Tag Archives: cop

Outland (1981) | Peter Hyams



Sometime in the future, humans establish a mining operation on Io, a volcanic moon orbiting Jupiter, a week’s distance from the nearest space station. The mining base is currently shattering records for productivity.  Sean Connery is William T. O’Niel (Sean Connery), in his second week of a one-year stint as the federal district marshal of this isolated space community. “Work hard, play hard” is the motto of the mining operation’s general manager, Mark Sheppard (Peter Boyle), who touts production numbers as proof his philosophy works. The marshal is alarmed by the increasing rash of suicides and violent outbursts among the miners. No autopsies are ordered and the bodies are loaded on departing shuttles, disposed of through a ‘burial in space’.

The marshal’s wife (Kika Markham) says she’ll leave him if he continues his new assignment, so that their young son, who has been shuttled around in space all of his life, can experience a normal life on Earth. No one else, not even his deputies, wants to rock the boat to get to the reason there are so many suicides. By monitoring Sheppard’s goons, the marshal discovers that the company is selling the workers an amphetamine-like synthetic narcotic that produces hyperactivity. This exponentially increases their productivity, each of them averaging the sum of doing fourteen hours’ worth of work during a six-hour shift. This is great for their bonuses, but the drug carries a nasty side effect for some of them, bouts of severe psychosis after nearly a year of taking the drug. When the marshal decides this can’t continue, the company will do anything to assure he’s out of the way so their gravy train keeps rolling along. Peter Hyams directs from his screenplay.


Alien Nation (1988) | Graham Baker



Set in the near future of 1991, it’s been three years since the landing of an actual flying saucer landed on Earth, containing a species of aliens (dubbed “Newcomers”) who had been genetically engineered as slave laborers.  The Newcomers are smarter and physically stronger than their human counterparts, which makes them more suitable to perform certain jobs, and the backlash against them from the human population is escalating daily.  In this environment, Detective Sergeant Matt Sykes (James Caan) has his partner killed by one of the alien “slags”, making it his mission to take down the ones responsible.  He voluntarily requests to be partnered with the first Newcomer police detective, Sam Francisco (Mandy Patinkin) – Sykes calls him “George” instead, and while they haven’t been specifically assigned the homicide case, Sykes won’t stay off of it, employing Sam’s help as needed in order to get to the bottom of the underworld slag crime syndicate. Directed by Graham Baker from a script by Rockne S. O’Bannon and an uncredited James Cameron.


Stranded (1987) | Tex Fuller



In the story, five escaped alien refugees come to Earth like a bolt of lightning and find themselves in a remote North Carolina Victorian-style farmhouse inhabited by a newly-orphaned teenage girl Deirdre Clark (Ione Skye) and her grandmother Grace (Maureen O’Sullivan). Suspicions are high, resulting in the aliens taking casualties in a gunfight with the local yokels. They just want to be left alone and leave peacefully. But police are surrounding the house, just barely able to contain the gin-toting locals out for revenge for these aliens killing one of their own. Joe Morton and Flea also appear.


Jaws 2 (1978) | Jeannot Szwarc



Jaws 2 is set four years after Jaws, in the same island community of Amity. Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) still patrols, though now shaken from his ordeal with the shark. Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) is catering to a land developer on the construction of new waterfront condominiums that will be very lucrative for a town still struggling to bring in tourists after the shark attacks of the past. When calamities occur again in the ocean, Brody becomes suspicious that another shark is on the prowl. Once again, the mayor and city council of the town refuse to listen due to economic interests. Brody persists until he loses his job, but still must act, this time as a father, when his sons and their friends become stranded in the ocean with no one but a crazed shark in sight. Jeannot Szwarc directs.


Jaws (1975) | Steven Spielberg



Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody of Amity, a Long Island resort community just about to enjoy its most popular season of the year, in the sun and fun of the 4th of July.  All is not idyllic on this day, however.  A teenage girl has been found washed up on the beach, apparently the victim of a shark attack.  Brody’s instinct is to close the beach, but he pulls back when the mayor of Amity reminds him how important it is to keep the tourists coming, warning that news of a shark in the water could cost the community dearly.  Meanwhile, the attacks continue. Try as they might to keep a lid on things, they are soon forced with a decision to close the beach or catch the shark themselves.  Enlisting the help of a wealthy oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and charismatic shark hunter (Shaw), Brody sets to the ocean in order to lure the large Great White shark near to go for the kill.

Steven Spielberg directs this shocker on the sea from the novel by Peter Benchley.


The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) | David Zucker



The comedy writing team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker brought this first of a trilogy, based on their short-lived 1982 TV show “Police Squad”, of zany screwball comedies to Hollywood in 1988, offering plenty of sight gags, plays on words, pop culture sendups, and downright silly slapstick.  Leslie Nielsen returns to star as Lt. Frank Drebin, who seems to have a high success rate in closing his cases despite being an overconfident buffoon. His latest case involves trying to prevent the assassination of Queen Elizabeth II while on a visit to America. A hunch leads Drebin to look into wealthy philanthropist Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), who Frank thinks is also a scam artist. Drebin ends up falling for Ludwig’s beautiful but klutzy assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). George Kennedy and O.J. Simpson also appear.

 


RoboCop (1987) | Paul Verhoeven



RoboCop is set in near-future Detroit, where the city streets are just about completely dominated by the criminal element, while the police are neither respected nor welcome; they are virtually walking targets out there.  Desperate to clean up the crime-ridden community and build a gleaming new one in its place, the government officials turn to OCP, Omni Consumer Products, to build and manufacture the future of law enforcement, robotic police that are more powerful and well-armed than anything anyone has ever seen.  However, when the first prototypes prove inconsistent, the city officials balk at the idea, so an upstart faction within the OCP comes up with a newer, more “human” cop, a cyborg built using the remnant body of downed officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), and dubbed simply as “RoboCop”.Things proceed splendidly for the RoboCop program, that is, until the human side of the cyborg begins to recollect his past life as Murphy, plagued with flashbacks to the family he lost and the psychopathic criminals who all but ended his life as he knew it.  Determined to bring the bad guys that did him in to justice, RoboCop sets out on a mission of his own, not realizing that the gang in question is actually in cahoots with a rogue entity within the OCP, who for all intents and purposes, also own the city, the police department, and the machine side of Murphy. Paul Verhoeven directs this scathing and potent satire on American commercialism and privatization.