Media Blasters // 1973 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Paul Corupe (Retired) // August 4th, 2006
A deal gone wrong -- somebody's got to pay!
Virtually unseen in its original drive-in run, Cop Killers is a mind-numbingly tedious drug flick. It was squeezed out in just a few days for some quick cash -- and it looks it.
With five kilos of Mexican cocaine stuffed in the back of their car, Alex (Bill Osco, The Being) and Ray (Jason Williams, Flesh Gordon) unexpectedly get caught in a police roadblock trying to cross back into Arizona. Forced to shoot their way out, they mercilessly kill four officers in the process. They hightail it across the state to hook up with their connection and pick up a suitcase full of cash. But getting there is another story. Fearful of the law, they dump their car and truckjack an effeminate ice cream man (James Nite), berate him, and eventually toss him out the door to his death. When they finally run out of gas, the drug smuggling duo head to a service station and grab the first available car with a young girl, Karen (Diane Keller), still inside. Once again, Ray's sadistic tendencies take over, but this time his sexual innuendo and violence towards Karen enrages Alex, who is suffering from reverse Stockholm syndrome. When they finally unload the coke, Ray tells his friend that Karen must be killed, but Alex has other plans -- and the police are still hot on their tail.
Looking for funds to complete their porno, sci-fi cult-classic-in-the-making Flesh Gordon, producers Howard Ziehm, Walter R. Cichy, and Bill Osco hit on the idea of churning out a quickie drive-in crime flick to sell outright to a producer. With Ziehm and Osco acting as producers, Cichy signed on as director. They quickly turned out Cop Killers as a no-budget action film.
The results are just as dull as you might expect them to be. Starring Osco, Flesh Gordon himself, Jason Williams, and a few local unknowns, the film is virtually devoid of life as it follows Alex and Ray's meandering journey to sell off their drug stash with predictable results. Full of what seems to be improvised dialogue delivered by a possibly stoned Osco and Williams, the film is little more than a series of dreary conversations and schoolyard sadism, desperately unappealing in both its concept and execution. Hell, even Cop Killers's action scenes are pulse-deadening. While it's clear that Ziehm and company are adept at choreographing attacks by tin robots with phallic drills, simple shoot-outs prove especially troublesome here. The badly shot and edited gun battles are frankly more confusing than anything else.
The one high point (relatively speaking, anyway) is Rick Baker's make-up effects. Only the second credit on Baker's resume, the future Oscar-winning effects artists gets to work up lots of squibs and bullet holes, applied liberally to the foreheads of police officers who get in Ray and Alex's way.
Complimenting its content, Cop Killers also looks like shit. The ugly 16mm blow-up transfer is washed-out, excessively grainy, and marred by frequent source artifacts. Add an anemic mono audio track to the deal, and you've got a wholly unpleasant viewing experience made that much more depressing. Thanks, Media Blasters. Extras include a 15 minute interview with Williams ends up with him ranting about the legalization of drugs, the requisite photo gallery and trailers, and an audio commentary that I'd rather stab myself in the leg than listen too.
Someone has to pay alright -- this cruddy film. Guilty, guilty, guilty.
Review content copyright © 2006 Paul Corupe; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Media Blasters
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1973
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Interview with Jason Williams
* Photo Gallery