Cop Killers

Bill Osco and Judy Ross in Cop Killers (dir. Walter R. Cichy, 1973).

Diane Keller and Jason Williams.

1973 gas prices.

Two small-time drug dealers blow away some cops and decide, since they're in it now, why not take out some more? And might as well throw in an ice cream truck driver, a gas station attendant, and a random guy for good measure. They also abduct the random guy's girlfriend and hold her hostage (teaching her how to snort coke along the way).

Filmed for $50,000 on location in Tucson, the movie makes liberal use of non-actors, some of whom are more talented than the leads. Larry Williams of Flesh Gordon "fame" is the more sadistic of the two outlaws. Gore supplied by Rick Baker in his first make-up credit.

Why do I like this movie? All I can say is that it has that same quality one finds in other films of the period, like Last House on the Left or Texas Chain Saw Massacre, of seeming to capture perfectly the blank horror of the public mood at the time (a slightly different flavor of blank horror, I would suggest, than the current one). The bad dialogue, stilted acting, sloppy editing, prurient exploitation scenes, insanely mismatched soft rock score, and grainy 16mm blown up to 35mm (the scratches on which are nicely preserved in the DVD transfer), all enhance the nihilistic doominess. Better social commentary through technical incompetence!

1 comment:

richard lopez said...

indeed! i've not seen this film but certainly watched the trailer many times. i think you've hit upon the appeal of '70s exploitation movies, and yet they, so mired within their time, seem timeless to me. i wonder if you'd write about what you think the differences are between the '70s and our early new millenium.