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September 1, 2019

A Binge too Far #6: Psycho Cop duo (1989 – 1993)

Robert R. Shafer as Psycho Cop (1989).
It was inevitable that after the indie success of Maniac Cop (1988) rip-offs and imitations would flood the market, and so it happened. But whereas that slasher classic was the work of masters and/or talented people in front and behind the camera, such as Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell, and William Lusting and Larry Cohen, the Psycho Cop duo (1989 – 1993) almost seems like the work of amateurs.
Psycho Cop (1989) poster.

Psycho Cop (1989)

Six vacationing college students (that as is so often the case in 1980s slashers, appear to be much too old to still be in school, yet all of them are so dumb that I guess they could probably still be students after missing an exam too many) are terrorized by a – you guessed it – psycho cop (Robert R. Shafer, in an unintentionally comedic performance), who is offing them one by one for no other reason than him probably being a Satanist (we see him messing around with a pentagram or two).

Writer/director Wallace Potts (he had previously helmed a couple of adult films) is offering some of the silliest dialogues you’ll ever get to hear, and the experience of watching the film is actually torturous, as at even 87 minutes, it feels much longer. However, for reasons I cannot determine, the end result actually resembles a real movie of sorts, which wasn’t the case with most of the similar straight-to-video product from the era. If there is one winning element here is the soundtrack by Alex Parker and Keyth Pisani, which is above average for this kind of thing.

Psycho Cop 2 (1993) poster.
Psycho Cop 2 (1993)

Improving upon the original, this sequel is about a bunch of yuppies that organize an afterhours party with alcohol, drugs, and strippers (Julie Strain is involved, and introduced as Penthouse Pet of the Year), that will become damned by the stalking of the titular man of law (returning Robert R. Shafer, unintentionally funny as always). Whereas the original was tame (and you didn’t actually know why the psycho cop would kill the main cast since they didn’t really offend his typical-for-1980s conservative sensibilities) this one is full of sex and nudity, which is something that gives some sort of motive to film’s villain (you know, the whole sex and death angle that is prevalent in many low budget horror movies from that era). However director Adam Rifkin (credited here as Rif Coogan) doesn’t offer much more other than a rebellious finale that is both fitting and empowering.

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