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While I'm always down for some so-called abhorrent cinema or graphic fiction in other mediums, when it comes to real-life life, I'm a wuss. Take gore, for example; when it comes to movie blood and guts, you can lay it on thick. Rip off genitals, make fountains of red from former living humans, and smear flesh into McNuggets slurry--no matter what, I'm game. Actual blood, however, makes me light-headed, even in small amounts. A few years ago, I cut my finger at the Best Buy and almost passed out right there in the retail hellscape. I'm lucky I didn't end up in the freezer next door at Petco next to an unloved bird. It's bizarre how those things work, I'm a person who loves the most horrific violence in cinema, but outside of a screen, a drop of people-juice has me fainting like one of those goats. Speaking of things I only like in the movies, let's talk about cops--specifically the titular cops in Donald Farmer's "...Cop" movies.
If (like me) you are a fan of frugal psychotronic genre films, Donald Farmer needs no introduction, as he is the man behind such camp classics as Cannibal Hookers (1987), Demon Queen (1987), and Shark Exorcist (2015). However, If you're "normal," The low-budget film director is one of cinema's legendary b-film ronin that has been wandering from producers and exploitable topics since the 80s. Lately, Farmer usually goes for laughs over scares, but he has dabbled in all kinds of genre trash festivities with remarkable range, bringing people like me joy for over three decades. Starting with his work in Super 8mm horror to his modern comedic corn-fests, he honed a talent for making reliably entertaining, z-grade cheese.
To be clear, the two films are (as far as I know) unrelated outside of the director and the last half of their titles. Each goes for a different type of story, and the time between is evident in the technical qualities. I just like to think Cannibal Cop (2017) is the spiritual sequel to Vampire Cop (1990) despite a lack of plot, background, or evidence to give me that idea.

Vampire Cop (1990)

Vampire Cop (1990) depicts a bargain-bin rendition of the classic cop and reporter team-up with a vampiric twist. The blood-sucking po-po is our protagonist (Ed Cannon), fulfilling his duties as the archetypal "jock" leading law-man, only in this case, (secretly) he is also a crime-fighting vampire. Somehow, he has made this work without scrutiny and gained a sturdy reputation. To be honest, he doesn't seem much like a vampire or a cop and instead could be an underdressed superhero, barely scraping by with the charm of a hunk in a late-night cable flick. Anyway, sooner or later, he takes on the local mob boss. And because being a star-cop/blood-sucking avenger could be a lonely life, fate teams him up with an underrated scream-queen Melissa Moore (as journalist Melanie Roberts) when fighting against the underworld.  Also, Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) is there at some point, but he doesn't cook anything (or anyone).
After opening with a canned 80s rock song that I liked a lot more than I should have, the film gets a running start with cornball dialog and inexplicable rapid-fire situations in a neon cardboard alternate universe. Aesthetically, the set could be a Miami Vice stage play. Every scene includes some tinted lighting, and it looks like someone hotboxed the room before the camera started. There is a lot to enjoy between credits: hypnotic dialogue of excited cliches, awkward steamy moments, and a great use of color. It would be a robust and rewatchable mess of silly tropes and fan service, that is if it weren't for the random moments of overlong silence. By this I mean, the soundtrack, dialogue, and effects are all missing in segments that seem to go on forever. There isn't an error in the transfer; It's some kind of style choice and usually accompanies slow motion. The first time is not so bad but later into the runtime, it becomes a reoccurring event, seemingly padding the clock with blurry colors and little else. It's not damaging enough to ruin the silly fun of it all, but it's too noticeable not to be annoying.
As a whole, Vampire Cop is much of what I love about b-movies, with an exaggerated example of what makes people not trust my recommendations. Only the gods know why, but the film has several scenes that have no sound. It is all part of the quirky, one-of-a-kind ride-along.

Cannibal Cop (2017)

With a few boops on the nose of current events (for 2017 and now--unfortunately), Cannibal Cop's plot runs amuck, leaving behind the title for voodoo, zombies, and bloggers. Does being a magical zombie count as a cannibal? Are all zombies cannibals? I mean, It would be cannibalism the other way around since the undead cop is made of human flesh--so that tracks...right?
Jennifer (Channing Dodson) is doing some cop-watching with her cellphone camera when she comes upon an act of police brutality. She witnesses Detective Warbeck (Jason Crowe), the corrupt cop in question, beating a drug dealer to death. Fatefully this murder rubs a voodoo priestess relative the wrong way, who resurrects the slaine man. In turn, the freshly undead victim bites Warbeck out of vengeance, turning him into the "cannibal cop "...okay, this movie is definitely about zombies, not cannibals. 
Despite the loose disregard for mostly agreed-upon terms, Cannibal Cop is the kind of fun you expect from Farmer, evolved with time but with fewer resources in the prop department. In contrast to Vampire's padded runtime body, this more modern film seems packed with random stray plot-lines--and still only comes in at around seventy minutes. There is very little of the so-called cannibal cop (or anyone even dressed in a police uniform), as it revolves around a cluster of side characters, chiefly Jennifer. Instead of being the antagonist, the titular character is more of a monster--kind of like Maniac Cop (but not really...at all). 
Ditching the film for a digital camera, the 2000s Donald Farmer has a degree of polish, putting overall technical quality somewhere between Hard to Die (1990) and a new Full Moon flick. The older, grimey flavor could be missed in some aspects, but the new crisp editing makes the equally batshit dialogue snappy and energetic. Gore-wise it's more than a little lackluster, but it provides full-service b-movie value that moves along smoothly, with the bedside manner of a cartoon.

Here we have two reasonably different films, both by Donald farmer and about cops with particular circumstances involving food choice. Farmer has been giving us cinematic oddities for what seems like ages, and I'm a little surprised there isn't another title in his filmography that could complete an unofficial trilogy (if I missed one, let me know on social media). Vampires, cops, and cannibals can all be fun. You know, as long as they are inside a film, and fictional. That way, they can't harm my friends and family or incarcerate me. I'm guessing my growing fear of blood wouldn't go over well in prison.


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