This week on the B movie docket is Officer Downe
Hello good people. And welcome to 50 B Movies: The Sequel. It’s bigger, better, and badder. The original 50 B Movies covered a wide range of B Movies. There was everything from Thankskilling 3 to The Void. Some films were funny. Some were unintentionally funny. And some were mainstream with far-out concepts like zombie tigers. All in all, it was a hell of a list.
Why make a sequel? Because narrowing down a list of 50 B Movies To See Before You Die was arduous. With so many movies to watch, one can never really know if the movie is good. Sure sometimes 5 minutes in, you know it is a real stinker. Other times it might take half an hour before one realizes they will never get that half hour back to their life. Poof. Gone. But all in all, there are many great B Movies that didn’t make the original list.
So welcome back if you are a LRM reader and welcome if it’s your first time here. Be forewarned we will be treading deep into the bush to pull these B Movies. We aren’t rehashing anyone’s previous 50 or 100 or 1000 B Movies list. Nope. So, prepare yourself for 50 B Movies To See Before You Die: The Sequel. Bigger. Badder. Better. Oooh yeah.
WEEK 1 – Officer Downe (2016)
The first entry onto the 50 B Movies list is Officer Downe. I bet it is a film you have never heard of. Unless of course you are an ardent Kim Coates fan, or you follow the band Slipknot. Or maybe you like bad@!! heroes in comic books. Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stars as bad@!! undead Officer Downe. And it is directed by Slipknot’s Shawn Crahan. The film is adapted from the comic book Officer Downe.
Officer Downe is a sh!#-kicking undead policeman working for the LAPD. By undead, I do not mean zombie style. He is more like a hyper-violent Jesus Christ. He doesn’t walk on water. But the LAPD uses a twisted version of Minority Report’s Pre-cog’s to resurrect him. Deep beneath the LAPD’s office lies a bunch of diseased psychics with enough mental juice that when focused on the Resurrection Equation, have the power to bring the bullet riddled body of LAPD’s finest back to life. Eat your shorts Darkseid.
Downe loves his job. Even in death. And in his life was a stellar cop. The sort that waged a one-man war against crime. The sort that made lawbreakers crap their pants at the mere mention of his name. Then something terrible happened and he died in the line of duty. Was he gunned down sitting at a red light like Alonzo from Training Day? Maybe a bad@!! cop like Downe was ambushed and murdered like Robocop’s Alex Murphy? Nope.
So how does Officer Downe die the first time around? Well, picture this. It’s a sunny day in LA. Palm trees are swaying in the breeze. Downe is motoring down the highway on his motorcycle. Badge shining. Then he makes a poor decision to try and leap over some power lines. But his keen LAPD senses fail him, and he winds up entangled in some high voltage power lines. Thankfully, that was not the end of Downe’s career.
Picture this. Lexi Alexander’s Punisher Warzone and Paul Veroheevan’s Robocop are thrown into a blender. Out walks Officer Downe. And he quickly proceeds to rip Judge Dredd a new one. I am not kidding you. Officer Downe is a homage to the old heroes like Clint Eastwood.
A man of few words, Downe does take pleasure in providing his own voice-over as he arms himself. And hilariously refers to his ammo as baby food. I cannot forget his “Answer Man”. I think it’s just two magnums super-glued together. But it gets the job done.
Comic Book Origins
Officer Downe made his debut in the pages of Image comics in 2010. Which is some time ago. Two years before the supposed Mayan Apocalypse. The comic book was penned by writer Joe Casey. Besides rocking a serious handlebar mustache, Casey also penned Wildcats and happens to be one of the creators of Ben 10.
The book’s artwork was drawn by Chris Burnham. A frequent collaborator with one of my all-time favorite writers; Grant Morrison. The guy who makes a living proving that reading comics can bend reality. Their collaborations include Batman Incorporated and Nameless. Burnham’s eye-grabbing artwork opens the first page of Officer Downe giving us an off-duty look at Downe doing his duty to a hot blonde. Caution, this book is not for kids. I reiterate. Officer Downe is not juvenile reading material.
Why a B Movie?
Because of Mike D’Angelo. He’s a critic for The A.V. Club, and he stated in his review “Officer Downe has no real story and no point of view-just endless, assaultive testosterone.” Is he wrong? It’s my opinion he’s not 100% right. There is a story. It is not at the level of A Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man, but there is a story.
But who sits down to watch a B movie for the amazing story? Officer Downe has bullets in spades, and that is what counts. Plus, gratuitous sex and violence. Did I mention the machine gun-toting nuns?
Let me be straight with you. I am a sucker for this film’s theme song. As I sat there ready to hit play on the DVD, I let the menu screen sit there for at least twenty minutes listening to the track’s vocalist repeatedly shout “Officer Downe”. It is metal.
How To Enjoy It
Step 1. Track down the Image comic. Step 2. Track down the film. Step 3. Read the comic. Step 4. Watch and enjoy the film. Why? Because in all my life I have never seen an adaptation as pure as this. By that I mean, I guarantee you that what you read in the comics pages plays out in the movie page for page. Granted the filmmakers expand upon it to fill out the runtime.