Dir: Shawn Crahan, 2016
Not being a fan of comics, I’d never heard of Officer Downe.
The premise sounded fun, so I thought I’d give it a go. But, is it good enough to convert me into becoming a comic book reader?
Officer Terry Downe is the best policeman in America.
Tough and brutal, Downe will, singlehandedly, clean the streets of crime.
But, he isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.
Officer Downe is part of an experiment that reanimates him, whenever he his killed. Basically, he’s immortal.
That’s a very condensed version of the film. There is a subplot about a rookie finding out about the experiment and upsetting his peers, but it bogs the film down(e).
As a comic book, Officer Downe has everything I should love. Gratuitous violence, gore, and a badass hero.
So, what went wrong, here?
The opening is awesome! Kicking the door open, our reanimated saviour proceeds to annihilate all the bad guys without so much as a flinch.
Despite being blasted by shotguns, he takes it all in his stride, making dry quips along the way.
Crahan directs this in true comic book style. With over the top characters and multi-coloured lighting, it is, literally, a live action comic.
But, Crahan struggles to make it work.
There’s not enough action to sustain the film’s length. It just trails off and the subplot becomes the focus and causes ennui to set in.
In many ways, the film is reminiscent of Maniac Cop. But where Matt Cordell is a ghost/zombie/whatever, Downe is a living, breathing organism.
Actually, I was reminded of several films while watching this. The sexy, gun toting nuns put me in the mind of Nude Nuns With Big Guns and Nun Of That.
As you can see, all the imagination is there to enable it as a cult classic but it isn’t executed very well.
The plot needed extensive rewriting, to remove the secondary plot, scrap the back story of how they keep reanimating him and just focused on the action.
He’s a one man army. Let’s see him be it.
Even the way it is, it’s inevitable that the film is, still, going to become a minor cult and, to be fair, it does deserve it.
It, just, could have been so much better.