“Amazingly hamfisted ineptitude… perhaps the most god-awful example of bungled, inept action movie filmmaking of the 1980s” – Brian Lindsey, ECCENTRIC CINEMA
“SAMURAI COP falls out of the Retard Tree, hits every branch, and proceeds to beat itself along the neck and upper torso with the broken limbs” – DAILY GRINDHOUSE
The Katana Gang is a fearsome drug-trafficking yakuza cartel that has unleashed a reign of terror across L.A. In desperation, the LAPD contacts Joe Marshall, a San Diego cop who’s earned the nickname “Samurai”, thanks to his lustrous mane, bovine glare and mastery of the martial arts. He’s partnered up with Frank Washington, a black cop with a golden smile, dubious comebacks and lethal skill with a gun. Together, they’ll launch an investigation, take down a few perps, endure the insults of an ingrate police chief, dismantle the gang and take its leader on in a final fight to the death.
Okay, so the scenario isn’t the main point of sale for this cult feature. But it is an incredibly good excuse to throw into the mix over-the-top dialogue, weird editing, goofy fight scenes, a soundtrack that sounds like a late-’80s action video game, an abusive accumulation of shots of men in black bikini underwear and many superfluous sex scenes to match its era’s worst straight-to-VHS erotic thrillers. SAMURAI COP belongs to the same special category as TROLL 2, ROADHOUSE and THE ROOM. Its generous nature overcompensates for the lack of budget or talent available. At first glance, SAMURAI COP seems like a National Lampoon parody flick from the 90’s. On the other hand, one might think that SAMURAI COP is a Xerox version of MANIAC COP (the poster’s artwork and the presence of Robert Z’Dar in both credits accentuates this preconception). But rest assured, Amir Shervan set out to direct a serious yet entertaining flick. This film actually sits comfortably between a low-budget LETHAL WEAPON and a BLACK RAIN knockoff. Matt Hannon, who plays the hero, deploys acting techniques reminiscent of Mark Gregory (BRONX WARRIOR) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (STREET FIGHTER). This film is his sole screen credit — but what a film this is! Every minute of this forgotten gem will entertain you, from an unforgettable car chase to a seduction scene with a horny nurse to a wildly compelling shootout in a three-room apartment — everything is delivered with the same sense of abandon and energy. Add to that many gratuitous boob shots and a gigantic wig that keeps popping on and off of our hero in certain fight scenes, and you’ll understand why this film should be experienced at midnight with hundreds of other viewers in the same state of joyful dismay. An HD restored version of SAMURAI COP is an invitation not to be missed!
— Marc Lamothe