Psycho Cop (1989)

There is a long line of films with “cop” in the title: Maniac Cop, Samurai Cop, Hollywood Cop, Vampire Cop, Karate Cop, Crazed Cop, and of course there’s the robotic cop and the cop from Beverly Hills. But only one cop worships Satan and has “666” written on his hand in ballpoint pen. Who is it? Here’s a hint: It’s not the one who teaches kindergarten.

Get ready for Psycho Cop!

Also get ready for a missing hairbrush.

A mysterious figure picks up a black motorcycle jacket from a pile of trash and washes his hands in blood. It is the middle of the night, which is the best time to wear sunglasses, which he does.

A couple drives on a secluded road. They are lost and bicker about directions. We’ve all been through that (then we got smartphones and never stopped looking at them). Luckily, the couple sees a cop…a psycho cop that is!

The girlfriend stumbles upon her freshly murdered boyfriend. The psycho cop smiles.

“Looks like you need a policeman.”

She runs but to no avail. The psycho cop snaps her neck.

“You shouldn’t run from the police.”

It’s good advice.

More good advice: Don’t go on a weekend trip with people you hate.

Three couples pile into a convertible and head to a luxurious weekend house. They talk about how they got a hot investment tip and doubled their returns. They are in college. When I was in college, I overdrew my bank account, which had $7 in it. I could’ve sworn there was $10.

A young co-ed named Laura tells a joke: “What has 18 legs and 2 tits?”
“The Supreme Court.”

Laura instantly becomes the most hated person in the car. This is not an easy feat because everyone in the group is a gaping asshole. Julie constantly brushes her hair and whines about mosquitoes. Sarah is nosy and preachy. Eric won’t shut up about his tape deck. Zack wears neon green short shorts and litters. Dougie is paranoid and is also name Dougie. No one likes each other, not even the couples. Every line is delivered with contempt and everyone is having the worst time–even when the girls take a bath with each other. It’s unclear why they all agree to a weekend trip, but here they are, wandering around a house, running out of beer.

Soon things start disappearing. Everyone looks for them frantically, organizing searches, and retracing their steps. They spend a lot of time looking for the following objects:

-a toothbrush
-a hairbrush
-a brown purse
-an overly tan caretaker
-a box of frozen soup

I did not know soup was sold in a box, frozen no less. But they do find that—in Eric’s pants.

Slowly the psycho cop hunts down the friends one by one, in classic body-count form. There are no twists and turns, and they use the same jumps over and over, but none of that matters. The real pleasure is in the psycho cop himself, deliciously played by Bobby Ray Shafer. In every scene, he delivers a  spicy one-liner, much like Freddy Krueger.

After he shoves his billy club down a victim’s throat, he says. “You have the right to remain silent.”

As he electrocutes a victim, he smiles and asks, “Need some energy?”

Psycho Cop is light on plot and gore, and the kill scenes are far from inventive. Even the psycho cop’s satanic shrine doesn’t offer anything new or interesting; it’s just a bunch of branches tied together. Still, the film is thoroughly entertaining and expertly shot for its meager budget. The dialogue is priceless and engaging, so while there might not be a lot to look at, there’s plenty to listen to.

“I thought I heard someone scream”
“No, it’s just rock music.”

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