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Latest Member: atticusedwards Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  Review - C.O.P.S. Volume I « previous next »
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Author Topic: Review - C.O.P.S. Volume I  (Read 10444 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: December 06, 2006, 08:04:16 AM »

I seem to be the only person who remembers this odd little cartoon.  I, and nobody else, used to watch it every day before school.  Aside from generally being a lot of fun, it won me over with its rather unique look and animation style.  The characters and various vehicles, locations, and occasional mecha are really unlike anything I've seen in any other cartoon.

C.O.P.S. (hereafter COPS) is the Central Organization of Police Specialists, formed to combat Big Boss and his gang of crooks.

Most, but not all, of the COPS ...
B.P. Vess - bulletproof cyborg who runs the show
Longarm - the most traditional "cop" on the force and the most prominent member of the ensemble
Mace - the hothead who doesn't always follow orders
Hardtop - driving ace and the token rookie
Sundown - the cowboy cop, he's freaking HUGE
Bowser and Blitz - K9 handler and his robot dog, respectively
Mainframe - the computer expert
Mirage - mistress of disguise and closet lesbian
Bullseye - jet-copter pilot (he's also kind of a loser)
Highway - ace motorcycle cop and the office jerk
Barricade - non-violent solution specialist

The Crooks
Big Boss - huge, fat guy who runs the show, must have the same manicurist as Dr. Klaw
Berserko - stupid, insane, massively-muscled, all-around bad guy
Rock Krusher - stupider, less insane, more-massively-muscled Lenny-type dude
Turbo Tu-Tone - wears the coolest sunglasses ever and is usually the getaway driver
Dr. Badvibes - androgynous ... thing who creates Crime MachinesTM
Miss Demeanor (groan) - bull dyke, with a name like that she had little choice in her career path
Buttons McBoomBoom - this guy is great, he has a gatling gun in his chest for cryin' out loud!
Nightshade - catburglar and token black chick

And I must mention ...
Johnny Yuma - guest villain in one episode who must have wandered in from a Go Nagai show.  He's so "anime" that he clashes with everything else.  He's also freaking awesome.

This show is extremely 80s.  The synth-music, clothing, and hairstyles really take you back.  After watching this, I felt like putting on some Duran Duran, doing coke, and finding my Miami Vice outfit.

Just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with here, the first two episodes are about a flying machine that steals entire buildings.  During the course of these episodes, BP will be crushed against a building by a car, then the building will collapse on him, and he will later be revived as a cyborg because, hey, that takes less time than traditional recovery and he wants to get back to work.  Later episodes give us the spectacle of men dressed in vegetable suits stealing a bridge with a giant balloon, midgets in diapers robbing banks with baby bottle bombs, the unforgettable Instant Justice Machine slaughter, a gang of thieving fleas, and other weirdness.

Some of the episodes are genuinely good, such as the one dealing with Dr. Badvibes creating a gizmo to control Blitz, raising the possibility that he'll have to be put down.  It manages to have some real emotional impact, even viewed through adult eyes.  The story of Blitz's creation is told and manages to not seem completely absurd, seeing as how the writer threw in a line about it being a test of cybernetic surgery ultimately intended to save human lives.  There are more vehicle and foot chases than you can shake a stick at and they all manage to be fairly exciting.  The animators and writers did a good job of pitting vehicles and runners of different capabilities against each other.  For example, police car vs. baby carriage, motorcycle cop vs. super-speed runner.

Another good thing about COPS is that it doesn't cram its morals down the audience's throat.  The morals are there, and obvious, but they are not belabored and rarely are they spelled out directly for the benefit of the less bright kids.

But the real draw is the characters.  This is one of those rare shows where the heroes are every bit as interesting and cool as the villains, and most of the credit for that goes to one of the best voice casts assembled in the 80s.  (I'd give the nod to the cast of The Real Ghostbusters as the best.)  Everyone involved in the making of this show was obviously having a lot of fun, especially the voice cast, and it shows.  The late, great Len Carlson (primarily as Sundown) and John Stocker (as Longarm) are especially good.  Credit must also be given to Nick Nichols as Bowser and for making McBoomBoom as genuinely threatening as a villain could be on a show like this.  Those are the standouts but, honestly, the whole cast is so good and so professional it really kicks the overall quality of the show up a notch.

The DVD set contains 22 random episodes, which is ok since there's no overarching storyline here.  If you can find it, you won't regret adding it to your collection.  So far as I know, there are no plans to release the rest of the episodes.  Bluesad
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 11:46:51 PM by akiratubo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 08:46:44 AM »

Oh god I think I remember this!  Wow

I used to love it!  You're right, mixing mecha with Cops was an unusual combination...

Have you got any pictures?  I think I remember Longarm the best.  I just have this vivid mental image of a guy in traditional cop sunglasses, and something wierd about their Cop badges [but I can't quite remember what that was though, and now it's going to bug me for a while. [just googled the name C.O.P.S and Cartoon and got back a couple of pics.  Just the logo came up though, but that's a memory buzzer right there as well.]

This was a favourite of mine back in the day, but faded away just as quickly and I haven't really thought about it in at least a decade!  This is the sort of show that rates up there with M.A.S.K and Exo Squad [] as just some other similar [ish] examples of cartoon classics that caught my attention in the early to mid nighties.  Believe you me, there's a LOT more to add to that list...

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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 08:58:23 PM »

The C.O.P.S. Checkpoint is the son of GI Joe Beachhead.  If you read his file card it says his "Father was a member of a top-secret military team in the 80ís and 90ís", and he has the same name (Wayne R. Sneeden III) as Beachhead (Wayne R. Sneeden).  Since the cartoons were from different companies they couldn't do a crossover.

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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 09:24:48 PM »


I had forgotten about this show completely.  I used to watch it religiously as a kid.  For some reason I remember Miss Demeanor the most from the show.  If I'm not mistaken, wouldn't they do a montage of the bad guys at either the beginning or end of the show?

Can't believe it's on DVD.  I'd love to watch this again!

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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 08:46:45 AM »

I used to watch this show before school everyday back in the day.  I remember it came on a few years after the decline of G.I. Joe (well after it jumped the shark) about the time The Real Ghostbusters was on.   I think I was more of a fan of the villains myslef, but then, I usually am. 

Nice overview too btw!

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Bad Movie Lover

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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2007, 08:53:25 PM »

i saw it aswell.  I remeber they had a toy line with the show like gi joe did.  I had several of those toys.

« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 07:42:54 PM »

I remember having seen promos and such for the show, but never got into it myself. I probably would watch it if it were on now.

Now I just have to ask:

"Mirage - mistress of disguise and closet lesbian"

Actual plot element, or evoked fantasy? TongueOut

One of my favorites from the early 80s was M.A.S.K.

When you gonna cover that? Uh-huh, uh-huh. TeddyR

BTW, another good review. I like the way that you can look at the shows and analyze them today, but inject how you felt about them when you were a kid.
Yaddo 42
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Where's that brick.......

« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 05:10:50 AM »

Sorry I didn't catch this topic sooner.

I was another fan of the show, who was disappointed it didn't become a hit. I remember that part of why I liked it was that the plots and characterizations held up to my teenage mind, unlike a lot of shows I had outgrown. Your review makes me think it would still hold up for me even now.

Wasn't there a storyline, or an episode, later on where Nightshade was kind of on the fence about being a bad guy? I remember liking this, although it is a cliche, since she was the hot character on the show IIRC.

Wasn't the Big Boss' voice just an imitation of the old Edward G. Robinson gangster voice that got used in tons of Warner Bros. cartoons? I thought that was a nice touch that went over the head of likely viewers, kids.

blah blah stuff blah blah obscure pop culture reference blah blah clever turn of phrase blah blah bad pun blah blah bad link blah blah zzzz.....
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