I really enjoy categorizing films into different genres or folders on my beloved laptop as I am a rather organized man. One of these categories is “Bad But Good Films”, something simple that can give me giggles for the wrong reasons. The first Samurai Cop has gained a cult following, and I wasn’t warm and ready for this low budget version of Lethal Weapon. It’s a perfectly bad film with the awkward sex scenes, cringe worthy action scenes and crippling one liners, and with Deadly Vengeance coming out 25 years after the original I’m expecting everything to be just as horrendous…yet fun.
Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance is a Kickstarter project that was set up so that the die hard fans of the first movie can finally contribute to a sequel they have been dying to have for the past 25 years. The Kickstarter goal was a nice $50,000, but 870 backers manage to exceed it by raising $62,452. With this, some of you will be pleased to know that the original main cast are in the sequel with the likes of Matt Hannon and Mark Frazer returning as their roles of Joe Marshall and Frank Washington respectively but a nice addition to the movie is Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Chuck Norris’ Eye for An Eye) who adds his gritty edge to proceedings. Also in this film is the great Tommy Wiseau from the blockbuster The Room, another cult classic in the “so bad it’s good” genre. This film shows dedication to the director of the original film Amir Shervan who passed away in 2006, and Robert Z’Dar, who played Yamashita in the original, that passed away last year in March. So was this Kickstarter worth every dollar?
The story starts off with a Basic Instinct inspired act of sex and death which introduces us to these lovely female assassins who are off to pop caps in asses and make out with each other topless, and Frank Washington (Mark Frazer) needs help to take these girls down, and gets that when he finds his good old buddy Joe Marshall (Matt Hannon) being a recluse after the loss of Jennifer, but Washington eventually convinces him to be his partner again after being jumped by some ninjas that are at Marshall’s peaceful abode for some reason. There are moments of tragic death, female nudity (woo!) and batshit crazy scenes that all blend in with this story, but I’m nice enough not to give away spoilers.
There is a lot to the story than that surprisingly, and the stuff that hasn’t been mentioned is actually quite interesting as it gives cheeky winks to the Lethal Weapon series and gives this wonderfully messy plot even more to think about. It’s crazy how this film was made to be intentionally shit, and with that being acknowledged it’s slightly clever and it’s also a fitting tribute to Amir Shervan. The pure insanity that is in this film is hilarious as well, with random scenes that make no sense with Linton (Wiseau) screaming and trashing a room, which was comedy gold. Also the trippy TV advertisements that appear in Marshall’s sleeping scenes are always intriguing. The film can be difficult to keep track on, but I promise you it’s really fun. The fight scenes are identically placed along with the uncomfortable movie sets and the stupidity of the rivalries.
Deadly Vengence has this wonderful way of being nostalgic, the film doesn’t experiment with how times have changed when it comes to technology as much as it could of. There are some random nudges to sci fi that are hilarious as they’re pointless. Washington’s facial expressions mid conversation, Marshall’s impressive presence towards the ladies and the awkward scenes of affection all jump from the first movie to the second. Also, Mark Frazer looks exactly the same as he did 25 years ago, how on Earth has that man remained to look so young, I’m incredibly jealous and demand to know his secrets! Wiseau’s performance was as hilarious as I imagined it, but Bai Ling was the best newcomer with her twisted yet sexy personality for her character Dogge.
The one thing I adore about this is how it’s directed, it’s in the exact same style as the first film. How some of the scenes cut off and go straight to another part of the plot is what I love the first film, the story is immediate whilst it’s all killer and no filler, but the lack of filler is what made it confusing yet silly. The fight scenes, sex scenes and the one liners are all joined together in whirlwind of insanity which is enjoyable, but can sadly be frustrating at times. The film could have been capable of adding even more stuff whilst making the plot have more of a structure, but I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed it and the best of all this is the fans will love it too. Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance is an absolutely fitting tribute to fans, it’s slick, insane and most importantly, it keeps me warm.