Part IV: Toy guns & Ski Masks: The Making Of ‘Super-Cops’
In middle school I met Adam, like me he watched movies a lot and we seemed to share an affinity for action movies. We hung around together most weekends, usually grabbing our parents respective video cameras and messing around making little random scenes of what we thought was comedy genius. One day whilst we were hanging around his house during the summer holidays we randomly shot a scene in which I get knocked over by a car (which was accomplished due to our ingenious camera trickery). Just as sort of a joke, Adam used his titling feature on his camera, where you draw a picture and take a snap of it with the camera which will show up whilst recording by pressing the “title” button. I thought this was amazing and very professional. He came up with the title of ‘Super Cops’. We had no intention of really making a movie, but we were quite proud of this random opening scene that we decided to keep going.
The film opened with me, a cop named Joe, who gets hit by a car as I mentioned earlier. The driver of the car turns out to be a long lost buddy of mine, played by Adam. He says he’ll give me a ride to the station, it’s the least he can do after almost killing me, but before we set off, a masked gunman (also played by Adam, showing his range.) holds us up and demands some money that he’s owed from Adam’s other character, he blows him away and runs. I get out and shoot him dead.
Now after this scene, which we were very proud of, even though numerous takes we used have us cracking up and generally larking about, we decided to continue. But Adam’s main character had been killed, so we made him the dead characters twin brother, who was also a cop. Genius! We team up, take on more masked bad guys, played by us. And also some kids that lived across the street from Adam got a couple of roles as bad guys. This all eventually leads up to a big fight outside the bad guys lair (Adams back garden). Adam’s older brother Ryan even did some stunt work for us…Not that he was qualified, he just wasn’t bothered about jumping off of the roof a couple of times, and he could do a cartwheel which came in handy during a fight scene. Adam also doubled for me, because I couldn’t be arsed to jumped over a bench. We managed to get Adams dad to make a cameo as the bad guy, who we named Red Eyes, due to a prop we used a bunch of times that I’d gotten in a “secret agent” toy set years before; it was a passport with Red Box Organisation written on it, so they became our enemies and Red Eyes became their villainous leader. Textbook. Adams dad basically pops out, shoots Adam, who was thankfully wearing his cardboard bullet proof vest, he then runs away, I throw a grenade (which I think was actually a motorbike helmet from an Action Man figure)…Cut to stock footage of Nakatomi Plaza from ‘Die Hard’ blowing up. Cue the “rocking” credits set to the soundtrack of Bryan Adams, which claimed that Joel Silver had produced the movie.
We were really proud of ‘Super Cops’, all 26 minutes of it, and I think everyone who saw it was impressed that a couple of 11 year olds had made it.
The day after ‘Super Cops’ “wrapped” we began production on ‘Super Cops 2‘. This time with an actual cast. Our friend Ian played the police captain, while our friend John and Ste played two assassins who kill him. We had even randomly shot a scene in the first ’Super Cops’ with Ste, when he was there being a camera man for the day, so the continuity was rather unintentionally slick at this point. The more friends we showed ‘Super Cops’ too, the more we got onboard as extra characters. I do remember my brother asking to borrow the tape once when his pals were over, probably just so they could all watch it and have a laugh at our expense. Adam and I snuck upstairs and listened to their reactions, yes they did laugh for the first few minutes, as it is full of bloopers and us cracking up. It came to the scene when Adams character is killed, we both looked at each other and I groaned “Oh they’re going to piss themselves here probably…dicks!”, annoyed that our hard work was being chuckled at. But when the scene in question came they were oddly quiet. Adam and I used to joke that the scene was so powerful and shocking that it shut them up…But the laughter continued after that of course.
At one point whilst making ‘Super Cops 2‘, we started filming ‘Super Cops 3’ for some random reason. But that didn’t get past one scene.
Unfortunately ‘Super Cops 2’ never saw completion either, it just kept going and going to a point where we just lost interest in it. When we stopped it clocked in at about 50 minutes. Just after we were done with high school we thought it might be fun to finish it, for a laugh…Jesus, it was so awkward. Being sixteen and trying to make a little action movie that we hadn’t worked on since we were about 13 was a terrible idea. Looking back on it now it’s hilarious, because we picked up in the middle of the scene, so one second we’re kids, and the next our voices have broken, we both look a lot more fashion conscious and mumble in an embarrassed tone.
‘Super Cops’ was a fun and important part of my childhood and it’s great to have a really fond part of your life all on tape, as a movie. I still dig the video copy I have of it out every now and then if I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, who knows maybe one day we’ll see a 3-disc Steel book Blu-Ray special edition. Fingers crossed.
Next time, Bootlegs, Tarantino and Uncle Bullshit…