knocks her off. While Joe is doing this, bad guys are pouring hot grease over the private parts of Peggy the Helicopter pilot (Melissa Moore) and are clutching Frank’s penis while threatening to cut it off. Why these evil dudes felt the need to hold Frank’s ‘black gift’ to get some information is beyond me, and for even conceiving this scene the writer of this film should be flogged. What these cats wanted is the address to where Joe lives and Frank cleverly used the ‘it’s in the closet’ trick on these suckers. Because while you and me hide the addresses of our friends in our brains, Frank hides the addresses of his friends ‘in the closet’.

The magic continues, featuring shoot outs at the Fujiyama compound and the Yamashita compound where bad guys run out in the open to get shot and the two worst samurai on the planet earth face off in a fight to the death.

What’s great about director Amir Shervan’s movie? How about star Mike Hannon’s hair? Sure it turns into a wig halfway through the movie, and since I don’t if Mr. Hannon had to go through Chemo or something during the shoot we will not make fun of it. Or how about Mike Frazer’s overall awesomeness in this movie. How many burnt ‘black ass’ jokes can they make before it just stops being funny? The over/under is zero on that one. Cameron, Melissa Moore and Janis Farley all get naked in this movie and all three of these lovely ladies do nudity quite well. Janis Farley in particular, but alas this was her first and last film as the trauma of ‘Samurai Cop’ was clearly too great a shock for her to recover from. This makes us sad. Also we have Alan Demaderossian’s ‘musical score’ which was beyond awesome. This is a man that has scored over forty movies and I’m just curious if he used that Casiotone MT-520 in all of them. That’s the one that had the five tiny yellow pads on top for drum sounds. I know because I had one, but never dreamed it could be used to score an entire movie.

The only thing that’s really wrong with this movie, outside of the fact that’s it’s absolutely terrible from its overlit first frame to the bitter grainy final frame, is that the filmmakers couldn’t scrape up enough cash to make a ‘Samurai Cop 2: Yamashita’s Revenge’. Considering the majority of the cast is probably still alive, albeit missing, I would personally pony up the funds to make this happen. As long as it’s less than five hundred bucks.

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