It is always fun to watch some early Bruce Campbell. Wait, this isn’t Maniac Cop? Its not even the sequel to it? Or a knock-off of it? We’re talking about Psycho Cop Returns, the sequel to the knock-off? What am I doing with my life…
Officer Joe Vickers is a regular cop. So regular that he happens to be supernaturally powered and just a completely demented serial killer. We all saw him terrorize a group of college kids in Psycho Cop. Actually, a lot of people did not see that. Anyway, now he has turned his sights on a new group of hapless victims. As Psycho Cop Returns begins, we meet a couple of chummy co-workers from a nearby high-rise. Our beloved psycho exchanges a few odd words with them at a diner after which they proceed to work while the uptight friend gets paranoid.
After the boss leaves the office at the end of the day, the pals and their friends loosen their ties. And it is bachelor party time. Complete with prostitutes and copious amount of alcohol. All this misbehaving on company property leaves our hero, Joe, feeling a bit triggered. He makes his way into the office building and chats up the security guard. Once Joe has gotten around the security guard, it is open season on the bachelor party.
Ok, so we all know horror is filled with knock-offs and sequels. I’m looking at you Friday the 13th… The point isn’t always about being the first to an idea. It is what you do with it. Psycho Cop Returns may be a sequel to a knock-off, but they set out to do it their own way. It is just yet another supernatural killer who should be dead, but isn’t and can’t be killed. He kills his victims in some fun and entertaining ways as well. The movie frequently goes to the direction of bad humor to make it more enjoyable. The movie also features halfway decent effects given the budget. The acting is merely ok to not very good, but that is ok because it makes the movie even more stupid fun.
High art, Psycho Cop Returns is not. You are in it for fun and kills, and not for some lasting impression that will stick with you. In the end, it is a reasonably forgettable flick that still contains enough fun to fill its runtime. I wouldn’t recommend this to most people, but gorehounds and fans of silly slasher movies of the late 80s and early 90s will probably still have fun with it.
Picture Quality: 4/5
I can’t imagine Psycho Cop Returns was filmed on the best materials and with the best equipment. However, it looks pretty darn good for it’s age. The grain is well-managed and colors look quite good in this release. The darks look satisfying and clear. Vinegar Syndrom does not disappoint here.
Audio Quality: 3/5
Psycho Cop Returns features a reasonably solid DTS-HD Master Audio track in 2.0 and mono. The track can be a mixed bag, but that is most likely due to the rushed low-budget production and issues associated with it. The volumes can be a little off, but the dialog stays clear and intelligible throughout. Likewise the soundtrack can be off from time to time. However, the effects are typically satisfying despite any issues otherwise. Not the world’s best track, but I think Vinegar Syndrome did everything with what they could.
Packaging and Special Features: 3.5/5
Commentary: Director Adam Rifkin gives us a lot of backstory on the film and stories of its production. He includes a lot of entertaining details including an employee who was constantly sabotaging the film. Not a top shelf commentary, but still above par.
Habeus Corpus: This making of features interviews with several members from in front of and behind the camera. Stories and hopes are recounted in this fun retrospective.
The Victims of Vickers: A discussion with the special effects handyman behind the movie. He discusses a lot of the gore and special effects he put into the movie as well as what had to be cut to get it released.
Packaging is nothing special. Just a pleasing cover and disc art set.
Note: There is a Limited Edition run with a pretty slick looking slipcover. Also, due to an error in printing, the first wave of Psycho Cop Returns does not have reversible cover art. Vinegar Syndrome is happy to replace these if you shoot them an email.
Psycho Cop Returns honestly isn’t anything truly special, but it is more fun than it has any right to be. Despite once being pitched for the potential to be the next Jason or Tall Man, Joe Vickers never really took off like hoped. None of that will bother enthusiasts of the silly side of the slasher genre. Those who like their slashers with a strong dose of humor as well as gore and unlikely killings will find enough to enjoy despite the films weaknesses. The video and audio are great in this release. Vinegar Syndrome has also supplied fans with a nice set of supplemental features. Recommendation for genre fans. A rent for the rest. Put the scant 85 minutes in to make sure you’ll enjoy it before a blind buy.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.