WILL PROBABLY CONTAIN SPOILERS, ONCE I SCRAPE THE CONGEALED BLOOD FROM MY FOREHEAD AFTER SMASHING IT REPEATEDLY AGAINST THE WALL IN A FUTILE EFFORT TO STOP THE MISERY
However strong one's love for the unironic, unpretentious teenage slasher movies of the 1980s, it's fair to say that not all of them were up to the level of the best Halloweens and Friday The 13ths. For every Rosemary's Killer there's a Raging Fury or a Blood Tracks - an artless, shoddily assembled stack of ideas we'd already seen dozens of times, only better. And as the years went by the interesting variants on the formula dried up while the independent backwoods quickies bred and blossomed.
That's how, come 1989, we end up with a dispiriting piece of teenkill stodge like Psychocop, in which all that happens is that a sextet of young cretins go off to a luxury mansion in the middle of nowhere. Everybody wanders off into the woods, around the pool or over to the caretaker's trailer at least twice for no good reason. The caretaker shows up briefly before being hit with an axe; our idiot heroes drink bewildering amounts of beer, and a devil-worshipping police office picks them off one by one. Nothing else happens. Nothing at all.
It's not just tedious and bloodless, it's one of the most spectacularly badly written so-called films in history. The script is full of thudding speeches in which everybody says exactly what they're thinking, even when they're alone. It's placeholder dialogue: as if the writer's first draft had [Insert demand for more beer] or [Insert line that says her purse is missing], or [Insert line that explains that the mad cop used to be in an asylum], and the lines never got changed in the second draft, assuming they even bothered with a second draft. The number of times someone walks into a room and says "where's my shoes / purse / beer / soup / polonium-217? I know I left it / them around here somewhere" or "let's have a beer" is frankly astonishing.
Pretty much everything about the teenslash genre is rigidly adhered to: the Final Girl, the phone line being cut, the mad killer sitting up at the end despite having had a five-foot pole slammed through his chest. The only old slasher tropes that appear to have been omitted are the shock dream sequence and female nudity - indeed, the striking lack of sex, swearing and gory bloodshed mean the film bears one of the least deserved 18 certificates in the BBFC's history (unless there's a secret commentary track filled with drunken blasphemy and C-words). Without the violence and tits, with a terrible script that offers no surprises, without a halfway decent psycho character and without any ultimate point to the whole miserable enterprise, Psychocop (and it is all one word) is about as worthless and tiresome an afternoon's rental as you'll find. Notmuchcop.