Best Psycho Killer Movie Series'
The Stepfather (1987)- (Feat. Terry O'Quinn, Shelly Hack, Jill Scholen)
Many people today know Terry O'Quinn as the crazy survivalist from the TV show Lost, his best acting work came much earlier however, as the psycho stepfather in "The Stepfather." O'Quinn proves he is a master at being very creepy and insane in this masterpiece of family slaughtering butchery. When his families don't live up to his wholesome, all-American family expectations, The Stepfather simply kills them, now that's some sound discipline, just like the good old days! After he disposes of a family he is on to a new town, with a new name, a new job, and as soon as he can muster it, a new family. Fans of people who do such a good job of acting psychotic and hostile that they make you cringe must check this film out!
(directed by Joseph Ruben)
The Stepfather 2 (1989)- (Feat. Terry O'Quinn, Meg Foster, Jonathan Brandis, Caroline Williams, Mitchell Laurence)
Terry O'Quinn returns as The Stepfather in one of those rare sequels that is at least as good as the original, the secret, Terry O'Quinn kicks ass. The story is essentially the same as the first, the only difference is, O'Quinn just escaped from the mental institution where he was being held after killing all the people in The Stepfather One. Needless to say, O'Quinn obviously gets right down to starting a new family asap, his wife to be is played by Meg Foster, a regular hotty of B grade horror and action flicks from the 80s and 90s, with crazy eyes so light that some shots make them look totally white. The Stepfather's son to be is played by Jonathan Brandis of Never Ending Story 2 fame! Never Ending Story 2 is really great, the Rock Bitter turns gay! Anyway, Jonathan Brandis was is Sidekicks with Chuck Norris too! I love Sidekicks, a Chuck Norris movie for kids which is sort of a really bad rip-off of Karate Kid! I have fantasies where I am in movies with Chuck Norris just like Brandis does in Sidekicks! Who doesn't?! My point, after you watch The Stepfather One, watch its sequel, it rocks too!
(directed by Jeff Burr)
The Stepfather 3 (1992 ?)- (Feat. Robert Wightman, Priscilla Barnes, David Tom, Season Hubley)
No Terry O'Quinn? Yep. No good movie. If you feel you must watch every film in a horror, thriller, or slasher series once you start it, like me, then you will have to watch this, be warned however, it is pretty sucky. Robert Wightman is not a very convincing psycho at all, and the movie likes to make fun of itself even though the box leads one believe it is a serious horror flick. Horror films are often more funny if they are not supposed to be funny. P.S. what the hell kind of name is Season Hubley?
(directed by Guy Magar)
Maniac Cop (1988)- (Feat. Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, Robert Z'Dar, William Smith, Tom Atkins, Sheree North)
Maniac Cop is a really great movie! A "super cop" named Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar) is framed by his corrupted superiors and sent to jail. While in jail Cordell is brutally murdered by the criminals he sent there, or was he? Soon cops start dying by the truck load as Cordell now turned disfigured "Maniac Cop," exacts revenge upon the legal system that betrayed him. Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Brisco County Jr., you know who he is), and Laurene Landon, play the two cops who know Maniac Cop's true identity. Wonderful concept, evil cop kills cops and people, this makes the people afraid of cops so they start killing cops! Great show! Maniac Cop's baton has a giant blade hidden inside of it! Cheesy flick but good!
(directed by Willaim Lustig)
Maniac Cop 2 (1990)- (Feat. Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Robert Z'Dar, Leo Rossi)
Manic Cop is back! If you watch the end of Maniac Cop one you will see he died in a very convenient way for allowing a sequel. Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon have still not convinced anyone that Maniac Cop is truly Matt Cordell, and if I remember correctly, Campbell doesn't live all that long to help spread the word. To make matters worse, Maniac Cop has befriend a serial killer and the two of them set out to slaughter as many New Yorkers as humanly and inhumanly possible. Just as good as Manic Cop one I would say, and it has Leo Rossi, I really like that guy as one will see below!
(directed by William Lustig)
Maniac Cop 3 (1991)- (Feat. Robert Z'Dar, Robert Davi, Caitlin Dulany, Paul Gleason, Gretchen Becker, Doug Savant)
Robert Z'Dar returns as Manic Cop in the third and unfortunately final installment in the Manic Cop series. Since William Lustig directed all three Manic Cops, that is obviously why they all have such a similar feel and are equally well made. Anyway, a female police officer is lying in a coma and being blamed for Maniac Cop's previous murderous rampages. After being raised from the dead by a Voodoo ceremony, Maniac Cop proceeds to butcher those who have ill will towards the unconscious and falsely accused officer. Clearly Maniac Cop feels a connection in his rotten veins, being falsely accused of crimes himself. Robert Davi who was a detective in Maniac Cop 2 returns and must stop Maniac Cop and help clear the name of his officer friend. Important Note- The front of the movie box calls Maniac Cop 3, MC3, it is very cool to abbreviate movie titles, store names, brand names, car names, etc., we can all thank Terminator 2 aka T2 for this great phenomenon!! After all, we do enjoy referring to Deathwish Industries here as DWI!!!!
(directed by William Lustig)
Psycho Cop (1989)- (Feat. Bobby Ray Shafer, Jeff Qualle, Palmer Lee Todd, Dan Campbell, Cynthia Guyer, Linda West, Greg Joujon-Roche)
I was very excited to learn that there was a Maniac Cop rip-off made the year after the first Maniac Cop! I actually discovered Psycho Cop 2 first and then found Psycho Cop 1 the following week by coincidence at a really crappy karaoke supply store, what great luck! It is too bad that watching the films was not such a lucky experience!
The first Psycho Cop film takes place in a house which is supposed to be way out in the country but is obviously just filmed in such a way that you can't see the other houses around it. The acting is on par with most low budget horror flicks... sucky! Psycho Cop (Bobby Ray Shafer) the insane, satanist- is shown to the viewer almost immediately and he can't help but deliver crappy, jokey, one-liners faster than the fastest shits. I don't think this movie is supposed to be frightening, and it is not funny either. You will hate Psycho Cop, you will hate everyone in the show. The only thing you will like is the fact that people keep losing everything from their tooth brush to their purse. All this losing of items is obviously just as an excuse to have the soon to be victims wonder off by themselves to get killed.
I will list everything which I can remember getting lost- a purse, hair brush, tooth brush, the beer, a girl friend, the stereo, an ax, there must have been more! And where do the characters look for these things? In awesome places! The guy who loses his tooth brush looks for it in the bushes outside at night, and the girl who looses her hair brush declares, "maybe I left it in the shed."
(Directed by Wallace Potts)
Psycho Cop 2 (1994)- (Feat. Julie Strain!, Bobby Ray Shafer, Roderick Darin, Dave Bean, Alexandria Lakewood, Priscilla Huckleberry, John Paxton, Justin Caroll)
Psycho Cop 2 contains more gore in the first 30 seconds than Psycho Cop 1 delivered in the entire film. The gore does not persist in such copious quantities past the intro. The death scenes in the sequel are much better than those in the first film. Psycho Cop 1 featured too much of the trademarked horror technique of cutting right before someone is killed and showing the crappy results later in the film- when the bodies are discovered. Bobby Ray Shafer returns as Psycho Cop to be just as annoying as he was in the first film. I was calloused after seeing the first movie though, so, Shafer was some how more tolerable.
The most important feature of many horror films which appears in Psycho Cop 2 is... lots of boobies! The plot of the film is that a few really stupid guys throw a bachelor party as soon as their boss leaves their office building for their co-worker. They drink lots of booze, and hire three strippers. One of the strippers is porn star Julie Strain who also happens to appear in other horror and action films of high quality, such as Witch Craft 4 and the well-acted action films of Andy Sidaris. Any way, Psycho Cop shows up and kills almost everybody! Great! Once again supposed to be more of a comedy than a frightfest, Psycho Cop 2 once again fails.
(Directed by Rif Coogan)
** (I would have given this movie 1 star if Julie Strain wasn't in it!)
Relentless (1989)- (Feat. Leo Rossi, Judd Nelson, Robert Loggia, Meg Foster)
Leo Rossi is stupid. Who thinks Leo Rossi is cool? How did this guy end up in so many movies? Why are we ever supposed to feel sorry for this guy when something bad happens to him? This guy is a lame actor and... he sucks! In the end we must love Leo Rossi because we hate him so much. Leo Rossi reminds me of the punk in the Grrls Riot zine (which I have on this site) who gets in a fight with little gangsters, if you know that punk you know he looks just like Rossi, and acts just as dumb, thus, I can only assume Leo Rossi acts as dumb in real life as on the big screen.
So why should you watch Relentless 1-4? You shouldn't, but if you really want to, I will review them all for you.
In Relentless one Leo Rossi is a New York cop who moves to LA with his wife (Meg Foster, yes, another great movie which she is in) and his ugly, young son. Rossi soon discovers all the cops in LA are lazy and jaded, so it is up to him to kick his partners butt into shape so he can help him catch a serial killer (Judd Nelson, watch The Dark Backward, a great and really weird movie where Judd Nelson tells bad jokes, plays the accordion, is growing a third arm out of his back, and is best friends with a gross guy played by Bill Paxton who eats rotten food and likes very large women).
Nelson does an ok job at the serial killer role but nothing that great. He looks up people who have the same name as him in the phone book and kills them. Why? Because his dad was a crazy, survivalist cop who slapped Nelson as a young child and made him learn survivalist and soldier skills, like shooting and climbing mountains. Nelson's trademark murder style is that him makes his victims murder themselves buy forcing them to hold the knife that stabs them or the piano wire that strangles them, he then says, "there, that was easy." Pretty cool huh?
(directed by Willaim Lustig, Manic Cop yeah! Should have stuck with killer, zombie cop movies!)
Relentless 2 "Dead On" (1991)- (Feat. Leo Rossi, Ray Sharkey, Meg Foster, Miles O'Keefee)
A serial killer is strangling, then disemboweling people and using their blood to paint stars and moons on the wall. What does it mean? Rossi senses that this killer knows too much about police procedure and leaving the crime scene clean, he senses must be a cop. Meg Foster returns as Rossi's now estranged wife who is having issues with his job, and he has the same actor as an ugly son. Ray Sharkey plays an FBI agent who shows up to help Rossi but seems to be trying to mislead him more than anything else. A rather boringish flick, Rossi's whole family drama is just a waste of the viewer's time, how many people watch thrillers, slashers or horror films because they want to see family drama? The secrets behind the killings aren't that interesting, nor is the killer.
(directed by Michael Schroder)
Relentless 3 (1992)- (Feat. Leo Rossi, William Forsythe, Signy Coleman, Tom Bower, Robert Costanzo)
William Forsythe plays the best serial killer in Relentless 3 of all the serial killers in Relentless films. A sexual-psychopath, Forsythe has a fondness for strangulation, biting, stringing up, and making paintings of his female victims. Rossi is on the case, of course, and finds something familiar in the letter which the killer writes to the police, mocking them for their inability to catch him. Meg Foster does not return as Rossi's wife, did she get tired of being in this crappy series? Maybe she just got tired of how insanely lame Rossi is. Rossi's ugly son appears for a moment at the stupid end of this movie, thank god, I love that ugly kid. Best part of this film, the way in which Rossi dispatches with Forsythe when he catches him in the end, very abrupt, fairly brutal and unexpected. Dumbest part of the movie, the fact that Forsythe always grabs his attackers and strangles them with his bare hands, not a very effective technique when attacking multiple people at once.
(directed by James Lemmo)
Relentless 4 (1994)- (Feat. Leo Rossi, Famke Janssen, Colleen Coffey, Ken Lerner)
The worst of all the Relentless films, Relentless 4 compares itself to a "seductive blend of Sea of Love and Silence of the Lambs... what the hell kind of stupid movie idea is that? There is a serial killer, there is a psychologist, and a visit to a mental hospital, yeah I guess that really makes it a lot like Silence of the Lambs, oh wait. The very first scene during the intro credits is amazingly terrible, acting far beyond shitty, I don't know what the director was thinking. The film's psycho is really lame, a terrible actor. He kills using various different religions' sacrifice techniques. Watch out, the movie is so scary you just might fall asleep!
(directed by Oley Sassone)