COP. The title says it all – blunt, upfront, and bold. This is a hugely entertaining film that goes over the top without ever becoming absurd, thanks to the loose-cannon ferocity of leading man James Woods, who delivered a powerhouse performance as a Los Angeles detective obsessed with piecing together the clues to a potential serial killer’s 15 year reign of terror, preying upon unsuspecting female victims. Adapted for the screen with vulgar wit and directed with an iron fist by journeyman multi-hyphenate James B. Harris, Cop is based on James Ellroy’s novel Blood on the Moon, and takes the viewer on a hellish trip through the sleazy nocturnal and just-as-sketchy daytime streets of the city of Angeles. This film has balls of steel and doesn’t care that it’s extreme and in your face and violent and downright nasty at times.
Woods was akin to an open-wound in this film, totally on fire all throughout, while Steve Dubin’s appropriately gritty and grimy cinematography bolstered the entire piece, and the final confrontation between Woods and his chief nemesis is an absolute stunner in all respects. The excellent supporting cast includes Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, Raymond J. Barry, and Charles Haid, all of whom deliver sturdy performances. I absolutely loved every single second of this unsung diamond in the rough, which was released in 1988 and barely made a blip on the theatrical box office radar. But thanks to the amazing film enthusiasts over at Kino Lorber, Cop is available on Blu-Ray and DVD, and available as a DVD-in-the-mail from Netflix.