“Samurai Cop” is not your average bad movie. The horrible quotes, shoddy filmmaking and laughable dynamics easily launch the film into bad movie canon, alongside disasterpieces like “The Room.”
First and foremost, the film is terrible. Bad acting, horrible dialogue, cringe-worthy audio and tired jokes run free and without worry through the movie’s duration.
Yet, there is a certain magic abundant in this movie. One that, for us, will endure the test of time.
The primary protagonists of “Samurai Cop”, Joe Marshall (Mathew Karedas) and Frank Washington (Mark Frazer), are two LAPD cops who have been assigned by the police chief to take down the Katana gang, led by a man called Fujiyama (Cranston Komuro), whose name is apparently too complicated for our dimwitted heroes to pronounce.
But, getting laid multiple times is obviously takes precedence, so Marshall goes out of his way to score whenever he can, with whomever he can. He usually succeeds, of course — except when he strikes out with a nurse who totally emasculates him in front of his partner. It seems they were going for smooth, flirty talk, but what came out was a detective desperately defending the size of his member.
The ensuing sex scenes are as awkward as they are gratuitous. But it wouldn’t be fair if Joe was the only one getting laid, and so two additional sex scenes involving Fujiyama’s henchmen apparently are required because hey, henchmen are important too, right?
Washington doesn’t get to enjoy softcore escapades, but no matter, he gets all of the cool one-liners! Some of the faces Washington makes in response to Marshall’s awkward flirting WILL make you laugh-cry.
By the time Washington gets his home invaded and henchmen threaten to cut off his “black gift,” you might find yourself sitting with a slack-jawed grin, in disbelief of what was happening (especially in 1991).
The entire film is also plastered with the old “white boys’ club” cop show vibe, but they turn it up to 11, much to our comedic pleasure. And we’re laughing at it, not with it.
And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the bulk and drive of this movie: the action. It’s all very poorly done, with actors poorly reacting to shots being poorly fired by poorly paid actors. Marshall and Fujiyama’s second-in-command engage in a poorly crafted katana fight. It’s all very poor. You get the picture.
Repeat shots are used often in action sequences, and they are always a joy.
While the action is hilarious initially and occasionally throughout, it does wear thin and get boring after a while, and that is probably the only fault in this film. Watching the generic bad guys pretending to be shot is pretty funny, though.
This film shamelessly (and very poorly) tries to emulate the cop dramas of the 70s and 80s, but at least it will be remembered as a cultish b-movie classic that many have come to cherish. We have nothing but love for this disasterpiece.