The Cohen Case Files: I, the Jury (1982)

Written and Produced (Uncredited) by Larry Cohen Through print interviews, commentary tracks, and in person question and answer sessions, I feel like I may have heard more about I, the Jury than any other film in which Larry Cohen has had a creative hand. The problem is that most everything Cohen has to say about […]

The Cohen Case Files: Best Seller (1987)

Written by Larry Cohen Of the numerous films that Larry Cohen has written, but not directed, Best Seller is probably the best of the bunch. In a prologue set in 1972 Los Angeles, a group of gunmen wearing Richard Nixon masks pull off the daring robbery of two million dollars from a police impound. During […]

The Cohen Case Files: Hell up in Harlem (1973)

Written, Produced and Directed by Larry Cohen Note: Since Hell up in Harlem is a sequel to Black Caesar, this review will contain SPOILERS regarding certain plot points (including the ending) of Black Caesar. I usually have no problem overlooking the seams when it comes to a Larry Cohen film. I’ve grown accustomed to cheaply […]

The Cohen Case Files: Misbegotten (1998)

Written by Larry Cohen The world of Cohen as a screenwriter-for-hire is a treacherous place to enter. Full of under-funded, poorly directed crap, it takes a hearty soul to enter such a place and report back if there is anything worth salvaging. I made it through Misbegotten, but just barely. The experience nearly destroyed me, […]

The Cohen Case Files: Wicked Stepmother (1989)

Executive Produced, Written and Directed by Larry Cohen As I mentioned in my Movie Defender piece on Paul Schrader’s The Canyons, I have the tendency to go a little soft on the lesser films of directors I admire. When that director is someone who is also undervalued, as is the case with Larry Cohen, I […]

The Cohen Case Files: The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)

Written, Produced, and Directed by Larry Cohen In an attempt to change the course of his directorial career away from being known only as a genre specialist, Larry Cohen tried his hand at a sweeping biopic. The choice of the late FBI director gave him plenty of sensationalistic material to work with. After watching the […]

The Cohen Case Files: A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987)

Executive Produced, Written (Also Story By), and Directed by Larry Cohen Any discussion of A Return to Salem’s Lot has to begin and end with Sam Fuller (yes, I am aware he is credited in most of his films as Samuel Fuller, but it seems wrong not to refer to him as Sam). A journalist, […]

Twelve Days of Axe-mas / The Cohen Case Files: Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Written and Produced by Larry Cohen Note: This review will contain spoilers concerning the first Maniac Cop. I urge you to watch the first film before reading this review. I am taking part in The Chicago Creepout’s Twelve Days of Axe-mas holiday viewing event. This is my day twelve. Admittedly, Maniac Cop 2, like the […]

The Cohen Case Files: Maniac Cop (1988)

Written and Produced by Larry Cohen If you are attacked, fear for your safety, or witness a crime, who do you call? The answer, of course, is the police. Unless you’re a criminal engaged in illegal activity, any rational person would see a policeman as someone who will help, someone who is safe, and someone […]

The Cohen Case Files: The Ambulance (1990)

Written and Directed by Larry Cohen The Ambulance is a snapshot of an industry in transition. Released in 1990, it’s the type of low-budget independent thriller that would soon start going straight to video, but still managed to make its way into theaters…barely. If not for an eclectic cast of solid character actors and a […]