* * *
Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Starring: Brent Huff, Max Laurel, Romano Puppo, Candace Daly, and Werner Pochath
During the Vietnam war, a group of elite soldiers seemingly are going around killing civilians. Their uniforms indicate they are part of something called The Cobra Force. MP Morgan (Huff) and his partner Hawk (Laurel) are assigned to investigate. But it’s not going to be easy to get to the truth, not with Captain Kirk (Puppo), (“Like from Star Trek!” Morgan says), Col. Kasler (Pochath) and the even more mysterious Annie (Daly) providing twists, turns, and misdirections for Morgan and Hawk. Who is really behind this COP GAME?
The greatness of Bruno Mattei seems to know no bounds and this is yet another example of said greatness. The movie starts off in a Phantom Soldiers (1987) style, moves to an Off Limits (1988) pastiche, and then indulges in some good old fashioned Exploding Hut action, which no Italian action movie from the 80’s can legally be without. Throw in some footage from other movies and some miniatures, and voila, instant classic.
Brent Huff appears to really be giving this his all, yelling most of his lines. It seems he’s trying to out-Reb Reb Brown. But Huff (or at least his character, Morgan) is cool and slick in between his yelling fits, with a Hawaiian shirt and rockin’ sunglasses. He also has plenty of silly lines, many of which are like Dan Rather-style folksy colloquialisms but shouted at top volume. Huff is backed up by a nice cast of Italian movie regulars, including Brett Halsey in an uncredited role.
No mention of Cop Game would be complete without talking about its amazing title song. It’s never credited to any one particular artist, but Al Festa is credited with the music, so perhaps he’s behind it. It’s a pumping, driving tune that really gets you into the spirit. And if your spirit starts to flag, the song plays multiple times throughout the film - in two different versions. Bar patrons even play it on the jukebox! The ultra-catchy chorus appears to say “Cop game! You’re livin’ in a blame game!” Despite the genius of rhyming “game” with “game”, those lyrics might actually makes sense, as there is plenty of blame going around in the military hierarchy which make up some of the dialogue scenes in this movie. But if anyone out there has another idea of what the lyrics are (or how to get a hold of the soundtrack), please write in today. Right now!
Containing enough funny/worthwhile moments to be worth a view, especially if you’re familiar with the Italian action movies of the 80’s, Cop Game is another worthy entry in the Italian output of the day. In the U.S. it was released on VHS by 3 Star Releasing, a company we’re not really familiar with. Cop Game!
Also check out Explosive Action's review!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett