An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen McCarthy
Dutch Peltz
Delbert 'Whitey' Haines
Captain Fred Gaffney
Randi Brooks ...
Joanie Pratt
Steven Lambert ...
Bobby Franco
Christopher Wynne ...
Jack Gibbs
Jan McGill ...
Jen Hopkins
Vicki Wauchope ...
Penny Hopkins
Melinda Lynch ...
Sarah Smith
John Petievich ...
Dennis Stewart ...
Lawrence 'Birdman' Henderson
Randy Pelish ...
Amy Cranfield


Lloyd Hopkins, a hard-boiled American police detective is on the trail of a mass murderer who is victimizing women in Los Angeles. The pursuit leads him through a world that has become his own natural habitat - a nasty world of crime, drugs, prostitution and male hustlers where "innocence kills" and continued exposure corrupts. Paradoxically, it's also a world of love, secret admirers, romantic feminist poets and modern chivalry. And for the viewer, it's the background for an exciting, suspense movie. Written by Dave Cook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A killer on the loose. A cop on the edge. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood on the Moon  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$1,884,315 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally filmed under the book's title 'Blood on the Moon', Atlantic, the studio behind the picture, decided to re-title the film "Cop" because they were concerned that people would think it was a slasher movie. The new title also suited Atlantic's market campaign, which tried to sell the film as an action/thriller similar to Dirty Harry. See more »


Lesley Ann Warren chain-smokes throughout the movie but she is clearly a non-smoker. She never handles the cigarette like a smoker would, constantly taking puffs that she doesn't inhale, picking up the cigarette and putting it down all the time when a real smoker would hold it. It's just obvious she's not comfortable with the cigarette. See more »


Lloyd Hopkins: Why can't they fly, Dutch? Why can't they fly like us?
Dutch Peltz: No wings, my friend. Nothing they do by themselves is much fun, they gotta have a man or it doesn't matter.
Lloyd Hopkins: Penny's gonna fly. The wings are there, and they're big.
Dutch Peltz: You better hope the tits are there, and they're big too. She'll get farther in this world with a pair of those.
See more »

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User Reviews

Innocence kills. I see it every day.
6 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Cop is directed by James B. Harris, who also adapts the screenplay from the novel Blood on the Moon written by James Ellroy. It stars James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, Charles Haid and Raymond J. Barry. Music is by Michel Colombier and cinematography by Steve Dubin.

LAPD detective Lloyd Hopkins (Woods) is investigating the gruesome murder of a woman and comes to believe it is the work of a serial killer whose crimes stretch back for 15 years. But with his superiors troubled by his methods of working and his home life crumbling apart by the day, Hopkins is short of support professionally and emotionally. Working alone as a rogue cop, Hopkins will stop at nothing to prove his theory right and nail the killer in the process.

All of these little girls have one thing in common-disillusionment.

Met with much indifference by critics upon its release, and chided by the Ellroy purists, Cop is a film that may be a flawed take on the source material, but none the less it's one that remains a compelling neo-noir dripping with cynicism, sleaze and violence. From the off we are given a clue to what lies ahead for us as a man is frantically trying to report a murder by phone, he gets the runaround by the voices at the other end of the line, only when he announces that he will have to use his stolen credit cards to make the call does he at last get put through to someone who needs to hear what he has to say. Enter James Woods on twitchy, sardonic and intense form. Who we then quickly find at the murder scene calmly sitting at the victim's desk leafing through her literature as her shredded corpse hangs from the ceiling behind him. It's cold, troubling and poignant, the marker is set and Cop as a film in this respect never loses focus.

Harris and Woods (co-producers as well) paint a decidedly muddy L.A. that harks back to noirs of yesteryear. It's not enough that our rogue cop protagonist, an ultimate anti-hero, is deviant, shallow and perhaps unhinged? But the flow of support characters are seriously kinked in persona's too. Crooked, kinky, out-there, damaged goods, God bothering and simply sick. Take your pick, they are all in here getting a caustic prod from Harris and Woods. There's even humour here as well, some of it black, but often it's a fleeting ray of warmth when between Hopkins and Dutch (Durning great), the only person Hopkins (and the film) can count on as being normalish....

To say Cop is solely a star vehicle for Woods is not unfair, for without him the movie would flounder on the rocks. An excellent actor who can put likability into the most compulsive of characters, Woods gives the film its heart beat. With Hopkins cynical and often led by what resides in his underwear, it's not hard to envisage some viewers losing sight of the fact that he is still a great cop, determined to clear the streets of a scumbag killer. Yes he does indeed skirt the boundaries of good taste as he goes about topping up his libido needs, and he thinks of nothing to breaking into somewhere to nab a clue, but the picture sneakily asks us if this is OK as long as Hopkins gets his man? Woods revels in the role and makes Cop an essential viewing for fans of the actor.

Rage in the Womb.

With Woods' dominance comes the flaws elsewhere. The killer's motives are sketchy enough as it is, but the perp is barely formed as a real being. Those warped support characters, too, are only that because we have had the smallest amounts of character morsels to feed off. That is except for Lesley Ann Warren's troubled feminist poet, Kathleen McCarthy, who gets much to do in the latter stages of the film, but is miscast and done no favours by the makers who reduce her to being an air-head. A bastion of feminism she is not! A victim of Harris choosing to extract the feminist thump from the source material to leave a sour taste tingling the tongue. Yet if you can forgive the flaws that evidently many others can not? Then this is still a biting and potent neo-noir picture. Crowned, for the record, magnificently without a cop out ending.

8/10 from me, but you can knock a point off of that score if you aren't as biased as me with Woods the actor. While Ellroy worshippers will most likely need to snip another point off as well.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recast it! BLOOD ON THE MOON, that is... budlight74
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