WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I know I say this quite often when I start off my reviews, but I feel that this movie warrants me saying it again: running this blog has forced me to come into contact with some very strange films, but S.N.U.B! takes the really bizarre biscuit. And before you think I might be overreacting, I would like you to consider what I believe to be the train of thought that went into making it: take people who look like, act like, and have the social sophistication of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex, tell them to do their best impersonation of the cast from Downton Abbey, and then put them in a situation that is more than just a little reminiscent of the plot from James Herbert’s Domain (minus the giant mutated rats). This, essentially, is what you will be dedicating the next 85 minutes of your life to should you decide to watch this movie. Now, that isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching just to see how it all pans out, but I do like people to be prepared before they go walking off blindly into something.
We begin our misdirected adventure by following a group of soldiers out on an anti-terrorism assignment who are being hotly pursued by an under-prepared orchestra. The government has received word that someone might have planted a 20-megaton nuclear bomb somewhere in down town London (because it’s dead easy to just carry one of those around on you), and these highly untrained men are going to do their best to save the population, should the threat prove to be real. It turns out the threat is real, and the soldiers discover the bomb hidden inside a tiny metal briefcase. They bring in their most panicky and shaky member of staff to try and diffuse the bomb, but he’s never come across something like this before (again, because people don’t usually just leave nuclear weapons lying around, I imagine training with them is a little bit tricky), so he cuts the wrong wire. KABOOM!!! There goes London, all in one giant mushroom cloud.
Thankfully, while the British government doesn’t appear to have trained soldiers, an emergency plan, or an evacuation plan, they do happen to have a terribly unprepared Secret Underground Nuclear Bunker. All of the equipment in there is still from the Cold War so, while it isn’t tremendously helpful in keeping people alive, I imagine it would appeal to all of the hipster survivors who managed to make it inside. Having managed to get all of 7 people inside when the bomb went off (one of which is a minor government functionary who immediately tries to take control of the situation), these survivors band together with the three soldiers, the one communications director, and the one maintenance man who were already inside and try to figure out how they are going to weather this particular hell storm.
Oh yeah – the other problem with the bunker? It didn’t really come with a maintenance plan, so the life support machinery is REALLY old and gets clogged at the first sign of a human corpse falling into it. So there’s the problem of not being able to breathe when the 11 survivors use up all the oxygen in the labyrinthine bunker in a matter of hours (how heavily are they breathing?). Then there’s the issue of hierarchy, which really teaches us that, in the event of nuclear war, paper pushers with God complexes should be the first to be thrown into the mushroom cloud. Yet another issue is the prison right near by which housed Britain’s most dangerous criminals. They’ve escaped the prison thanks to the blast and have suffered from some minor instantaneous mutations and are now trying to push their way into the bunker through its many, many unsealed openings. But not to worry, if all of this becomes too tense for you to watch, it’s intermittently broken by scenes of two of the survivors indulging in flirtation that’s as subtle as being slapped through the face with a wet trout.
If all of this doesn’t convince you to watch it, then I don’t know what will 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Americans do like their underground bunkers to be up to date with the latest trends in home décor.
- The British Ministry of Defence never thinks to take steps to out-manoeuvre people with laminated pieces of paper getting past security check points.
- Underground government facilities are no place for children or goldfish.
- The easiest way to control the rodent population in an underground bunker is with a military-issued machine gun.
- Bureaucracy dictates that if bunker survivor quotas are surpassed, excess survivors must be jettisoned into the radioactive wasteland.
- Despite spending so much time on their backs, sluts still need plenty of rest.
- During times of crisis it is incredibly important to revert to Victorian-style gender differences.
- If you pedal a bike fast enough you can easily out-ride radiation poisoning.
- There’s absolutely no security risk in letting the country’s most dangerous criminals help set up top-secret underground government facilities.
- Government focus groups indicate that children make excellent decoys when mutated prisoners are invading your underground bunker.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know, this one really could have gone one of two ways. Being made in the 80s and with a title like Maniac Cop, the odds were really stacked against it. Thankfully everything was alright in the end and what we have is a delightful adventure in 80s horror about a maniac cop with superhuman abilities killing people left, right and centre. It reminds us that the 80s was a simpler time for our beloved horror genre: there aren’t all the complicated twists and turns in the plot, nobody’s trying to outsmart the last Saw movie and, generally, its sole purpose for existing is to give you a little fright. And quite frankly, at this stage in the b-horror game, anything made in the 80s that’s a step up from Cannibal Hookers is OK in my book 🙂
Now, as everybody knows, New York is an absolute death trap. The Grim Reaper follows you wherever you go and the next step you take might just be your last. Everywhere you look there are hookers and pimps and gang members and drug dealers and the occasional pissed off old lady with a solid walking stick. It makes sense then for this to be the setting for our movie. We begin one night where an innocent waitress at the local bar is on her way home when she’s attacked by two dodgy Puerto Ricans (oh yeah, can’t forget to mention them). Since the man standing ten feet across the road refuses to do anything but shrug our damsel in distress takes flight, fleeing for her very handbag. Taking refuge in a little playground the Puerto Ricans begin looking for her. Thankfully she spies an enormous policeman standing just at the edge of the park and she goes screaming over to him, begging for his help. Fearing that her skull is far too attached to her spine the policeman promptly lifts her up, crushes her larynx and breaks her neck and throws her to the ground. His good deed for the day done he disappears, and thus the plotline of Maniac Cop is born.
Detective Frank McCrae is displeased to find out that a maniac dressed in a policeman’s outfit is running around the town killing people and he’s determined to find out who’s doing this and put them behind bars. Unfortunately New York is just about to go to the polls and vote for a mayor and this apparently means that the incumbent mayor seeking re-election will go out of his way to hamper any and all good police work. More on this in a moment, first we need to discuss a little subplot going on at the other end of the movie. So here we have Jack Forrest, a young cop in a troubled marriage. One night he goes out on his patrol and as soon as he’s out the door his home phone rings and the caller tells his wife to follow him. She duly does, finds herself at a motel, finds her husband in bed with another cop named Theresa, threatens them both with a gun and then runs out the room. But the Maniac Cop is waiting for her and, as soon as she walks out of the building, he drags her into a van and kills her. Being a clever lunatic he figures he can frame Forrest this way and the mayor will have him arrested since he desperately needs to put someone behind bars to make it look like he can do his job properly.
Of course locking any old fool behind bars rarely means that the killer has ever been captured and, while Jack waits patiently in his cell, the maniac cop continues his reign of terror. McCrae is trying to figure everything out and suspects that whoever’s doing it must have been a one-time member of the force with a bone to pick. This being the 80s and the police headquarters only have a single computer, however, is making finding a specific lunatic who may fit this description a little hard going. It also doesn’t help that the maniac cop seems to be very well-connected and knows all about Theresa and stalks her one night while she’s working undercover as a hooker. When he tries to kill her she and McCrae both shoot him multiple times, but to no avail. To prove that he has superhuman qualities the maniac cop later breaks into the police headquarters where Jack’s being held and kills everyone in an attempt to frame Jack even further. With nobody believing them about what’s going on it falls to Jack, Theresa and McCrae to uncover the identity of the maniac cop before it’s too late and his dastardly plot comes to fruition.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- In the 80s even the coroners had mullets.
- People who enjoy killing often keep on killing.
- Irony is people telling you to drop dead while you’re trying to escape from a killer.
- In the 80s the only way to get city hall to do anything was to make a story bigger than AIDS.
- When someone’s scared of you the best thing to do to calm them down is to scream at them.
- When a man’s caught having an affair the first thing he wants to know is why the wife followed him.
- Coroners give out all kinds of information first and ask for IDs later.
MANIAC COP TRAILER
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