by Adam M. Wilcox
Some of the best worst movies come from what we like to call “happy accidents”. It usually involves a director who’s ambitions are greater than the some of the budget, or lack of knowledge. In 1991, Amir Shervan made a happy accident called “Samurai Cop“, a direct to video knock off of Lethal Weapon, which has become a cult classic in recent years.
Movies like these are fun to watch for sure, but the “problem” is that these happy accidents are exactly that, happy accidents. You can’t plan a disaster, and have it always work. You can’t always have your cake and eat it too.
Samurai Cop was so bad, that actor Mathew Karedas (billed as Matt Hannon) tried to get fired from the production, especially after extensive re-shoots, however…the director used these scenes anyways. That is a tale for another article. Right now, let’s get back to the movie at hand. The sequel to the happy accident that was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
I think Ian Malcolm said it best in Jurassic Park; ” Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” While it is a joy that a sequel to Samurai Cop seen the light of day, nobody stopped to think of what a movie like that would look like. All I can say is well…it exists.
Samurai Cop 2 looks like the way an REO Speedwagon tour bus probably smells; Full of stale sex, crotch sweat, spilled bear, and thousand year old cigarette smoke.
Samurai Cop 2 looks like the way an REO Speedwagon tour bus probably smells; Full of stale sex, crotch sweat, spilled bear, and thousand year old cigarette smoke. This is not a jab at Matthew Karedas, Hell, I WISHED I looked that good at his age right now. The problem is the execution of this movie. We all get it is supposed to be bad, but how much can your senses sustain the cinematic equivalent of a stroke happening in real time? I digress.
Amir Shervan met the choir invisible in 2006, so this one is “directed” by Gregory Hatanaka , who funded the release of the now widely popular original. I am using air quotes as I type this, because “directed” is a relatively loose term here. I am by no stretch of the means, a director, but I have been watching movies and videos long enough on this mortal coil, to know what works, and what does not work.
Samurai Cop 2 is a movie in the sense that….um…there are people on the screen that say words, and do stuff. Eventually it stops, and then there are end credits. The plot? I have no fucking clue what this movie is about. I swear I have top men working on it right now. Who? TOP…MEN… From the best I can make of it, Joe (Matt Karedas) lost his wife shortly after the first movie, when she was gunned down by a child, he then went into obscurity. His partner, “not Danny Glover”, Frank has been working as a detective ever since. Some nonsense about some not so oriental gangs are about to start a gang war, and Joe is called back out of retirement to go on “one last ride” with Frank again, to go take down the bad guys. To be fair, Joe and Frank are the best parts of the show, but we have to make room for
the elephant from The Room , I mean the elephant IN The Room…Tommy Wiseau, yes the “your tearing me apart Lisa!!!” guy. He shows up as a guy named Linton, who I guess is a bad guy…. but well…most of his scenes are solo monologues where Tommy is recreating what having a stroke looks like in slow motion. You know, being Tommy! I am guessing that Hatanaka just gives Tommy an outline, turns on the camera and says….”ACTION”, and what you get is the end result. That was funny in The Room, but it’s been almost 10 years since that one came out…this is getting painful to watch, and I am a guy that LOVES Miami Connection, in the way that film snobs gush on about Citizen Kane!
Let’s get back to Gregory Hatanaka’s “direction” for a moment. Did you ever blow your nose so hard, that everything starts spinning. Ever get something slipped into your drink at a bar? Ever been drunk, stoned, or all of the above? THAT…is how Hatanaka does action scenes. I kid you not, The action scenes in this movie all look like you just got shitfaced. Which is a bit of a bummer, because it looked like most of the actors were actually trying, at least with the action scenes. It would have been nice to see some of them. Especially now that Matt Keredas actually gets to do more Samurai stuff in the movie this time. Damn.
Speaking of missed opportunities, the most famous jaw in movie history, Robert Z’Dar died before this movie started filming, and technically died in the last movie, if we are even CONSIDERING CANON for Samurai fucking Cop. So the bad henchmen roll this time is played by Bai Ling, who still thinks she is a high profile babe from the 90’s. Nobody bothered to tell Bai Ling, that this was not a real Hollywood, picture, not even Tommy Wiseau. She’s still hot, but she frightens me. Pretty sure she would rip my balls off and dip them in BBQ sauce and eat them off of a party tray, and that’s only because craft services didn’t show up fast enough. She chews through scenery, like the way a Great White shark chews through a chum line in the middle of July. Is that a good thing? I don’t know, still trying to come down from those last few fight scenes…give me a break will ya?
The most impressive part of Samurai Cop 2 was the fact that they DID manage to get most of the actors and actresses back from the original movie’s line up. There is enough Botox and Bronzer in this movie to make Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee consider reconciling. Some of these people look beat to shit, and no that is not meant in a nice way. Gerald Okamura looks like his lines are operated by having somebody’s hand shoved up his ass like a weird sock puppet. Still, kudos to the Kickstarter who probably raised enough money to drive down to West Hollywood in a pick up truck full of dime bags to honk and get these lovely people to show up again. Of course that is basically the movie too. A virtual who’s who of cast members, and extras. Anyone who wasn’t alive or replaced with Bai Ling was filled with resident has beens such as Ralph Garman, and Joe Estevez, Joe fucking ESTEVEZ?! No offense, but I didn’t know this guy existed before this movie. At first I thought I was having a stroke, because he looks like Martin Sheen, and Danny Divito DeVito had an illegitimate love child raised by Abe Vigoda on a mushroom farm.
The version I watched I believe was censored for nudity, but doesn’t really matter, we have online hubs for that sort of thing. I came to see another Samurai Cop, but as I feared, you can’t recreate these moments. Happy accidents are not planned. They just happen, and you get something fun out of it. I can’t be completely cynical, if people paid money to get all of these people together in a movie, then it delivered that, even if…most of it is Tommy Wiseau having a stroke, or various Hollywood nobodies standing in front of a green screen shouting expansionary dialogue. The soundtrack was brought to you by “check my soundcloud bruh”, and “yo buy my mix tape brother” productions. It’s all over the place, punk, dubstep, trap music, pick whatever you like, and dilute it with enough water to where it tastes like La Croix, or whatever kind of piss water the hipsters are snorting now days.
Samurai Cop 2 is like staying at the bar way too long, and some schlubby Journey song starts playing, and there is an old drunk lady dancing by herself in the corner saying “this…this is my song….”, then pukes on the bar. Do you keep watching out of some sick morbid curiosity, or does that mean it is time to call an Uber? The director doesn’t know either. It’s just weird, and awkward, but not necessarily in a good way. I am giving this unhappy accident a 2 out of 5 cheese curds, just for being impressed that this one managed to cram as many “has been” entertainers into one movie as much as the next Sharknado. If you watch it, watch only for the morbid curiosity of what it would be like to get the cast of Samurai Cop, a direct to video movie made in 1991, into another movie. Otherwise, show yourself to the door, and try to step on anything sharp on your way out, if you know what I mean, and I think you do!