* * *1\2
Directed by: Patrick G. Donahue
Starring: Sean Donahue, Pamela Bosley, Harvier Mims, Joe Edwards, and Lindsey Rhodeos
"It looks like you got into a fight with a pizza."- Tracy
Miles Long (Donahue) is a guy who really cares about his community. A former police officer, he now hosts his own TV show where he chases down PAROLE VIOLATORS, films them personally with his video camera, and, if need be, beats them up. He inexplicably wears a black ninja mask while taping even though he is the host of the show and everyone knows who he is. His night of filming usually ends with him duct-taping the baddies to a pole and writing the words “parole violator” on the bare chests of said baddies with a black marker. The area police are familiar with this local pole and check it regularly for the latest prey of Long, known in the community as “Video Cop.” Video Cop is in a relationship with policewoman Tracy Dodd (Bosley), and when her daughter Susan (Rhodeos) is kidnapped by some thugs that Long had put in prison in his former life as a regular cop, his raging hatred for parole violators kicks into full gear. Teaming up with Tracy, the pair go on a mission of rescue/revenge, and all the local baddies should know that their comeuppance is going to be MILES LONG!
Miles Long is a scrappy Martial Artist who just wants to play horseshoes in the park while wearing his large purple windbreaker. Instead, evildoers are kidnapping girls all around him and he is forced to snap into action. He can take a lot of damage, as he is constantly being punched, kicked, thrown off multiple cliffs and run over by multiple cars. But nothing will stop him on his mission. His serious-minded mullet is all business and you better not get in his way. Naturally there is the time-honored barfight - featuring a bouncer whose name is…Bouncer (Harvier Mims) – and an awesome Final Warehouse Fight. There’s also a goon whose name is Goon (Edwards). There are many, many scenes of Martial Arts fights and shooting. Choreographing and staging them were clearly a labor of love and it’s downright charming to watch.
The thing is, TV shows like Cops and America’s Most Wanted were hot at the time. The Donahue family (including actor Mike) just postulates what might happen if the host went from filming and talking about bad guys, to actually fighting them himself, mano-a-mano. It’s a great idea and it’s executed in a fantastically entertaining way. This movie was even ahead of its time in many respects – it predates current shows like Live P.D. by many years, and Miles Long is like a cross between Dexter and Louis Bloom, the main character of the fine film Nightcrawler (2014), as portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal.
Most of the cast were one-timers who weren’t in any other movies. But if you’re going to be in one movie only, make it a winner, and they clearly did that with this diamond in the rough. Unfortunately, this got little to no distribution on VHS. It desperately needs to find a bigger audience, so here’s hoping a company like Vinegar Syndrome grants it a Blu-Ray release sometime in the future. For that winning combination of silly/awesome that is so addictive, seek out PAROLE VIOLATORS!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett