Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

September 1, 2020

A Binge too Far #12: John Travis duo (1990 – 1991)

Ronald L. Marchini as Omega Cop (1990)
John Travis (Ronald L. Marchini) in Omega Cop (1990)

The main issue I have with most ‘beat them up’ actioners is that they feel unrealistic because in real life you don’t just kick people’s asses and the problems automatically solve themselves. If you are keen on using violence, most likely this violence will come back to haunt you and so on; the problem/s won’t go way. Additionally powerful people have found more effective ways in answering violence and it is called money. It is not that the most muscular guy will win, but rather the most rich. But, aside from this analyzing, I enjoy these actioners as much as the next guy, and here I offer you my sincere views on the John Travis duo (1990 – 1991).


Omega Cop (1990) poster
Omega Cop (1990)

This is set in the futuristic 1999 when people still had audio cassettes because apparently the apocalypse happened thirty years ago; which chronologically still doesn’t make sense. Many things don’t make sense here, as this has to be the post-apocalyptic genre’s poorest offering [the notorious Warrior of the Lost World (1984) is nowhere near as bad]. It is about the titular cop (Ronald L. Marchini,who looks nothing like an action hero, yet had just such a career in the 1990s when he starred in about a dozen such epics) whose next big mission is to eliminate an evil operation of slave traders, only to discover that their web of corruption runs way too deep.


Featuring one-liners that could have only been written by school kids (and possibly mentally challenged) and uttered by people that appear to be non-actors, this entire attempt at an actioner is salvaged by director Paul Kyriazi [Death Machines (1976)] who – in all honesty – appears to have put at least some (ultimately unnecessary) effort into this. At least, the big spaces and buildings as well as the uniformed men with guns (not to mention the occasional shootout or explosion) make this resemble a real movie, even if it looks like Troma’s idea of a post-apocalypse outing (the aesthetics are often too similar to those of a Lloyd Kaufman vehicle from the era). In the end though it all falls apart because plenty of scenes are simply about people running or driving from one place to another, seemingly in order to stretch this into feature-length. I don’t know how stars like Adam West and Stuart Whitman were convinced to join the cast.


Karate Cop (1991) poster
Karate Cop (1991)

Ronald L. Marchini returns as ‘Special Police’ (as per the badge on his uniform) officer John Travis (in reality acting more like a soldier in a warzone), and this time he has to employ his karate skills (as per the title) in order to eliminate arena-fighting martial arts gangs.

This sequel was helmed by Alan Roberts [The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980)] and it must be noted that at least some effort was put into set design and costumes, although the end result is still very ridiculous, especially when we are introduced to a teleportation device (don’t ask me, I don’t know). David Carradine makes an extended cameo as a bartender.




A Binge too Far is offering you everything, from the glamour and slickness of Hollywood releases (recent and classic) to the seedy and unpredictable world of exploitation cheapies. So, come on next time to check out what we’ll have in store for you.

Get books, comics, graphic novels and more at Use the code CHC at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

Follow Cinema Head Cheese:
Facebook: /cinemaheadcheese
Twitter: @CinHeadCheese
Instagram: abnormalpodcast 
Pinterest: /abnormalpodcast/cinema-head-cheese/
RSS Feed:

You can support Cinema Head Cheese and Abnormal Entertainment on our Support Us page.