“This Cop’s Got Some Balls, But He Ain’t Got No Brains” — “Vampire Cop” (1990) — The Director’s Cut!

I wasn’t expecting to review three “cop” movies in a row, but they’ve all been so fun I keep going back to the well. Maybe next time I’ll do another.

Directed By
Donald Farmer

Version Reviewed
SRS Cinema DVD ©2017

Total Runtime
~1 hour, 16 minutes, 51 seconds

The words “Vampire” and “Cop” float in from offscreen. Blood forms on “Vampire”. A cheesy 80s rock song repeatedly warns us we’re now the prey of “the slow kill”, whatever that is (this song was commissioned while the film was in pre-production under its working title Slow Kill). Exterior shots of a big city are shown. I’m told it’s Pensacola, Florida. There’s a shot of a Domino’s Pizza. Who decided we needed that? A squad car flicks on its lights and pulls out of a parking spot. The squad car speeds down an overpass toward our point of view. This is followed by slow-motion footage of same.

Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

A guy in a leather jacket pulls off-road to accost a teen girl. The girl isn’t interested, but kindly walks up to his car and leans in far enough to be kidnapped. The guy drives her to a different section of road (I’m assuming the same road from the other direction, later referred to as an “alley”) and orders her out. He knows her by name all of a sudden. “Traci, I’m getting a little tired of your shit. So why don’t you shut the mouth, and drop the pants.” he commands with a gun. He forces her down to the ground with a kiss. The wannabe rapist turns to see the silhouette of a man watching on, backlit by a pair of headlights. Plumes of smoke are puffed in behind the intruder. Without so much as a word, the shadowy figure (Ed Corbin as Ed Cannon) marches up and snaps the rapist’s hand off. Blood burbles out like a fountain. Oddly, there aren’t any sound effects to accompany the gruesome visual. The rapist screams twice and dies, or faints. The mysterious man opens wide, exposing a set of razor-sharp teeth. His eyes roll back in his head. He bites the guy’s throat. This must be the titular vampire cop.

These eyebrow close-ups are giving me Herschell Gordon Lewis vibes.
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

He’s lucky all he got was a snap on the wrist.
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Elsewhere, another cop sits in his car, adjusting an earpiece. His name is Newhouse. In the background, two people walk up a staircase. Newhouse’s demeanor, mustache, and stretched-out sleeveless shirt make him look like an alcoholic dad. Is anyone missing their dad? The mysterious neck biting man, whose name is now given as Lucas, leans in Newhouse’s window.

“Well, well, look who just pulled up.” Newhouse gripes. “You like to take your time, don’t ya? After all, this is just a bust I’ve been setting up for three months.”

“Hey, I want Geiger just as bad as you do.” Lucas laughs. I hate the way he says Geiger. “I just had a code 42…” he explains. According to policecodes.net, code 42 means aggravated rape, so that jibes. Nice attention to detail.

In the hotel behind them, an undercover detective meets with the fabled “Geiger” (Terence Jenkins). Geiger’s a German crime boss — the leader of the biggest drug ring in Florida. He also controls all the hookers. The undercover detective offers him $50k for a briefcase full of cocaine. But Geiger and his henchman Kurt are one move ahead. They rip the plant’s shirt off, exposing a wire.

“Hey, I’ve got backup outside.” the plant says with confidence. “They’ve heard every word of this conversation.”

Geiger doesn’t care. He commands Kurt to slit the guy’s throat. A moment later, he and Kurt shuffle out the front door, down the steps to their car unimpeded.

Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Lucas and Newhouse finally barge in too little too late – an astounding 54 seconds after their friend signaled for help. What the hell were they doing? They were right fucking there, a few spots away from the staircase. This has to be the most poorly executed sting operation in history, especially if it really was planned for three months. “Shit, Geiger must have known.” Newhouse groans at the sight of the person he caused to die. “Damn, the money’s gone!” he says next. “They still gotta be in here!” Wait. That doesn’t follow. Contradicting himself once again, he runs out the door to his car, which is now parked much further away.

He and Lucas miraculously catch up to Geiger and tail him to a building that isn’t clearly shown (they call it a warehouse). But that’s where they lose him. “We’ll get ’em. You stay with the car. I’m going in on my own.” Lucas says.

Newhouse hitches his belt up and puffs out his chest. “In that place?” he asks. “How are you gonna find anything in that maze?!”

What maze? The warehouse? In what world does a warehouse qualify as a maze?

Lucas runs off.

“Crazy bastard!” Newhouse yells into the darkness.

Where’s my Old Style?
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Lucas lifts a garage door. He walks in. He walks out. While he does this, Geiger and Kurt slowly pull around a corner. They’re now face to face with the creature of the night. They floor it. Everything goes silent here. Lucas shoots at them four times. The gun makes no sound. He jumps out of the way. The drug dealers emerge from their car, guns drawn.

Newhouse pops out from behind a wall. “Drop it, right now!”

Kurt blows him away. His gun doesn’t make a sound either. But then he shoots Lucas and we can hear that, so… what’s going on? Lucas returns fire, hitting Kurt. Geiger speeds off. Lucas eats Kurt.

This scene is kind of surreal, if for no other reason than it’s missing half the sounds you’d expect to hear in a real situation.

The next morning at the “police station” (i.e. a room with a desk in it), who should it be but Fuad Ramses himself, Mal Arnold! Mal is on the other side of the law this time, playing a Lieutenant, and he’s not happy about the way Lucas’ bust went. “Ever since that hotshot was transferred down here from Detroit, we’ve been playing the rules by his game, his plan… He knows I got his partner down here on a slab, right? Well, why isn’t he down here with all of us right now with some fucking answers?!” he shouts, slamming his fist on his typewriter. I love this part. If you watch Arnold’s face when he says “playing the rules by his game”, you can pinpoint the moment he realizes his mistake, hence why he tacks on “his plan” at the end.

I haven’t seen much of Don Farmer’s work, but I’ve noticed something about his approach. He liked to bring in at least one semi-infamous exploitation actor per movie to boost its credibility. He did it here with Mal Arnold, in Savage Vengeance with Camille Keaton, and in Red Lips with Michelle Bauer and Kitten Natividad.

The legend returns.
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Meanwhile, at his super-secret hideout, Geiger watches news coverage of Kurt’s death. The reporter mentions that “animal-like bite marks” were found on the body. Geiger logically attributes these bite marks to Lucas and decides to keep a close eye on him.

Thoughts (Possible Spoilers)
The next day, Lucas is awakened from sleeping upside-down like a bat by a knock at his door. A female reporter just lets herself in. Grabbing a shirt, Lucas asks “Who the hell are you? You know what time it is?”

“It’s 2 in the afternoon!” the reporter spits back in a bitchy, defensive tone, oblivious to the fact that she’s trespassing, in a cop’s house no less. She introduces herself as Melanie Roberts (Melissa Moore, Sorority House Massacre II). The call letters she gives for her station place her in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I don’t think that’s right. She admits that she followed Lucas home and mocks him for sleeping all day, even after he says he works night shift. She continues overstepping her bounds by snooping into his bedroom, pressing for details on Newhouse’s murder, and smoking without asking. Lucas is the most patient man ever. He agrees to meet her for dinner that night.

The amount of wood paneling in Lucas’ home, by the way, makes me uncomfortable.

Back at the hideout, I think, a guy in a bathtub tells a black-haired hooker named Lisa that he wants to have a threesome with her and her friend, but I don’t believe him cos his voice is really gay. The shot transitions with a fang-shaped wipe.

Next, it’s Melanie’s turn to be intruded upon. Someone sneaks up on her for 3 minutes, 45 seconds while she tans on a beach at her beach house. All we hear in this time is a gentle hiss. The shots from the creeper’s point of view are in slow motion, making this vain attempt at suspense even more monotonous. The creeper turns out to be Traci, the girl who was saved from the aggravated rape.

“[My rescuer] had fangs, like a wolf or something.” Traci confesses. “And then, he just bit the boy’s neck… He just bit the boy’s neck, and the boy died.”

Melanie tries to coax a description out of Traci, but Traci is unable, or unwilling, to give one.

“He look like a man.”
Credit: Mad TV, Shout Factory TV, YouTube

Traci theorizes that whoever saved her was a good man who just wanted to help. Like Dexter Morgan, it seems Lucas only takes out his bloodlust on criminals. Does that make it right? Who cares? Melanie offers to let Traci stay with her.

The gay guy is still in the tub. A second prostitute dangles her titties in his face to “unshrivel” his penis.

Lucas is sleeping upside-down once again. He wakes up and answers his phone — a weird thing to do cos it’s not even ringing. Coincidentally, someone is on the line.

It’s Lisa the black-haired prostitute, placing a phony call for help. Lucas dutifully responds. When he gets there, Della, the hooker with the big swangin’ titties, plays dead. Lucas moves in to administer CPR, and Della starts kissing him. Lisa puts a gun to the back of Lucas’ head. “Geiger’s gonna be real happy to see you, baby.” she says, sounding proud of herself. Before turning Lucas in, the women decide to have sex with him. Lucas pretends to go along with it, then exsanguinates Della. Lisa just kind of sits there and tells him to cut it out. She finally gets up and shoots him three times. Lucas bites her too.

It’s common courtesy to fang before you bang.
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Because of this, Lucas shows up fashionably late to his dinner date with Melanie. She notices the holes in his shirt and asks if they’re bullet holes, to which Lucas replies “Yeah, well, I was wearing a vest!” A waitress walks into view. Lucas orders a “very rare” steak. When the waitress asks what he wants to drink, the camera comically zooms in on Melanie’s neck. “Nothing.” Lucas says, snapping back to reality.

While discussing the case, Melanie comes to an unlikely conclusion. “It almost sounds like there’s a vampire in the city.” She excuses herself to get cigarettes and checks Lucas’ reflection in her compact. All she can see is the back of his chair!

At the hideout once more, Geiger slaps the shit out of Lisa, demanding to know how she let Lucas get away. “Don’t you understand? I shot him. He just kept coming. I couldn’t stop him.” Lisa pleads, showing her boss the bite marks on her neck, which are on the wrong side.

Lucas and Melanie go back to her place to fuck. They have sensual, non-thrusting movie sex for nearly five minutes. There’s no sound here either.

Melanie wakes up to find Lucas gone. She answers her non-ringing phone. It’s Geiger. He asks for a chance to explain his side of the story, stating he’s never dealt drugs and doesn’t know why the police always implicate him in crimes. Melanie agrees to meet him alone for an interview at a marina. Geiger gives her a brief statement proclaiming his innocence, which she reads on the air the next day. At the end of the segment, Lt. Ryan responds with some not-so-kind words.

She’s keeping people abreast of the daily news.
Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

After watching the broadcast, Geiger decides the best course of action is to abduct and kill Ryan, which he does with a chainsaw. That’ll sway the public’s opinion!

Hey, remember the gay guy? Well, he’s still bathing. Lisa and Della put an end to him once and for all. They walk in and feast on his throat. I’m not sure why they bother killing him when they’ve got bigger bones to pick with with Lucas, Raymond, and Geiger, but, whatev (Geiger lets another henchman named Raymond (Academy Award winner Ray McKinnon as R.J. McKay) rape Lisa).

Melanie runs into Lucas and brings him home to talk. She introduces him to Traci, who he already knows all too well. Traci runs out the front door in shock. How ’bout a thank you, Trace? He saved your life, after all. Melanie starts putting the pieces together. She realizes Lucas is the one who’s been killing people and gets upset. Is she really that surprised? By this point, she’d figured out he was a vampire.

Just then, Geiger and Raymond break in. Who will survive the ultimate battle of wits that ensues?

I won’t spoil it til further down, but I will say the movie ends like The Howling, with a news anchor transforming on camera, followed by a fang-shaped wipe. Brilliant.


Vampire Cop was filmed on 16mm in 1989 in Pensacola, Florida. Additional scenes were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. This is actually the first movie Don Farmer filmed on 16, but it may as well have been shot on video. It’s nearly identical in tone to his 80s SOV efforts Cannibal Hookers, Demon Queen, Scream Dream, and Savage Vengeance. It was made for about $15,000. Well, this version was.

The main backers were a couple from Tennessee — Max & Faye Chesney. Farmer was referred to them by a person whose office he walked into at random. The Chesneys gladly agreed to give Farmer $9,000 on the condition that he cast their daughter (Traci) and film at least one scene at their mother’s home in Pensacola, Florida.

The funny thing is, Farmer filmed the required scene in front of a blank white wall, which he could have done anywhere. There’s nothing about the wall that differentiates it from other walls, which, to me, defeats the purpose of moving production to the sunshine state in the first place. Farmer explains all this in the audio commentary, but I feel like he undersells how peculiar the circumstances were.

Credit: SRS Cinema DVD

Fellow low-budget filmmaker Tim Ritter (Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness, Killing Spree) is also listed as producer, but Farmer sounds surprised to see his name in the credits, so I’m guessing he wasn’t too hands-on.

Like most SOV movies, Vampire Cop is full of questionable artistic decisions. For one, it shows numerous replays of scenes that in some instances happened only four minutes earlier. I’m not sure whether Farmer was padding the runtime or genuinely thought we would be this forgetful, but in my heart of hearts, I know it’s the former.

On top of that, it switches to slow motion so often, at such random points, the effect loses meaning. There are shots of characters standing still and opening their mouths in slow motion. Tell me what the purpose of that is — besides, of course, padding the runtime some more.

And lastly, as I’ve already mentioned, it’s missing a bunch of sound effects and/or music, leading to long stretches of silence. You never really notice how important those two aspects are until they’re gone.

Farmer acknowledges in the commentary that he went a little overboard with the slow motion, but offers no explanation for the missing audio.

There are also parts of his story that go unexplored. At one point, Geiger hatches a plan to produce an army of vampires. However, he abandons it instantly. Later, Lucas is forced by his boss to re-team with a new partner, but never does; that’s the last time we see the guy. What’s more, the ending is jarringly jumpy. One second, Lucas and Melanie are sitting on her couch. The next, Geiger and Raymond have Melanie at knifepoint. There’s a single shot of a car tire between.

The most glaring problem, though, might be the inconsistent conversion of Lucas’ victims. Only 60% of them turn into vampires. The others simply die. How can this be? What factors are at play here?

As you can imagine, none of this makes for a very good movie, but all of it makes for a fun movie. If you lean toward bad/cult/weird, you’ll love Vampire Cop. I can’t recommend it to horror fans. If you’re looking for genuine thrills, you won’t find them. If you’re looking for special effects, you’ll find two.

I didn’t realize when I bought this flick on DVD that it actually exists in two forms. Neither make a whole lot of sense. The “director’s cut” is the version Farmer shopped to distributors, whereas the “original” version released to VHS (included here as an extra) omits every shot with emulsion scratches (static vertical lines) and features new scenes filmed in 1990 at the behest of Atlas Entertainment Corporation, including a “hot bod” bikini contest, gratuitous sex scene, interview with a bat specialist, and back-alley mugging. The real reason AEC insisted on adding these scenes, Farmer asserts, is so they could say they spent more to produce the film than he did, thus gaining ownership. The director’s cut runs 5 minutes, 56 seconds shorter in total. There are positives and negatives to each version.

The original, for example, has a bigger body and boob count. Another mark in its favor is that the sting operation is better edited to make Lucas and Newhouse look less incompetent. On the other hand, it contains even more questionable artistic decisions. Melanie is repeatedly shown writhing in bed, as if dreaming the first twenty-five minutes, and Lucas is made out to be more of an anti-hero by biting an innocent hooker.

An obvious continuity problem arises when Melanie points out that Lucas didn’t eat at the restaurant, even though they skip their dinner date in that version, and a laugh is had when Geiger excuses Raymond to secure the perimeter and Raymond just falls off the face of the earth, never to be seen or heard from again because they excluded his death scene.

In my opinion, the worst thing about the original is that it introduces too many characters. The director’s cut has enough to keep track of.

I think I prefer the director’s cut. It’s the first version I watched, it feels more cohesive and straightforward (key word being more), and above all else, it has two extra Mal Arnold scenes. Removing even one second of Mal Arnold is a grievous, unconscionable offense. Shame on you, Atlas Entertainment Corporation.

Overall, the SRS Cinema disc is a great buy. As I’ve already said, it comes with both versions, an informative commentary track by Don Farmer, trailers for House Shark, She Kills, Night of Something Strange, and volumes 1 & 2 of the Donald Farmer Collection, plus a cool if inaccurate cover. I love Joe Bob Briggs, but his quote from the back of the box is misleading.

Twelve breasts. Twelve dead bodies. Multiple neck fanging. Double vampire sex in a bathtub! Joe Bob says check it out!

This quote was achieved by removing multiple sentences without adding ellipses. But that’s not what I’m getting at. The version he based his review on, the original, only has ten breasts, and at no point do Lisa and Della have sex with the guy in the bathtub. The body count is also debatable. Here’s what you get in that version:









Joey (rapist)


Perez (plant)






unnamed hooker








John (bather)


Lt. Ryan




Geiger (vampire)


Donald Farmer

As for the director’s cut…

Body Count
12, including Geiger’s second death as a vampire.

Bod Count
4 breasts.

Overall Enjoyability
4 shots of Domino’s Pizza out of 5.

I Got My Copy From

Las Vegas Serial Killer (dir. Ray Dennis Steckler, 1986) because there are long stretches of silence in that one as well.