Reviews
Zombie Cop (1991) half brain
(USA)

I will say this for Zombie Cop: it's fully aware of the kind of movie it is. The main indication is that many of the cast and crew are using fake names, but also it's just that the movie is so chock full of tropes that it seems unlikely writer/director J.R. Bookwalter was aiming for anything other than making a movie with minimal effort. There are also several subtle and not-so-subtle references to Star Wars that wouldn't be there at all if Bookwalter wasn't just having fun.

By now you've probably guessed that the "kind of movie" I'm referring to is shoestring budget horror. In this case I think it might actually have been half a shoestring; there's only one scene where the zombie cop (Michael Kemper) actually has any zombie makeup (and not much at that), and the rest of the time Bookwalter cleverly saves money by having Kemper wear bandages on his face, a la The Invisible Man.

Even though Bookwalter's apparent awareness that he's making schlock makes the movie slightly more forgiveable, it's accompanying lack of effort also makes it less interesting. Anybody who knew the basic premise of the movie could have come up with an equally good script, and most likely better. If Bookwalter wants to make a movie just to do it and amuse his friends and family, that's all well and good, but people who don't know the cast and crew personally aren't going to get anything out of it. But then, I guess you can't blame Bookwalter for making what money he can off of it. After all, even though I knew it was brought to us by a studio called Bad Movie Police, and I was warned at the beginning of the film that it was going to be a bad, I still watched it.

As for the movie itself, the story is simple. A cop is murdered and cursed to come back from the dead by the voodoo priest Dr. Death (James Black), and the resurrected cop tries to track down Dr. Death to force him to end the curse. The only other zombie cop movie that I've seen that immediately comes to mind is the Joe Piscopo flick Dead Heat, which is similar in that the zombie cop retains all his mental faculties and awareness of who he is, and isn't driven to eat human flesh; it's just that he's a walking corpse.

There was one mildy humorous scene in a convenience store with two bantering thugs, but it was tarnished by an offensive stereotype of a store clerk: a guy who literally had a towel wrapped around his head as a turban, with a horrible Indian accent. Other than that scene, the movie could have been written in any filmmaker's sleep, and I felt like I was watching it that way. Don't waste your time on this film.