Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

COPKILLER by Roberto Faenza

Original titel : Copkiller – l’assassino dei poliziotti
Alternative titel : Cop Killers
Corrupt Lieutenant
Order of Death

This film was made in 1981, but wasn`t released until 1983

Actors: Harvey Keitel, John Lydon

(Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols, yeess!) and others…

Again a movie i once owned in a pretty decent quality, a Tv recording actually, from arte TV. Back then, i was very happy to have that version, cuz it was already difficult to obtain a VHS original of this. And the internet and ebay wasnt yet as advanced or even available,  i dont remember what year i did that recording exactly…but i owned a great poster  later on, which you see in the pic above. Man, what devil made me sell off all my stuff?The way i was collecting back then, was mostly this way…id pick an actor im interested in, and try to track down all the movies i could possibly find..did that with Lance Henriksen, Van Damme, Mickey Rourke and countless others. Its a pretty good way to go about, even if you pick up other stuff as you go along( on some deals and films you just can`t pass once you see them, can you). This was part of the Keitel collection , which started out with the awesome BAD LIEUTENANT.

So, the film… it stars Johnny Rotten and Harvey Keitel, dude!


Someone’s killing drug cops with a kitchen knife. Keitel is a neurotic lieutenant in the drug department. He leads a double life, living in a luxurious (but empty) apartment with another cop.They are shady, no clean cops for sure. John Lydon is a creep, who gets obsessed about Keitel and starts following him. He comes to Keitel and claims he’s the cop killer. Keitel ends up keeping him hostage in that empty apartment. He doesn`t bring him to the station right away, cuz he must fear that his double life could be exposed. A psychological game ensues, that soon gets out of control.

That`s were i stop, cuz the twists i can`t give away.Keitel isnt really as good here, as you might remember him from his later roles. But he sure has a presence about him.The same must be said about John Lydon, who sort of steals the show as the creepy stalker with one or two secrets.This was his only  big role in a feature film, which is a shame, really.The film was made in Rome, Italy, but plays in New York. If you pay attention, you may notice it. But that wouldn`t be the first film to pretend that, would it?The film is uncut about 113 minutes long, but only the italian version and maybe some english tape from Virgin Video is uncut. Seems like they cut out quite some dialogue scenes here. The cut version, most countries got is about 93 minutes long. John Lydons band at the time , Public Image Ltd. , was to provide the soundtrack or score, but there were some problems and it eventually got replaced by a score from the famous composer Ennio Morricone, which was released at least in Germany. ( Gonna hunt that down as well).

This film has its flaws, but its  dark and suspenseful, and the face-off between Keitel and Lydon keeps you watching, despite some shortcomings of the film as a whole. Again, this film has a feeling to it , you can find in some late 70`s , early 80`s films, i can only describe as the “Zombie” vibe…cheap, dirty, and a haunting score.

If you aren`t interested by now, i can`t help you!!!


Sadly, the american market never really embraced this movie, it seems as if there is only a pretty bad vhs to DVd transfer available, on a multitude of DVDs,one cover looking cheaper than the next. I found a german version thats ok, but the better version, my tv-rip is gone  cuz of my stupidity. I will try and find a decent version in english language, and if i do so, ill let you know and maybe , if interested, i can share that with you. One should think that a movie with Harvey Keitel deserves better. Here a link to amazon for the available  english versions on DVD:

trailer link below:


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