Help is on the way! ..But Sometimes Help Can Be Dangerous (and Stupid).
Researching this list was a painful experience for me. It was like an assault on my intelligence. I could literally feel my I.Q. lowering with every frame of film I watched. When the time came to compile this list, I had no idea where to begin. I mean, where do you start with so much incompetence? And then it dawned on me… booze… and lots of it.
Barkeep, gimme a sarsaparilla on the rocks and pardon my slurring. We’re about to count down; Bad Cops: The 10 Best Police Officers of Horror.
10. Deputy Dwight “Dewey” Riley – Scream (1996)
Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) is tailor-made to be a bumbling flatfoot and he doesn’t disappoint. Allow me to list his inadequacies for you. Constant taunting from his little sister, Tatum (Rose McGowan), constant manipulation he allows Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) to lord over him, and the biggie; his complete inability to stop his own sister’s murder. As if that isn’t enough, he almost gets taken out by a teenage boy, loses his gun to a teenage girl and shows up only after Sydney (Neve Campbell) has defeated both of the psychos responsible for the whole mess. Plus, he was wrong about the killer’s identity all along. Not a good track record “Deputy Dewy-boy!”
9. Police Officer – Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)
Not much can be said about this Barney Fife rip-off except that if you were to look in a dictionary under the word idiot, you would see this dude’s goofy grinnin’ photo. Let me set the scene for you. Ricky (Eric Freeman) has been a naughty boy again, running around town, killing people and Officer Doofus here spots him, attempting to apprehend the psycho with a soft spot for Christmas. As he tries to cuff Ricky, things go sideways real fast. Ricky’s ninja-like speed takes this Five-O by surprise and – oh snap – he nabs the cop’s gun. What are you gonna do now, Constable Courageous? I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna die! Punish! PUNISH!
8. The Entire Police Department – Hell Night (1981)
If a kid came running into your police station screaming about some crazed murderer killing his friends up at the local haunted house, what would you do? Would you pass him off as a drunken frat boy and send him home? That’s what these brilliant specimens of authority do in Hell Night (1981). Their dismissal of his claims of murder send him directly into an unguarded weapons cache where he just helps himself to a few guns and he slips out a conveniently opened window undetected. Hell, he even carjacks some poor schmuck right outside the station and the cops are none the wiser! I wanna work in that police department. Sounds like they don’t have to do squat!
7. Sheriff/Deputy – Last House on the Left (1972)
These guys are such bad cops that they don’t even have names. They are literally credited as Sheriff (Marshall Anker) and Deputy (Martin “Kobra Kai” Cove). On their way to help Mari (Sandra Peabody), their car breaks down. They flag down a passing truck, attempting to commandeer the vehicle, but the lady driving the truck clearly hates cops. With a full load and hardly any room, she agrees to give them a ride… on the roof. She messes with them the whole scene. Cue the goofy music and let the slapstick antics of these two idiots trying to climb onto the roof of the truck begin. Lord in heaven, if these aren’t the dimmest bulbs in the bunch, I mean really!
6. Lt. Judd Austin – Night School (1981)
Ken Hughes’ final film, Night School (1981) revolves around a series of gruesome decapitation murders targeting mostly college coeds in Boston, Massachusetts. Too bad Boston’s finest couldn’t have sent a better detective. I know what you’re thinking and Lt. Judd Austin (Leonard Mann) actually does a pretty good job investigating the case. The only problem is he’s constantly one step behind the killer. And the film’s finale, oh Mylanta! Judd has cornered the killer, gotten a confession and he doesn’t arrest the perp! I know, right!? As a result, the killer shows up at a funeral that Judd is attending and he STILL doesn’t arrest them! Gah! Tarbender, another spillsparilla!
5. Officer Curtis Mooney – Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
A clan of alien circus clowns from outer space arrive on Earth to invade a small town, capturing and harvesting its human inhabitants for consumption. This is the basic plot for The Chiodo Brothers’ only movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988). Officer Curtis Mooney (John Vernon) is an a-hole. A grade A a-hole. His first mistake of the film, aside from being a curmudgeonly jerk, was to blow off the two kids that report the intergalactic jesters landing on Earth. Then, after the kids leave, the station is inundated with calls about CLOWNS FROM SPACE. Mooney dismisses all of them. Even after one the cosmic comics show up at the station, Mooney arrests it, assuming it’s a prankster teenager. Ultimately this leads to his demise and to be brutally honest, he had it coming. This guy, I swear!
4. Deputy Rick Cologne – Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
Deputy Rick Cologne (Vincent Guastaferro) seems like a good guy. A good guy that makes a lot of bad decisions. He just got a mail order scope for his gun and man is he dying to try it out. Just ask Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews). Where ever the red dot goes, ye-bang, right Rick? His boss, Sheriff Garris (David Kegan), asks Rick to watch his daughter Meghan (Jennifer Cooke) and prisoner Jarvis while he’s out on a call. All Rick has to do is sit there and make sure they don’t do anything stupid. After getting sucked into some paperwork Rick is oblivious to Meghan devising an escape plan for her crush Tommy. It works. Rick ends up at gunpoint with a laser sight aimed at his nose and Jarvis locks him up in his own cell. Where ever the cell key lands, ye-bang!
3. Sheriff George Fraser – The Prowler (1981)
The town of Avalon Bay, California hasn’t held a graduation dance for its students for thirty-five years following a double murder in 1945, but this year it’s different. The ban has been lifted and the graduating students are going to throw the best dance ever. Enter Sheriff George Fraser (Farley Granger). With calls about a marauding prowler headed their way, the first graduation dance in thirty-five years and a deputy who looks barely old enough to shave let alone do his job, Fraser decides it’s a good time to take a fishing trip. Good luck, Deputy, you’re gonna need it. If you live to see your boss again, be sure to thank him for throwing you under the bus.
2. Sheriff Frank Kelly – Gremlins (1984)
Cops are supposed to be skeptical by nature, right? In horror films, it’s usually their downfall. In Joe Dante’s 1984 horror/comedy Gremlins, it’s definitely the latter. Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) comes barrelling into the Kingston Falls police station one snowy night carrying on about little green gremlins terrorizing the town. First of all, how the cops didn’t notice this right away is beyond me and secondly, they don’t believe him. Later as Sheriff Frank Kelly (Scott Brady) and his deputy (Jonathan Banks) are out on a call, they witness a man in a Santa Claus suit being attacked by several of these little green suckers and Kelly STILL doesn’t want to believe what he’s seeing. Town of Kingston Falls, once you clean up from this mess, time to elect a new sheriff. Your current one is broken.
1. Deputy Winston Olsen – Cabin Fever (2002)
Deputy Winston Olsen (Giuseppe Andrews) is an open sore in a film full of… um… open sores. He is the least effective cop in manner and practice and really has no business wearing uniform or badge. When he’s not partying with under-aged kids while on duty, he’s slacking off. When he’s not wasting taxpayer money, he’s killing people for his slimy police chief and covering it up. This guy is a real pillar of the community, a regular credit to the human race, a friggin’ saint if ever there was one. There was no way this guy wasn’t making this list.
That’s it. The end of the list. I am now properly sauced after having sat through all of that judicial buffoonery. I hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 worst cops of horror! Tell us your picks on Twitter, Instagram and our Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook! Meantime, Barkeep! Keep the sarsaparillas coming…