Killing American Style (Amir Shervan, 1990)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
Robert Z’Dar stars (that’s really all we need to say here) as the leader of the most idiotic gang of thugs to ever rob a payroll, plan a prison-bus breakout and take a family hostage. You can actually taste the failure, which believe it or not is delicious.


Don’t they seem like they *could* start fucking each other?

Jocelyn: Another totally inept but fascinating film from writer/director Amir Shervan (Samurai Cop, Hollywood Cop) featuring his usual cast of bumbling misfits. I know the world is filled with fans of Samurai Cop but if you haven’t beheld the wonder that is Killing American Style then this review may just change your life. Even though it’s edited with a chainsaw, chock full of misplaced and inexplicable nudity/sexuality, replete with stilted, ineffectual dialogue and borders on absolute disaster, this film fucking wins in a big way. Where else are you going to find a mentally defunct motley crew of undesirables who join up at the last minute to pull off what I’m pretty sure was the robbery of a fleet of ice-cream trucks? They have an “inside” man and still manage to get caught with lightning speed. I mean, seriously, how unprepared were they for this heist?

That’s when I knew I was in for greatness; 10 minutes into the movie and they’ve already failed. No one but Amir can write this shit and I, for one, am thankful. 
vlcsnap-2014-04-17-15h23m27s247Duane: It’s pretty hard to follow up the astoundingly incompetent Samurai Cop, but Killing American Style comes pretty close to rivaling it based on sheer entertainment value. I daresay this one has even worse acting than Amir’s previous disasters (just wait till you see the “You are surrounded!” scene. I’ve watched it a dozen times and it never gets old). There are times when characters are supposed to be in scenes and are markedly absent; most notably when Stone orders Lynch to accompany Morgan to fetch the money: he’s nowhere to be found, then when Morgan gets back Lynch absurdly pops back in front of the camera. Not to mention there’s an uncomfortable array of muscle-bound meatheads running around topless. Could Robert Z’Dar (Samurai Cop, Maniac Cop) suck in his gut MORE when he’s in that half naked gunfight? This shit is so goddamn entertaining that if we didn’t already have a Church devoted to z-grade films I’d be inclined to start one based on these alone. It was nice to see Amir take the road to sleazetown here too. That extremely awkward scene involving Lynch and the unnamed blonde in the bathroom showed me that when making out with some random slut the key is to stab each other’s face with your tongues. This shit teaches some serious life skills. Also: I’ll be using “Hi, sexy Auntie!” in every conversation I can manage to slip it into from this point forward.
vlcsnap-2014-04-17-16h00m34s35J: Pretty much everyone in this movie was a rookie or non-professional save for the few main characters, including several from Samurai Cop and Amir’s other films of the 90s. Did you notice that the doctor they bring in is actually the flamboyant “Cuban” waiter from Samurai Cop? Oh! And how amazing is it that they put the guy with a gut wound on a rapidly moving waterbed for the doctor to remove the bullet?! You couldn’t write this stuff, it earnestly comes from a total lack of give a shit and at least a modicum of oblivion. The “good” guy, Harold Diamond (Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Picasso Trigger) is certainly no stranger to schlock starring in several Andy Sidaris flicks over the years. I guess he’s supposedly best known for being Rambo’s stick-fighting opponent in Rambo III but that’s a movie that does not register on my radar.  I love the fact that Lynch was this hulking, unthinking thug who was motivated purely by his cock. The guy needed instruction for everything; from where to go and how to get there to being a star player in this most slack-jawed robbery-gone-awry, but toss a pair of tits in front of him and his mind suddenly focused – though only in regards to where to dump his balls.

Loony was also in Samurai Cop, they have him incorrectly listed as Police Capt. on IMDB but he’s actually the only other male uniform cop that you see repeatedly throughout the film. Did you happen to watch the credits? They have names listed without surnames! Oh, apparently “Mark” was in this! And look! “Laura” was the grip!
So. Much. Fun. 
D: Amir’s films aren’t just some pointless diversion, they’re a goddamn event. I did notice the Cuban waiter playing the Japanese doctor; and his accent keeps changing from really shitty Japanese to what sounds to me like Mexican. So awesome. Speaking of Lynch and his uncontrollable libido, what the fuck was with that rape scene? He sneaks up on Morgan’s wife while she’s having a bubble bath (because when your home is invaded by gun-toting psychos, it makes perfect sense to have Calgon take you away) and apparently he’s a fucking ninja, managing to sneak up on her so wholly and completely that he gets as far as standing on the tub RIGHT ABOVE HER HEAD! And why on earth did he remove the towel rack off the wall in the bathroom before prepping for rape time? I noticed that they felt the need to dub the bathtub as well, as it sounds like a shower is running. So much of this defies logic and is admittedly part of Amir’s “charm” for lack of a better word.
Why is that bed so small?!

In terms of Loony – I had a hard time trying to figure out whether he was retarded or just supposed to be nuts. My favorite scene with him (and trust me there are plenty) is when he takes the pistol from a recently rape-drained Lynch and starts talking to him repeating “The gun is wet. Why is the gun wet? It’s wet….”. And the dialogue in the whorehouse scene, who thought that was a good idea? All the sluts have a different kind of drink and are equating that to the way they fuck in the most stilted and porno-esque lines I’ve ever heard. “I’m drinking the hard stuff because I love it hard…”. Mere words can’t describe the malfunction on display here. Jesus, this movie has so many head-scratching moments I can’t even keep track of them all. Much like Amir’s other outings, this will assuredly be one of those films that begs to be revisited and will provide new entertainment value every single time.

vlcsnap-2014-04-17-16h14m53s172J: Agreed. We could write a book on his films and still never be able to cover every angle of awesome that’s on display. I wondered the same thing about the towel rack! He points the camera and things just happen out of nowhere! How did Tony’s mom (who runs the whorehouse in another state) get all the money they stole and why on earth would they give it to her in the first place? Oh! And when you take your kid to kickboxing class, it’s important to teach him that there’s no honor or responsibility in the art, in fact, you should easily be cajoled into fighting another kid’s father just because he bullied you. They repeatedly call a van a truck! A huge selling point is the ridiculous amount of dubbing and the dialogue which is so thoroughly AMIR; he writes like a daft, oversexed, non-English speaker who’s easily confused by movement. Once again we are treated to a full-body burn for no rhyme or reason; they just knew someone with the ability to do it and they did. It’s pure bliss watching this shit. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear some of the same music from Samurai Cop. The best part has got to be when they expose the origin of the title; it’s so brazenly pathetic and magnificent . Honestly, kids. If you are looking for some ridiculous tripe to watch while knocking back a few beers with your crew, this is it, hands down.

J/DLuckily, Cinema Epoch recognizes the beauty in Amir’s films and has planned to release his last several. Unfortunately, all we have at the moment is our trusty VHS for screencaps but we’ll throw in a few comparisons so you can see how amazing the remastered transfer is! It’s available for pre-order now and releases 04/29/2014 from our friends over at TLA. Be cool like us and grab yours HERE. They’ve done a stellar job on the DVD, and we can’t wait to watch this awesome as fuck transfer. Holy shit, look at Z’Dar’s crystal-clear giant sex face! Must. Have. Now.

After the years of enjoyment that Samurai Cop brought us we never expected to find another film that could come close to the same level of entertainment, and Killing American Style is probably as close as anyone will ever get. If you have yet to subject yourself to Amir’s cinematic atrocities, do yourself a favor and check them out. You’re welcome.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 

Of course I can read my lines poorly and directly from this notebook while you shine that 200 watt bulb on me.
Fuck yea, baby! Rape just called and he’s on his way!
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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