Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 23rd, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1993
Director: Adam Rifkin
Writer: Dan Povenmire
Cast: Robert R. Shafer, Barbara Niven, Rod Sweitzer, Miles Dougal, Nick Vallelonga, Dave Bean, John Paxton, Julie Strain, Melanie Good
BluRay released: April 25th, 2017
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Stereo English, DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
Psycho Cop Returns was directed by Adam Rifkin whose other notable films include, The Invisible Maniac, The Dark Backward and Detroit Rock City. Key collaborators on Psycho Cop Returns include, cinematographer Adam Kane (The Boondock Saints) and screenwriter Dan Povenmire (“Phineas and Ferb”).
Content wise, though this film features many of clichés that have become synonymous with the Horror film genre. The end result is far removed from being a by the numbers Horror film. With this film’s greatest asset being its simplicity. And nowhere is more evident, then when it comes to the narrative.
Another strength of this film are its enthusiastic performances and none stand taller than Robert R. Shafer who reprises the role of Officer Joe Vickers. He is a lean, mean, killing machine that also delivers a lot of this film’s comedy with lines like “You have the right to remain dead. Anything you say can and will be considered very strange because you’re dead.”
Another performance of note is Miles Dougal in the role of Brian, a caricature nerdy whose knack for survival is most likely attached to his virginal status. This character fulfills the Horror trope of having a character whose lack of sexual experience keeps them alive.
Without a doubt the most surprising aspect of this production is its rock-solid visuals, which do a superb job of ensuring that every ounce of carnage and every inch of the female cast members are exploited for all its worth. And when it comes to the gore effects, this film delivers in spades. Ultimately Psycho Cop Returns is a rare example of a sequel that is vastly superior to its predecessor.
Psycho Cop Returns comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements. Details look sharp, colors look accurate, black levels look solid, grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM stereo mix in English and a DTS-HD mono mix in English. Both audio mixes sound, clean, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. With the LPCM stereo audio mix offering a slightly fuller audio experience. Included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a featurette with SFX artist Mike Tristano titled The Victims of Vickers (9 minutes 32 seconds), a Making of documentary titled Habeas Corpus (42 minutes 46 seconds) and an audio commentary with director Adam Rifkin.
Topics discussed in the extra titled The Victims of Vickers include, how he got involved in doing the special effects for Psycho Cop Returns, Adam Rifkin, how independent cinema has changed since the 1990’s, his thoughts about the film and a detail overview about the special effects.
The extra titled Habeas Corpus has comments from Adam Rifkin, actor Robert R. Shafer, screenwriter Dan Povenmire, editor Peter Schink, actors Miles Dougal, Rod Sweitzer, Nick Vallelonga and actresses Barbara Niven and Melanie Good. The is detailed and insightful overview about the origins of the film, how each participant became involved, the screenplay, the cast, how the film was shot in eight days, editing and their thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, locations, what this film taught him as a filmmaker, why so many of the cast used pseudonyms, the origins of this own pseudonym Rif Coogan, information about the cast, cinematographer Adam Kane and the visuals, information about the score / music that appears in the film, how this film was heavily censored when it was initially released, screenwriter Dan Povenmire and the screenplay, stunts and other production related topics.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall another exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome.