I realize that many of you are hoping against all hope that I’ll tell you that this is worth your time and money. You have fond memories of Starsky and Hutch, S.W.A.T., The Rookies and all those other old copper shows with big cars, kicking music and guys that spit Miranda Warnings out like they were hairballs and all you want is a sleazy take on that genre. Well, let me you leave without any doubt in one department – this one is plenty sleazy. For a softcore porn movie that is. Ugh.
What is the deal with these 1970s movies and their predilection for showing these flaccid little ding dongs? I must have counted four different dorks hanging out in this movie before I blacked out. Is this also the proper place to lodge my complaint about the cinematography where you’re shooting from behind a naked guy so that I have to look at his hairy junk hanging down between his legs?
The only thing this movie gets right is that it purports to follow the exploits of two cops. There’s Eddie Haskell (please, whatever you do, do not ask about the Beaver in this film!) and there’s Bob Streeker. Everyone in the movie calls Streeker, Striker, which I think we all agree is a much better name for a cop than Streeker is.
If we’re following two cops around the creep-infested streets of L.A., what could possibly be the problem since that’s the set up to every great movie I’ve ever seen. The problem is that after we get introduced to these guys, we only infrequently check in on them. The rest of the movie is devoted to very long sex scenes between people who have no bearing on the plot. They even introduce us to a couple of other cops, merely to give us other folks to watch screw.
At first when Haskell meets Streeker, Haskell is all gruff and tells him that they’re just riding around together and that they aren’t really partners. No explanation is given for Haskell’s standoffishness, though our experience with tough cops like him tells us that it’s because all his partners end up dead or in the hospital, so he doesn’t want to get too close to anyone. Luckily for Haskell, this time he is the partner that ends up getting knifed in the back by the transvestite rapist in broad daylight while questioning him in the city park. (“Who told you that orange was your color? Who?”)
The transvestite rapist is the common thread running through the movie (other than the really long, icky sex scenes) and Haskell and Streeker periodically talk about how the rapist got someone else last night and what a sick bastard he must be.
In between sex scenes, Streeker and Haskell roll on a variety of calls that range from another hold up (that’s a 2-11 to you cop groupies out there) to a peeper who peeps the members of the Bored Housewives Club.
The funny part was when Haskell and Streeker get the call, the dispatcher says that there’s an eight-something or other in progress and Streeker turns to Haskell and asks what that is, since he’s forgotten the code. It’s those little touches of realism that made me think that Streeker wasn’t just a regular gritty cop, but a regular bad actor afflicted with irregularly bad dialogue.
Streeker finally gets to shoot the rapist, who tries to pull one of those “what about my rights” deals that liberal criminal dirtbag psychos always try once the good guy has a bead on him. Streeker informs him of his rights, punctuating each one with a bullet to the chest, which I thought was a good balancing of protecting the accused’s rights with society’s safety.
I would mention that I wasn’t sure how anyone was fooled by this ugly transvestite, but the back of the DVD case proudly warns us that this tranny is really unconvincing and refers to him as “a really ugly drag queen.”
A Scream in the Streets with its emphasis on yucky sex scenes is dull and also poorly conceived and structured, notably in scenes that had nothing to do with Streeker and Haskell like a massage parlor sequence and the fact that we had to suffer through two different peepers. Streeker though was the bright spot, managing to rack up an impressive array of rights violations, shootouts, and crappy attitude in a very limited amount of screen time.
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