Always on Duty – Psycho Cop (1989)

Psycho Cop is not your average horror film; it is in fact a very bad horror, not being a particularly scary picture but a terrible movie in general. There is little to recommend it to any person who enjoys the average, well-put-together movie and yet, in the same breath, no matter just how awful that it somehow manages to be, it is also a highly entertaining affair. It is a perfect example of how to do all the wrong things right. It is still wrong of course, but so bad that it does the opposite of what it actually should. It is by all accounts, one of the best bad movies ever made.

The plot is a simple one – a devil-worshipping police officer heads out on the town to deliver his own particular brand of justice, a little more extreme than the courts tend to deliver. As luck would have it – for the cop that is, he encounters a group of teens who are simply ripe for the killing. Soon enough, after most of the teenagers are murdered, it becomes known that this rogue cop is not really a cop and it all leads to one final showdown.

While the movie begins on a somewhat promising note, it sets itself apart from the pack thanks to its cringe-worthy dialogue and one-liners, the robotic and groan-inducing performances from the cast and the overall cheesy atmosphere. The most exciting thing to happen were those moments when the psycho cop would catch up to one of his intended victims, deliver some of the worst lines the movie would see and then kill said person with whatever was at hand. Surprisingly, the practical effects were not all that bad with the kills looking somewhat gruesome and it is only in that department alone that the film exceeded its very low expectations.

There was one other way that the movie managed to defy the status quo and that was the fact that as a member of the audience, it was a lot more enjoyable to root for the psycho policeman than his victims. Maybe it was due in part to their lack of characterization, being mere clichéd caricatures or simply because it made the movie a little more palatable. Whatever the reason, no matter how trashy the film became, Psycho Cop ended up being somewhat of a good watch. It was by no means a great one, but it was a good one.

2 out of 5

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