Night Patrol (1984)

Clip from Night Patrol
Night Patrol (1984)

Night Patrol (1984)

Bad movies are like chili peppers.  Eat a hot pepper, say a Jalapeño, and it’ll burn the hell out of you.  As you go up the heat scale, the more they burn until you get to the mighty Habanero, where your brain gives up trying to deal with the pain and just floods itself with endorphins, leaving you in a state of bliss for a little while.  Movies can have exactly the same effect and a bad movie has the ability to cause a great deal of pain.  The worse the movie, the worse the pain, and in extreme cases they can leave you scarred for life.  Every so often, however, a movie comes along that is so bad, so painful, so absolutely horrifying that it becomes the Habanero of bad movies.  Night Patrol is that movie, and it is the best movie ever.  Lemme tell you why. 

Night Patrol is apparently what happens when a bunch of friends get together and make a movie, possible under the influence, and without any real oversight.  First I’ll introduce the culprits:

Murray Langston as Officer Melvin White/The Unknown Comic.  Gong Show alum Langston brings The Unknown Comic to the big screen.  Pure genius!  Langston also co-wrote the script.

Linda Blair as Officer Sue Perman.  Holy shit, the Exorcist chick grew up. In this movie, she’s possessed with quite the rack.

Pat Paulsen as Officer Kent Lane.  Little know fact about Pat Paulsen:  In 1968 the Smothers Brothers talked him into running for President, and in time he became a perpetual candidate running on the Straight Talking American Government (STAG) ticket.  In 1996 his running mate was, believe it or not, Tiny Tim.  We should have elected them!  Of course Tiny Tim died less than a month after losing the ’96 election, and Paulsen lost his fight with cancer in April of ’97.  After the rules of succession were all sorted out we could have ended up with Gopher from The Love Boat in the White House, Mrs. Hathaway of The Beverly Hillbillies fame as the VP and Sonny Bono as Speaker of the House.  Sweet!

Jaye P. Morgan as Kate Parker.  Sassy and sexy, Jaye P got fired from the Gong Show for exposing her breasts on National TV way back when Janet “Wardrobe Malfunction” Jackson was still wearing a training bra.  I give Jaye P a 9 for originality and an award for best TV stunt ever!

Andrew Dice Clay as Tony Baroni.  The Diceman rules.  Best comedian ever.

Billy Barty as Captain Lewis.  Little people rule, and Billy Barty is their King.

Pat Morita as Rape Victim.  Wax on, wax off.  Morita really wax off in this one.

 “You can talk about my tits and you can talk about my ass, but don’t EVER call me dumb!”  – Sue Perman, woman’s rights activist.  

 So there’s a plot somewhere in this movie about Melvin White, a cop who can’t seem to get anything right.  What he really wants to do is comedy, a vocation he moonlights at in the disguise as The Unknown Comic, ostensibly so his superiors won’t recognize him.  Along the way we find out he’s in love with co-worker Sue Perman, but doesn’t know how to approach her, she’s in love with him but he can’t see it, he has to see a shrink to sort out his dual life, blah, blah blah.  Oh, and there’s a robber running around disguised as The Unknown Comic.  Whatever. What little plot exists is just an excuse to keep the gags a rollin’.

“I think you can have your Kate, and Edith too.”  – Doctor Ziegler, psychiatrist and master punster.

 So now that we’ve got that pesky “plot” out of the way, what does this movie have?  Gags, and lots of them.  Take every bad joke, pun, prank and sight gag you can think of, and you’ll find it in this movie.  From the one about the girl in line at the Sperm Bank to naked grown men “cockfighting” to fart jokes to toilet humor, you’re getting both barrels with this baby.

 “You want jokes, I got fuckin’ jokes.  Why’d the monkey fall outta the tree?  He was fuckin’ dead, right?”  – Tony Baroni, wannabe comedian.       

So I laughed, I cried, I groaned and I suspect I may have even shit my pants just a little.  Like the aforementioned Habanero, this one’s going to hurt you.  As you watch it you will curse me and you will curse the people who made this movie, but in the end the endorphins will flow to sooth the pain, and you too will proclaim this the best movie ever!  (Unless your inner child is dead, in which case I lament its demise and I weep for your soul.  I bet your lips are probably moving as you read this, you humorless wretch.)

About the Author

Stark Raving Reviewer Juan Carlos Alfonso Santiago is named for Juan Carlos I of Spain, having been born at the precise moment the Prince of Spain succeded dictator Francisco Franco to fill the three-and-a-half-decade long vacancy on the Spanish throne. Mr. Santiago is best known for being the only person to ever survive all 24 hours of the "Clash of the Titans" marathon on Superstation WGN.