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Karate Cop (1991)

John Travis is the last honest cop in a future dominated by terroristic martial-arts gangs who fight gladiator-style in arenas.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald L. Marchini ...
John Travis (as Ron Marchini)
Carrie Chambers ...
Michael E. Bristow ...
Snaker (as Michael Bristow)
D.W. Landingham ...
Michael M. Foley ...
Lincoln's Champion
Dana Bentley ...
Lincoln's Woman
Dax Nicholas ...
Vibbe Haugaard ...
Warren Reed ...
Fat scav
Mark Christensen ...
Stick scav
Ernest C. Day III ...
Knife Scav
Craig Pryor ...
1st stick attacker
Don Bartolo ...
2nd stick attacker
Frank O. Montelongo ...
Knife attacker


John Travis is the last honest cop in a future dominated by terroristic martial-arts gangs who fight gladiator-style in arenas.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the future there is no law and no order. Only John Travis, The last cop on Earth. See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

October 1992 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Dragon Cop  »

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Did You Know?


Ronald L. Marchini survived a drive-by shooting during production. Following a day of filming, Marchini and his wife were walking in Grupe Park (Stockton, California) when a car pulled up to the couple and both were shot at from the backseat by an unknown individual. Neither were injured. See more »


Follows Omega Cop (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

"I'd rather rut with a mutant hog"
8 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Painful – that's the first word which comes to mind when I think of describing this movie. As a film star, Ron Marchini has possibly the worst catalog of starring vehicles among any regular action hero, and KARATE COP represents his low standard well. Some B-movies are a chore to watch, but KARATE COP crashes beyond this extreme by not only being technically inadequate but by being almost completely joyless.

The story: On a quest to find a teleportation crystal for the leader of a gang of street children (Carrie Chambers), an ex-cop (Marchini) battles through the vicious gangs of a post-apocalyptic city.

Given that Marchini is a karate pioneer whose name is heard alongside the likes of Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis, I was expecting at least something out of the fight scenes, but the film offers me zilch. Every single one of the eight brawls stink and their collection provides an encyclopedia of things to do wrong in a choreographed fight. Lead-footed kicking, poor timing, slow pacing, poor extension on strikes, cramped camera angles, unnecessary slow motion, and that dreadful technique wherein a strike is filmed with multiple shots and edited together to give the impression of many hits. Marchini looks strong but entirely graceless. David Carradine appears in a small, non-fighting role, and while I'm usually disappointed whenever Carradine partakes in a martial arts flick without showing his own moves, I understand why he might not have wanted to have gotten involved here.

Speaking of David, his scene constitutes the one and only part of the film that entertained me, solely because Carradine's personality eclipses both his costars and the production in general. Many movies with ambitions larger than their budget have struggled with trashy sets, clunky costumes, and destitute filming locations, but this is one of the few wherein the sheer bleakness of the production depressed me. To be fair, there are flashes of energy in the performances and several moments wherein the filmmakers make creative use of their indie medium, but these are obscured by the tepid tone and tedious pace. Every development in the plot feels like a concession: the movie *wants* to be over and is grouchily doing us a favor by reaching its conclusion, dragging its feet as it goes while muttering "Whatever."

I only finished the movie for the sake of this review, and I don't recommend that anyone else put themselves through the ordeal. Don't get this one. Pick up any Fred Williamson junker or Leo Fong schlock before putting money towards KARATE COP, which is among the pickiest of niche features I've ever seen and a very steep gamble if you're looking for fun.

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