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Film / Psycho Cop

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He always gets his man... and everyone else.

Psycho Cop (1989) and its sequel Psycho Cop Returns (1993) are two slasher movies which follow the exploits of psychopathic police impersonator Joe Vickers (Robert R. Shafer), who is on a mission from Satan to kill everyone he perceives as criminals and make bad puns out of everything while he's at it. Curiously, these movies hit the cinemas right after the first Maniac Cop installment.

In this film, three young couples decide to have good time on a luxury cabin which resides in middle of the woods. They are followed by Vickers, who starts killing them one by one.

This film has examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: According Officer Bradley, Gary Henley, aka Officer Vickers, was raised in an abusive household.
  • And Show It to You: Officer Bradley's death comes when Vickers punches through his upper body, grabbing his heart in the process.
    Vickers: Have a heart! Hahahaha!
  • Answers to the Name of God: A variation is said.
    Laura: Oh God...
    Vickers: God? Hah! God has nothing to do with it! If you know what I mean.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Vickers punches through a locked bedroom door to get to Doug and Laura, who are climbing down a window.
  • Behind the Black:
    • In the silence of the night, Vickers manages sneak behind Zack with his car.
    • In fact, the trope happens so often in this movie, that eventually you start to wonder if every character except Vickers is deaf.
  • Car Fu: Vickers lure Julie into the woods by stealing her brush. When she retrieves it from the ground, he runs her over with his car.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the first film both Doug and Laura are sure that there is something odd going on. Too bad the others wont believe them until it's too late.
  • Character Tics: As long as Julie has her brush in her hands, she'll be using it on her hair.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast
  • Cut Phone Lines: Eric tries to call the cops about the missing caretaker, but finds the line dead, as Vickers has just cut it.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: After Officer Chris enters Vickers' patrol car to check it, he ambushes him from the backseat, and shoots him in the head.
  • Death by Mocking: Zack likes to prank and tease people, which seals his fate.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: in the first movie most of the time is spend is watching protagonists wondering aloud where the caretaker went off to, where's the beer and other mundane things.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Satan, according to Vickers, though he shrugs this off with a "what the Hell!"
    • Evidently Satan changed his mind by the sequel, as Vickers uses his gun to commit several of his murders.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Majority of the murders happen in the woods surrounding the house.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Robert R. Shafer plays Vickers as a very over-the-top villain who's constantly mugging the camera.
  • Evil Laugh: Vickers has a very hearty one.
  • Final Girl: Averted with Laura, as her friend Doug also survives the movie.
  • Footprints of Muck: Vickers appears before Laura and Doug to gain their trust and lure them outside, but Doug realizes that Vickers is the prowler because the footprints he's leaving on the floor are the same size as the prints that Doug found in the shed.
  • Groin Attack: Vickers captures Zack and lifts him in the air by his neck, but Zack manages to get free by kneeing him on the groin.
  • High-Voltage Death: Vickers kills Eric by lifting him up, and using a taser on him until he stops twitching.
  • Hollywood Satanism: Vickers worships Satan, as evidenced by the various markings of pentagrams, 666's and dead animals nailed to trees that he leaves behind. He started doing that because he thought that God had abandoned him when he was kicked out of a state home.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Vickers is ultimately defeated when Doug throws a fallen tree branch through his chest. Yes, he can withstand bullets, but not some stick lying on the ground.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Vickers technically was once a police officer, but that still doesn't give you the right to do it if you're off the force.
  • Kubrick Stare: Last frames of the film has Vickers revealing himself to be alive, and giving the audience a look beneath his eyebrows.
  • Laughably Evil: Vickers.
  • Leitmotif: Whenever we're shown Vickers stalking the characters, he is always accompanied by certain ominous music.
  • Made of Iron: Vickers can shake off pretty much anything most of the time, but curiously he is easily impaled by a simple tree stake in the first film's climax.
  • Menacing Stroll: Vickers uses it while chasing his victims, as he is somehow able to teleport near them offscreen.
  • Mr. Exposition: Officer Bradley explains Vickers' backstory to Laura and Doug, as well as to audience.
  • My Car Hates Me: Averted. Laura struggles to turn on the caretaker's car as Vickers is walking towards her, but she manages to get it working well before he reaches her.
  • Neck Lift: As Barbara runs from Vickers, he Offscreen Teleports next to her to trip her. He then picks her by the neck, and snaps it.
    Vickers: Shouldn't run from the police.
  • Not Quite Dead: Laura puts four bullets on Vickers and he falls down. As she's about to leave, he suddenly grabs her leg and drgas her down.
  • Number of the Beast: Vickers has the number 666 tattooed in his right hand, and he leaves it around as a calling card, along with pentagrams.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Happens couple times in the first film.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Vickers goes after his victims from slightest of hint that they are up something illegal.
  • Police Brutality: Before he went full on Ax-Crazy, Vickers was being investigated due to allegations of police brutality.
  • Pungeon Master: Vickers makes every pun imaginable from everything remotely police-related. And he doesn't even limit himself to those either.
  • Reading Your Rights: Partially employed as a one-liner when Vickers is killing Zack, and he proclaims that "You have the right to remain... silent!"
  • Room Full of Crazy: Briefly seen in the first film's opening.
  • Scare Chord: Accompanies the many fake scares in the film.
  • Serial Killer: According to a newscast at the end, Vickers (or is it Greg Henley?) may be an escaped serial killer named Ted Warnicky.
  • Slasher Smile: Vickers always confront his victims with a big shit-eating grin on his face.
  • Sound-Only Death: Greg steps out of his car to ask Vickers about directions. He walks off camera, and it lingers on a wall as his demise happens. His body is found soon by his girlfriend.
  • Staggered Zoom: After car headlights are turned on offscreen at Julie, the view chances to police car and the camera staggeredly zooms on Vickers behind the wheel.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Most of the murders take place at night, and Vickers often wear his sunglasses during them.
  • This Cannot Be!: Caretaker says this when he sees Vickers and realizes that a cop is about to kill him.
    Caretaker: It can't be.
    Vickers: But it is!
  • Villain Opening Scene: The film opens with Vickers killing some lost couple unrelated to the plot.