NOTE: I did some research on this after I watched it, but all the observations, trite as they may be, are my own.
We’re here, everyone. That place where the bottom of the barrel is but a distant memory, where Coleman Francis goes “damn, this film is a stinker”, down below even those classics of the bad movie genre. “Manos: The Hands Of Fate” has a beginning, middle and end; “After Last Season” sort of makes sense, even if it’s a horrible piece of audience alienation; we’re right down with that grey nothing of a film “Monster A Go Go”, at the very very bottom of the cinematic pile.
“Demon Cop” is truly as weird as films have ever gotten, a wretched mistake that actually has negative numbers of redeeming qualities. Bits of footage from all over the place are spliced together, with little effort made to ensure that one follows the other in any way that makes sense, and 90% of the film’s dialogue is dubbed. You’ll learn to love the way that mouths are always slightly out of shot, or conversations are had in a car where the camera isn’t pointing at either of the actors, or exposition is delivered in the form of someone reading or writing a letter.
The film is bookended by a doctor in an asylum, who tells you of the nightmares that are contained within, or something, and reminds you of a bargain basement Criswell from “Plan Nine”, only not as funny. He has some horrific stories to tell you, but for some reason picked this one, which is neither horrific nor a story.
Some cops manage to change their outfits between one side of a house and the other, and we get a glimpse of our “demon”. The opening credits give you reason to pause, as the title of the film is in a different font on a different background, as is the name of one of the actors. I thought “oh no, is this two different films chopped together?”
I’m consulting my notes, and they’re full of “this makes no sense” and “I have absolutely no idea what’s going on”. I don’t want to spoil it too much for you either…although I get the feeling that I could exactly describe every single second of this and it wouldn’t spoil it (or get you any closer to understanding what the film’s about).
Anyway, here goes. Aurora Hills is a small town which is about to start having a gang problem, but someone appears to be killing off the gang members. Some cops are investigating it, and…I really have no idea at this point. Some cops which look similar but probably aren’t the same ones then find that the murders were committed by a werewolf. Sorry, demon. Definitely not a werewolf. There’s also a European scientist who keeps phoning the DJ of a local radio station to get her to warn the town’s inhabitants about their new supernatural neighbour. The scientist guy blows his lines almost constantly, to the point where you think it might be some deliberate choice, and adds another layer to the magnificence that is “Demon Cop”.
The cops and their investigating brings me to the funniest scene in a film full of hilariously awful scenes. They interview a guy who was friends with their suspect, and say “when was the last time you saw him?” He goes “not for a really long time”, then after a few seconds of thinking, says unsurely that he saw him a few weeks ago. We get a flashback, in which the suspect, left alone in the living room for a few minutes, raises a gun to his mouth and is about to pull the trigger. From off screen, the guy doing the remembering screams “NOOOOOO!!” Now, I’m no memory expert, but if one of my friends tried to kill themselves in my living room, I think I’d probably remember it right away.
To really talk about the scientist guy, I need to talk about my post-film research. Director / scumbag Fred Olen Ray bought the rights to a film called “The Curse Of Something Bestial” (surely one of the worst titles ever) and decided what it needed was to be changed from a werewolf movie, which it very clearly was, into a demon movie. So, despite them listing the main characteristics of a werewolf, the word “demon” is awkwardly crowbarred into the big speech. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, unless the world was crying out for demon movies in the late 80s. Fred shot a few scenes with the scientist entirely on his own, either dictating messages to the police (exposition, basically) or phoning people up.
There’s an ending to the film, I suppose, which involves a bit of running round someone’s back garden. The film keeps us from seeing the “demon’s” face for a long time, which is sort of pointless as we’ve already seen the demon, way back at the beginning…and that makeup isn’t worth the wait, to be honest. The demon then takes a break from all the fighting to go and write a letter to his girlfriend, then stand there awkwardly in the room as she reads it, which is nice.
I think there’s a tendency among bad movie enthusiasts to over-exaggerate how bad a film is, to be seen as the person who re-discovered some lost classic. We’ll all have read some review, thought it sounded amazing and after watching it were left a little “that was supposed to be terrible?” I’m confident other sites have picked over this before, and am happy not to be first – so believe me when I say this, “Demon Cop” is as bad, stupid, cheaply made, poorly edited, ill-conceived, insulting to the intelligence, absolutely incomprehensible a film as has ever been made. It must truly be seen to be believed, and I recommend you all do so.
The best thing about this film is, I’ve barely scratched the surface with this review. I guarantee you’ll find something of your own to love about this film. Go on, what are you waiting for?
PS. Not only is the main guy in the film not a demon, he’s not really a cop either. But “Werewolf Social Worker” didn’t have quite the same ring to it (I would definitely watch that movie, though).