Hollywood Cop

California Cops
 •  , , ,  •   • Dir.

Reviewed by   |  Apr 27, 2023

Turkey (David Goss) is a courageous cop who is always willing to put his life on the line. When he and his partner, Jaguar (Lincoln Kilpatrick), are approached by a woman looking for her missing son, Turkey cannot help but offer his assistance. Following some investigation, the pair discover that the woman’s child is being held by a mob boss (James Mitchum) who is looking to obtain a ransom from his father. With the clock now ticking, Turkey and Jaguar set out on a mission to bring the boy home safely.

‘Hollywood Cop’ was one of the earliest American outings from Iranian writer-director Amir Shervan. Some of you may be familiar with Shervan’s work from ‘Samurai Cop’, a now infamously bad movie that is gloriously entertaining for all of the wrong reasons. Made four years earlier, ‘Hollywood Cop’ is essentially an early blueprint that sports the same basic concept and a few suspiciously similar sequences. While it’s perhaps just a touch too raw to reach the same cult status, the film is still worth a watch thanks to Shervan’s hilariously misconstrued interpretation of an American action movie. Clearly inspired by the many buddy cop outings of the era, the story follows a couple of very one-dimensional characters as they attempt to piece together a half-arsed kidnapping plot while stumbling their way through some almost alienesque dialogue. This laughable concoction is only made all the more enjoyable by some of the performances, particularly Kilpatrick’s hugely entertaining Jaguar and the ever-reliable Cameron Mitchell as the stereotypically angry police chief.

The action in ‘Hollywood Cop’ certainly isn’t anything to get too excited about but there are still a few moments that are worthy of a mention. The first of these comes when Turkey gets involved in a hostage situation. Although the majority of the scene is made up of some fairly generic gunplay, there’s a bizarrely bloody conclusion that certainly makes it memorable. The other two main action sequences are shootouts that take place in the bad guy’s hideouts. Both of these reminded me of the ending to ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ (although obviously far more amateur) as our heroes roam the grounds picking off henchmen before getting to the final confrontation. I certainly don’t want to oversell any of these scenes, but they are suitably cheap fun and showcase some surprisingly solid stuntwork.

While it is definitely entertaining in its own unique way, ‘Hollywood Cop’ still struggles to tick all of my boxes for a “so bad it’s good” movie. The biggest issue, at least for me, is that several scenes often feel like they are being stretched out just to fill the running time. The ones that really stick out are the supposedly emotional outburst with the child and his father, as well as a truly insane sequence in which the boy is somehow capable of communicating directly with a dog. There’s also no escaping the film’s obviously low budget and it regularly looks and feels as cheap as it clearly was.

Don’t go into ‘Hollywood Cop’ expecting a good movie, or even a good bad movie. While it does have its fair share of amusingly bizarre dialogue and cheesy action sequences, it also has quite a bit of uninteresting filler that regularly drags it down. Still, if you’re a masochistic movie watcher who enjoys low-budget ’80s cinema, you’re likely to appreciate a lot of what it has to offer.

Phil Mills
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