RAPING, ROBBING, KIDNAPPING, KILLING… THE ACTION NEVER STOPS.
This is the tagline that’s proudly displayed on the poster for Hollywood Cop, so my expectations were pretty high already. When I found out it was directed by the legendary Amir Shervan of Samurai Cop infamy, I knew this was going to be all kinds of special and boy oh boy did Hollywood Cop deliver the goods.
USA, 1987, AMIR SHERVAN
Hollywood Cop starts strongly with a credit sequence that superimposes its cast’s names onto golden stars from Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Aside from establishing that the movie is set in Hollywood, it also serves to boost the ego of b-movie megastars like Cameron Mitchell, Aldo Ray, Troy Donahue and Jim Mitchum (son of Robert Mitchum) Right off the bat you know you’re watching classic actors in a classic movie. Yeah, nice try Shervan.
The movie opens on a ranch, where a young boy named Stevie is washing his pet goat, Zambo, while his mother, Rebecca (Julie Schoenhofer) looks on proudly.
Moments of tranquil happiness don’t last long in movies like this and no sooner can you say “action” a gang of Mafioso stereotypes show up and kidnap Stevie, leaving his mother a ransom note for 6 million that her ex-husband stole from them. Distraught, she does the smartest thing a girl in her position can do, she seeks the help of Hollywood’s number one rule-breaking cop, John Turquise III (David Goss), aka Turkey, aka The Hollywood Cop!
We’re introduced to Turkey as he infiltrates a “Rape and Burglary” stand-off in a hotel. Instead of waiting for back-up, Turkey goes in all guns blazin’ and finds a poor guy tied to a chair and his raped wife cowering in the corner. He chases the culprits out of the building, shooting them down one by one until only the lead rapist remains. Before Turkey can arrest him however, the husband grabs him from behind and, well, see for yourself.
That’s just brilliant.
Later on we’re introduced to Cameron Mitchell as the chief of police who does his best impression of what a chief of police is supposed to do in these movies. Shout a lot, complain about the commissioner crawling up his ass, losing count of dead bodies etc.
Mitchell ups the ante though, by constantly screaming the word “Turkey” and blaming him for his constipation – he calls it ‘Tums’ and they’re real bad. It’s a standard Cameron MitchelL performance and I’m always glad to see him popping up in these kinds of movies. He plays a kind of double-act with Troy Donahue as Turkey’s rival, Lt. Maxwell, a policeman with a stick so far up his ass it’s poking out of his mouth.
Turkey and his partner, Jaguar (seriously), played by Lincoln Kilpatrick meet Rebecca while buying hot dogs from outside the station and immediately agree to help her. They decide the first thing they should do is hunt down her ex-husband. They start by finding his brother, an ex-wrestler who now works in a strip club. They visit him in the club with Rebecca and, after interviewing him, Jaguar decides it would be a great idea to get naked and take on two strippers in an oiled-up wrestling fight while Turkey and Rebecca look on, ashamed. It’s an amazing moment that comes out of nowhere.
Throughout all of this, we’re shown snippets of head villain, Feliciano (James Mitchum), as he drug deals and pimps his way around Hollywood with his team of absolute douchebag henchman — the leader of which is a crazy bearded guy called Animal who screams and laughs a lot.
Back at the gang’s den, three gangsters, including Animal, are holding little Stevie hostage and slapping him around whenever he refuses food. The outside of the house is being guarded by an angry doberman, but what the gangsters don’t know is that Stevie is a Dog-Whisperer and when they aren’t around he’s communicating with the dog and gaining it’s trust.
Eventually, the doberman aids Stevie’s escape attempt but is brutally gunned down for his efforts by one of the mobsters. They re-capture Stevie and Animal beats the hell out of him. I was shocked at how much of a beating this little kid takes. He can’t be older than 10, surely.
The rest of the movie plays out like any other Shervan flick. Lots of topless scenes (at least fifteen minutes take place inside of a sauna for no other reason than to have Jaguar sleazing onto naked ladies in a sauna), and fight scenes with an endless horde of stock tough guys. It gets a little tiresome after a while, but it picks up again near the end when Turkey and Jaguar reluctantly team up with Lt. Maxwell. Upon visiting Feliciano’s compound they find a team of kung fu guys training.
They decide to recruit a team themselves so Turkey calls up a gang of Hell’s Angels that he helped out the previous week to back them up. These guys come out of nowhere and must have been genuine bikers because they sure as hell can’t act. Hollywood Cop roughly loses the plot around this moment.
We’re treated to about three action scenes in a row from this point on, each one less thrilling than the last. However, there is a car chase that’s almost as bad as the one from Samurai Cop and if I’m not mistaken it features the same guy going on fire. You can tell he’s in pain because the subtitles tell us so.
I gotta be honest with you, by this point I kinda stopped caring so much about what was going on because the action scenes are so inept and boring. Shervan movies are at their best when concentrating on the wacky dialogue, strange humour and watching out for actors forgetting their lines or laughing. Where he doesn’t excel is the action scenes and three of them in a row is just too much to handle. The movie is 1 hour 40 minutes, which is just insane and my patience was worn pretty thin by the end.
However, special mention must go to the guy who plays Animal. With his maniacal laughter, insane dialogue and unpredictable bursts of violence he manages to liven up ever single scene that he’s in. He also gets the best death scene.
The first half is gold and there are still enough funny quirks and weirdness for Shervan fans or lovers of terrible, no-budget, straight-to-video macho/muscle flicks. Compared with his later output, Shervan’s Hollywood Cop is actually put together reasonably well but lacks the absolute WTF factor he became legendary for in films like Samurai Cop. However, if you’re looking for a no-budget bad movie featuring mullets, muscle-men, boobs and b-movie legends performing really bad kung fu then Hollywood Cop delivers on every front.
Hollywood Cop is readily available in various formats on Amazon for as little as 1 cent, but not in Region 2, so I had to hunt it down on YouTube. The version I found had subtitles hard-coded into the print, which just made some of it even funnier.