A while ago, I reviewed Rifftrax's take on Death Promise, which I thought was the worst martial arts movie ever made.
Then I saw Samurai Cop.
Clearly I was wrong, but I had no idea how really bad Robert Z'Dar is as Yamashita, a big bulky henchman to some Yakusa guys. I will give him credit for coming up with an interesting way to get rid of a witness by hiding in a hamper pushed by a Christina Hendricks impersonator. For the most part, he looks menacing and shoots anyone who doesn't kill the main hero
Definitely not better is Matt Hatton as Joe Marshall, a San Diego police officer allegedly trained in the martial arts in Japan. It's safe to say we don't see a lot of that skill.
We do see him try to battle Japanese gangsters and flirt well enough to be considered a ladies' man--but only by himself. He also has an African-American partner, which means they were hoping to get the Lethal Weapon crowd. Still, Joe can be described like this (thanks to Bill Corbett): "He's like a Disney's Tarzan who was badly airbrushed on the side of a van and came to life." Personally, I'd say he's got less personality than all of Johnny Longtorso's individual parts.
The movie, if you could call it that, is mainly chases, shootouts and confrontations that make no sense. The head Yakusa guy's Japanese accent isn't too convincing, either. At least there's a strange Costa Rican guy as comic relief.
The most far-fetched part is Joe wooing away Yakusa Guy's blonde girlfriend Jennifer. It results in a sex scene even more disturbing than Joe Don Baker trying to be sensual in Mitchell.
By the way, there was a lot of racy stuff cut out from this release, including a rape scene. That's a wise idea, especially for MST fans who know about what had to be cut out of Sidehackers.
The movie ends with the big battle between Yamashita and Joe, supposedly trying to kill each other with big swords, but it's mostly fists and weird faces. It's even worse than the Death Promise finale, including the dumb explanation for the final twist.
I got this because the Nerdist included this in a list of "8 WTF-Worthy Films" that includes Death Bed (about a bed that eats people), Gymkata (which is a common riff by MST3K), Greasy Strangler and Death Spa (not about a spa that eats people).
Now, on to the riffs:
Joe shows up with his partner
I show up to work with a Cher wig and a baseball cap and you say nothing?
Fujiyama (the boss) yells at Yamashita, "If he's a samurai, who the Hell are you?"
A question that Z'Dar got a lot
A typical fight
I think they made these punching sound effects by slapping a leather couch with a wet ham
Peggy, one of the cops, tries to get another cop named Preacher to have sex with her. He declines
Ah, my wedding night (let's say this time Mike doesn't say it).
There's also riffs on Michael Bay, Comcast, Rock and Roll Nightmare, Safety Woman and The Bachelor.
Samurai Cop is available, along with slightly less inept martial arts movies, at rifftrax.com