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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Psycho Cop Returns

Well, I missed yet another week by going to the hospital, but here I am again...with a working laptop again, saints be praised! So, until my run of good(ish) luck runs out, I better watch a slasher film, and quick! This time out, I'm watching Psycho Cop Returns, which looks like a cheaper version of Maniac Cop. Where's he returning from? Let's find out! As always, prepare your eyeballs for SPOILERS!!!!

Okay, so no subtitles. Bummer. The film begins with Psycho Cop(let's just call him PC) sitting at the counter in a coffee shop, just slurping up coffee and eating a doughnut. a few stools away, 2 young guys in suits are planning a bachelor party, to be held after hours at their office. The nerdier, more nervous of the 2-- Brian-- worries about losing his job, but his pal Larry offers to take the blame if they get caught.

As they discuss strippers, booze and weed, they attract the attention of PC. He approaches them and asks if they are planning anything illegal, and they both quickly persuade him that they're as law-abiding as he is. Oops, bad example!

PC goes out out to his car, whistling and skipping along the way. Weird, As he gets into the vehicle, the interior is shown to be filthy, covered in blood and various body parts. my car, but cleaner. The credits roll, but the only name I recognize is Julie Strain, who's sort of a lower-budget Jamie Lee Curtis. I have a feeling that everything in this is a lower-budget version of something else.

Anyway, the theme song degenerates into a mish-mash of annoying noises, then we return to Brian and Larry, who are now walking back to the office. Brian is still whining about how scary the cop was, and Larry is mocking him. Both are too busy chatting to notice PC's car creeping along the curb just behind them.

No, Brian just saw the car. He freaks out, so Larry makes a few more snarky remarks at his expense, then decides to confront PC directly. PC turns on his siren, then speeds away. as the two dunderheads continue to head back to the office, PC circles the block, then resumes tailing them. Sadly, neither man possesses the ability to look behind them a second time. Tragic.

Back at their office, Larry and Brian get the groom-to-be, Gary, waaaaay too excited for the bachelor festivities. Oh, and I forgot to mention it before, but their boss is named "Mr. Stonecipher". Makes him sound like he belongs in some kind of wacky cult or something. Maybe as the guy who gets unmasked at the end of every freaking case Scooby and Shaggy ever investigated. "Look, the Lighthouse Creeper was Old Man Stonecipher all along! Zoinks!"

Aw crap, I still have a movie to watch, don't I?

Okay, so let's meet the rest of the soon-to-be-dead group thus far: we already met Larry, Brian, and Gary; then we have Michael, the portly joker in charge of supplying the alcohol; the crotchety old Mr. Stonecipher(Rut roh!); oh, and Tony, a fellow employee who has been having an affair with hot co-worker Chloe. There are more, but they arrive later in the film.

Anyway, Tony and Chloe decide to sneak away for a quick tryst in the copyroom, while Brian spots a pretty employee from the accounting department, Sharon. Larry tries to use a bad pick-up line on Sharon, but she shoots him down. Then Larry surprises Tony and Chloe in the copyroom, runs over to the copier, and makes a single copy of his goofy face, presumably to send to the accounting department. I've been to backwoods carnivals with less freaks than there are in this movie.

Larry faxes the picture, along with a brief message, up to Sharon. She responds by faxing back a photo of Mr. Stonecipher, urging Larry to make his move on him. Heh. Did I rent a horror film, or a cheap knock-off of Office Space?

So eventually the workday ends, and the grumpy boss leaves. The guys watch him go, then Brian spots the police vehicle parked in front of the building. While he once again gets worked up over it, Larry tells the others about the incident at the diner. Then Larry calls the strippers, to tell them the coast is clear. Oh, and he bribes Gus the security guard to look the other way as the strippers arrive. What could possibly go wrong?

One of the strippers presses all of the elevator buttons as they all step in, and promises Larry that they can use the extra time to give him a private show. Along the way, Sharon, who decided to stay late to get some work done, hears the commotion. She decides to check it out, but the elevator door closes before she sees anything.

Back in the copyroom, Tony is still screwing Cloe. When they hear the noise from the elevator, Chloe swiftly gets dressed, and they decide to find a better area in which to make out. Hopefully it's an office with better lighting. I swear, I've seen dungeons that were illuminated better than the offices in this building.

PC bangs on the locked front door, and Gus gets up to let him in. Damn Gus! Didn't you read the script? You're too old to be making rookie mistakes like this! I bet he kills you first. You're like the guy in every cop action movie who gets paired up with the star, only to die 2 days before retirement.

While Gus is waiting to exit the film, the bachelor party gets cranked up to 11. Too bad the Fun Dial goes all the way up to 100. They put on a porn flick that consists of a guy who looks a little bit like Paul Rudd in an afro sitting in a comfy chair, while 2 strippers dance around him. While that's playing in the background, a stripper dressed as a cowgirl starts to dance in front of the guys. who are each drinking from their own bottles of booze.

The next stripper emerges, and her costume is more generic. Schoolgirl, I guess. Then the third one comes out in the usual sexy maid outfit. The cheesy 70's guy in the stag film losses his fake moustache for a moment, and tries to stick it back on. I don't know why, but that part made me laugh for a minute or two.

Back in the ground floor lobby, PC grabs a sharpened pencil. When he accuses Gus of breaking the rules by letting the guys have their bachelor party upstairs, Gus tries to explain that it's all legit. PC doesn't like his attitude, so he drives the pencil through Gus's eye socket and into his brain, killing him offscreen. Then PC gets on the elevator to begin his killing spree. Finally!

The guys all hear the elevator door open, then close again. Everyone hushes up, but no one appears. They decide that Gus is playing a prank on them and resume the party, but then hear the elevator door open again. Mike decides to go see who it is. Bye Mike.

Mike gets in the elevator, which comes to a halt between floors. He pries oipen the doors, only to realize that he needs to boost himself up to get to the floor he's stopped at. Mike hoists himself up, not realizing that PC is beneath him, watching his chunky legs kick and flail. Mike manages to pull himself up all the way before PC can grab him, though.

Mike makes his way to the front lobby, where PC pretends to be the night watchman. Uh, wouldn't Mike know it wasn't him, since they work in the same building day after day? I guess not, because Mike doesn't sense anything wrong. PC makes up some dumb story about the elevator glitching up all day, and Mike believes him.

Returning to the party, Mike tells the others what PC told him about the elevator. For some reason, Mike decides to go back down to the lobby, and he gets in the "safe" elevator. As he rides down, the elevator begins to plummet, knocking him around like a pinball. Mike gets off at the first floor the elevator stops at, and it continues down without him. Then PC comes up behind him, so Mike offers him a bottle of booze as a gift. PC thanks him, then pushes him down the elevator shaft. SPLAT!

Back at the orgy, Brian gets worried when Mike doesn't return. A fax comes in, and Brian gets even more frightened when he sees that it's just a picture of a police badge. Larry convinces him that it's just a joke perpetuated by Gus. Then a second fax comes in: a picture of Mike's face, with the lower half distorted. Before Brian can dampen the mood further, Gary announces that he and a stripper named Lisa are going off alone to "spend some quality time together. Then he says the entire thing a second time. Strange.

PC continues to send faxes of Mike's face to the guys, while Mike's corpse has been left on the copier. PC finds a pair of what are probably Chloe's panties, sniffs them, and suspects "foreplay". Get it? Foreplay instead of foul play? This movie had to be based on a Hemingway novel, with great dialogue like that.

Somebody please shoot me before I reach the closing credits.

Speaking of Chloe and Tony, Sharon walks in on them having sex. Still? You'd think they would be as dried up and shriveled as The California Raisins after losing so many bodily fluids by this point in the film.

Anyway, they try to convince Sharon that they somehow lost their clothes in a mishap involving a stapler and tripping, so Sharon just scurries out of the room as fast as she can possibly move. In the hallway, she is unaware that PC is watching her from the stairwell. Then he hears Gary and Lisa enter the stairwell on another floor above him, so he decides to go after them first.

The stag film is still going, as is Larry with his partner. I guess that was more important than keeping the audience awake with some actual scary stalking. Brilliant move. Let's go back to Gary and Lisa now, okay movie?

They've decided to take their party up to the roof. Makes all the sense in the world. PC is already up there, with his gun drawn. He mentions someone named Ingrid, then shoots Gary off-camera, for the most part. Lame. He puts cuffs on the corpse, reads him a warped version of the Miranda Rights, then picks up and throws the screaming stripper off of the roof.

Scaredy-cat Brian sees her fall past a nearby window, then her body lands in a dumpster, and the lid closes over her. Of course, that just means that no one believes Brian when he tells them that he saw a body falling off of the building. Then PC sends yet another fax, this time a pic of Gary with his driver's license covering a bullet wound in his forehead.

Brian decides to leave the party, and try to calm his nerves. He nearly has a heart attack over a statue scaring him, with its big, menacing not moving at all or doing anything. Wow. Scary. Then he enters the room with the fax and copy machines, and finds the floor littered with hundreds of pictures. He runs back to the stairs like a cartoon character, then hears PC laughing somewhere in the building.

Brian tells Larry and the strippers that something is definitely wrong, then shows them the mess he found in the copyroom. He picks up several of the pictures and points out that Mike hasn't changed his position or facial expression in a single one of them. Even the strippers agree that Mike looks dead in the copies. Larry explains it away by telling them that Mike simply took one picture, then copied it over and over again.

Meanwhile, Tony and Chloe finally manage to finish up before the movie does. Good for them. Chloe suddenly realizes that she left her panties in the copyroom, and persuades Tony to fetch them for her. Now, I want to set the scene here, just so you can appreciate the stupidity of what happens next:

Okay, so Tony is standing up, ready to open the door, right? Well, Chloe is sitting nowhere near the door, at an angle to Tony's position, no less. Yet, when he opens the door, PC rushes at him with a flagpole, and somehow(through more bad editting of all the violence) manages to impale them both in a row, as if she had been directly behind Tony. Which she wasn't, she was diagonal to him and the door. Seriously, was the screenwriter in a coma when he came up with this script? Or maybe the guy who was hired to edit the film together?

Anyway, we get to go back to Larry still demonstrating how to make a photocopy of a copy. Brian shows him and the strippers how the image in the copy is degraded, unlike the pictures that are all over the floor. Plus, he points out that the mouth s distorted because of a stain on the face. He then shows the others the blood on the copy machine, which Larry decides is jam, even though it looks like blood.

Sick of Brian's rantings, Larry asks him where the corpses are, if Gary and the others are actually dead. Brian indicates the supply cabinet. Larry opens the cabinet, only to be shocked when the corpses fall through a panel in the ceiling. For his part, Brian is jumping around, screaming "I was right! I was right!" His part should have been played by Ted Raimi. At least then he might be tolerable and funny.

They all run to the stairwell, screaming like ninnies. Somehow they manage to quiet down a bit, go to another floor, and hide in a conference room. I'm just impressed that they could alll shut up for longer than 10 seconds. Someone approaches the door, tries the knob, and....awww, it's only Sharon. Everyone screams, then Brian explains what's going on. Sort of.

Not quite believing their wild tales of murder and crazy cops, Sharon decides to call 911. Too bad the phones are dead. They all decide, as a group, to find Tony and Chloe, so that they can give them a fair warning about the crazy killer in the building. Heh, I think they know already...

They all run back to the stairs, and hike one floor up. There, they find Tony stuck to the wall like a specimen in a butterfly collection, with a huge bloody pentagram displayed on the wall behind him. So far, it's the goriest death. Oops, and when I paused it, I saw Chloe's bloddy arms behind him, so I guess this was the end result of the impalement scene that made no sense earlier.

As Brian urges the others to run for the exit, PC sneaks up behind the group. He asks if everyone's okay, then makes up a story about getting a 911 call. He then tells them his backstory....finally!

Okay, so PC has a name now: Joe Vickers. Joe was a Satan worshipper, and was bestowed with satanic-powered strength. He was apparently shot 6 times in the film that preceded this one, stabbed, impaled with a wooden stake...;you get the idea. Guy is strong.

Brian and Larry both notice that the badge in one of the faxes, as well as the one Joe is wearing are one and the same. While he tells his origin story, they start to shuffle away toward the exit. Then Joe slips up by revealing that the third stripper was killed, but he calls her "your friend". Since he technically wouldn't know that there were 3 of them if he was just arriving on the scene, this makes the women suspicious of him as well...especially since he earlier told them that she was the one who had called 911. D'oh!

Their questions get Joe agitated, and he starts to lose his grip again. Larry and Brian shove a desk at Vickers, pinning him against the wall for a few seconds, enough time for almost everyone to escape the conference room. Except Larry. Joe shoves the desk back in his direction, then puts the barrel of his gun in Larry's mouth, and pulls the trigger. Again, it was offscreen. This movie is so tame, I'm surprised it doesn't have a Disney logo on it. I've seen more violence on episodes of Barney and Friends.

So Brian sees Larry get shot and screams, which draws Joe's attention. Brian waits for Vickers to get within touching distance, THEN decides that it might be a good idea to run away. As expected, he gets shot in the back. Hey, at least we don't have to hear his incessant whining anymore!

Sharon and the strippers try running away, but stumble into each other on the stairs. They finally figure out how to run down the stairs at the same time without bumping into each other, but by that time, Officer Vickers in in hot pursuit.

Despite earlier showing them several floors above the ground(high enough to barely make out the police car parked in front of the building), the women reach the lobby in mere seconds. Must have been all the adrenaline. Sharon takes the gun she finds on Gus, then she and the strippers wait for Vickers to appear. Then they realize that he has managed to lock the exit, so they need to go upstairs again, to look for an alternate way out. Uh, ever heard of breaking a window?

They haven't. Joe surprises them in the stairwell, and holds one of the strippers at gunpoint. When Sharon refuses to drop her gun, he surprises her by shooting the OTHER stripper in the head. He tells Sharon that he promises not to shoot his hostage if she drops her gun, then strangles her instead. Hey, he kept his promise!

Sharon starts running up the stairs again, while Joe grabs his gun and fires wildly into the air. As he moves back into the main hallway of the building again, he tries to get Sharon to reveal herself with a few taunts. She pops up at the end of the hall, and plants an emergency hatchet into his stomach. Sharon then tries to finish him off with the gun, but it turns out to be unloaded. She escapes again, while Vickers casually removes the axe from his abdomen and goes after her.

Sharon finds herself in the Stonecipher offices, and she grabs a couple of heavy liquor bottles to use as makeshift weapons. Then Vickers faxes her a picture of himself grinning like a loon. Unable to find any unlocked offices, Sharon runs down another hallway, right before Vickers enters the cubicle area.

He makes his way around the cubicles, using the axe to smash and destroy most of the objects near him. As he reaches one of the doors Sharon found locked, he uses the axe to rip the door to shreds. Of course, Sharon is still running away, down a completely different hallway, so she may have bought herself some time. She finds a restroom unlocked, and ducks in there to hide from him.

Vickers checks the elevator shaft next, which seems kind of stupid. While he's still investigating, Sharon finds several flammable sprays in the bathroom, and formulates an idea. Or maybe she has gas, the expression on her face could go either way.

Vickers passes by about a dozen or so doors, and now he seems to magically know where she is hiding. Where was this instinct in the last few scenes? Anyway, he marches through the bathroom door, only to get a faceful of spray and a long trail of fire that seems to have found a comfy place to rest on his face.

When Vickers screams and falls to the ground, Sharon grabs the axe from him....and promptly throws it down the elevatyor shaft. Does this dumbass have a deathwish, or what??? Hold on, it gets even better: she then pushes Joe Vickers down the elevator shaft as well. Yup, the same one she threw the axe down into. Do I need to draw you a picture? I'm not Nostradamus, but I'm willing to wager that:
A) Vickers ain't dead, and
B) He's about to get his axe back.

I haven't seen anything that obvious and contrived since Tommy Jarvis basically gave Jason back his mask, weapon AND his life at the start of Friday the 13th 6. I'm almost nat the point where I'm rooting for Psycho Cop instead of his victims.

So Sharon makes her way slowly down the stairs, and finds Brian. Yup, the annoying wimp still lives, dammit! Together, they get all the way to the lobby, before Sharon remembers that Vickers locked the doors by cuffing them together. In yet another botched kill scene, Brian gets over to the elevator doors, where Vickers is waiting for him inside with the axe.

Even though they're facing each other, this somehow results in Vickers imbedding the weapon in Brian's back. There is one sort of cool detail, though...One half of the sunglasses Vickers has had on throughout the move is now fused over his eye, like a makeshift eyepatch.

Sharon start to run back up the stairs again. Please, God, no....I've seen these stairs so may times tonight, I feel like I live in this damned stairwell. Sharon and Vickers have a long, pointless chase sequence down a bunch of corridors that all look exactly the same. Did I die, and wind up in some kind of Movie Hell, where the same scene is now in an eternal loop?

Sharon finally finds an unlocked door, and steps through it. Vickers does likewise, and then it's more of the same. Eventually, Sharon sees a sign showing the exit to the parking garage, so she exits there. And now they're both running.

Sharon manages nto get out onto the street, and starts to scream for help. As she runs, Vickers keeps gaining distance on her, until he's mere feet behind her. He does catch Sharon, right outside a crowded bar. The many patrons and employees of the bar hear her screams, and go outside to see what's happening.

In what I guess is supposed to be a spoof of the Rodney King incident, everyone in the bar grabs a bat or other blunt instrument, and they save Sharon by beating Joe Vickers within an inch of his life/undeath/whatever. Oh, and did I mention that someone was recording the beating as well? It's very subtle, like a sledgehammer to the balls.

Anyway, the tape makes news, and both Sharon and Vickers are brought to the same hospital. Oh, and Brian too...I guess he's as unkillable as Psycho Cop seems to be. While they watch the news together, Brian wonders if their injuries are covered by worker's comp, and both he and Sharon start to laugh like loons. Literally, Brian starts flailing around on the bed and contorting. Who the heck laughs like that???

Just a few doors away, Vickers is in his room, which is being guarded by a pair of cops. They hear some kind of growling from inside his room, and run in to check on Vickers. They're even joined by a nurse and possibly a doctor. after more growling noises and several screams, Vickers emerges from the room, dressed in hospital scrubs. He faces the camers, rips off the bandage covering his left eye, and reveals that it has completely healed, as have all of his burn wounds. As the credits roll, there are snippets of the porno film from the bachelor party shown. THE END

Boy, this one was a major stinker. What's the point of making an over-the-top slasher flick, if you're just going to release it with huge portions of the action missing? And why isn't the first one on DVD yet? 2 out of 5, mostly for the silly jokes and nudity.

And what did I learn from Psycho Cop Returns?

-Some treasures are better left buried.

-People in danger often decide to wait for dangerous killers to get close to them before deciding to run away.

-Bars are always filled with weapons, and crowds of people who want to use them.

Next up is Whisper, the film I was going to watch this time out. Wish me luck....I need it.