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Good Cop. Badder Cop
on 22 January 2017
Arrow Films once again delves into the low budget landscape of grunge, dirt and grime to pull out a long forgotten gem that spawned a much better sequel and a by the numbers third entry. However, this the first in the ''trilogy'' is a basic stalk n' slash entry enlivened by a hard action element that gives it audience a highly generic but nonetheless entertaining time…
On the mean streets of New York, innocent folk are being slaughtered by a killer wearing a police uniform: Is this a crazed lunatic on the rampage or indeed a real cop gone rogue? As the death toll rises and the cities' bigwigs attempt a cover-up, Detective Frank McCrae ('Halloween III' stalwart Tom Atkins) - all generic raincoat, fedora hat and side arm, heads up the investigation and all evidence points to hotshot young cop, Jack Forrest (a post 'Evil Dead' Bruce Campbell). In order to prove his innocence, Jack must team up with the grizzled McCrae and his partner Theresa (Laurene Landon) to put a stop to this maniac cop's murder spree but the truth of this unknown assailant may prove more shocking than the crimes themselves…
Riding a thin line between horror, action and social commentary, Larry ('Q The Winged Serpent'' and ''Its Alive!') Cohen's screenplay is fertile enough to ensure director William ('Maniac', Vigilante') Lustig gets the ultimate bang for anyone's buck on what is essentially a very low budget production. The concept isn't just the standard Freddy/Jason garden variety slash-a-thin of the time and has actual adult characters running throughout, rather the usual teens in peril…The whole political aspect with City Hall adds another dimension and gives the viewer something else to chew on, besides the murderizing and throat slashing. Lead Atkins heads up the movie well ably supported by Campbell and key character turns from Ken Lerner, William Smith and Richard Roundtree adder a much needed richer tapestry to what could have been a regular action/horror hybrid… And kudos to Robert Z'Dar who doesn't simply play the title character as a stuntman: His maniac cop has an almost tragic Frankenstein quality to him and greatly elevates the proceedings.
Arrow Films' UK Blu-Ray release features an amazingly detailed transfer with vibrant audio - each gunshot rings out in high velocity and every kill is dutifully rendered. The extras ain't too shabby either: Apart from that snazzy 2k restoration, we get interviews with Tom Aitkins, Laurene Landon, Larry Cohen and the usual treats of reversible cover art and trailers, etc. All in all, this is a slam dunk release (especial for the price Amazon are charging) and worthy of a place in any horror (or action) junkie's collection. Recommended.