Movie News & Reviews

Zombie Cop

You might think it's tricky to come up with theme-appropriate zombiemovies for things like Cop Month, but that just proves you had farbetter ways to waste your youth than in Sunburst's VHS horror section.If you granted me the shark-fighting scene in Zombie, I couldprobably pull off Aquaman Month.

Some directors place a premium on their police work, nailing thedetails with consultants and ride-alongs. J.R. Bookwalter is not oneof those directors. Proving there's a zombie movie for every occasion,1991's Zombie Cop could easily quality for the Big Awful Fridayhall of fame.

A routine domestic disturbance with local villain James Black leavesofficer Michael Kemper mortally wounded--and voodoo-cursed to returnas a zombie. Black's less-than-brilliant plan gives Kemper a secondchance to bring him to justice by rising from the dead, where thistime he can fight outside the restraints of the laws of the living.

Bookwalter's signature talent lies in combining the greatest plots inthe history of art with the lowest budgets in the history of money. InZombie Cop, he deploys those skills to bring us actors like theunderstudies for a high school production of Weekend at Bernie's2, a score that sounds like we're in constant danger of gettingRick Rolled, and a five-minute car chase that probably only goes onthat long because they're traveling at the blistering speed of 25 MPH.

No moment of this movie is dull. When Kemper comes back, his partner'sfirst thought is it's a joker wearing the skin of Kemper's corpse.Charmingly, an ethnic gas station attendant appears to be wearing aspray-on tan and an actual towel. The fight choreography is as awkwardas losing your virginity. I imagine.

But what I like best is Black's hoodlum minion Bill Morrison. IfShaggy had run into some very lean years after Scooby Doo, hemight look something like Morrison's character here. "I got a hammerhere!" he quavers in one scene. "I'm gonna waste you, man!"

And all of this exists in a world where the police are crippled by acriminal's "rights," leaving this sleepy hamlet at the whimsicalmercies of thugs of all kinds, be it Morrison, who robs the sameconvenience store every weekend, or Black, a voodoo serial killer whoplans to poison the entire town. There's no better bad movie than aJ.R. Bookwalter movie.