MERSEY COP (+ Q&A with Matt Routledge: writer, star and director!)
VENUE: WHIRLED CINEMA // 259-260 Hardess St, London, SE24 0HN Get directions
DATE: SEPTEMBER 23RD 2014
SYNOPSIS: Taunted by his peers for his Americanised cop persona, Conner Philips is unequaled in the art of fighting crime. Turning chopsticks, trouser belts, socks and towels into unusual weapons to combat crime, he is walking advertisement for the Mersey Police. However the kung-fu kicking scouse detective’s skills are put to the test when a new gangster moves to the north west and is determined to ruin the lives of every police officer in Liverpool. Unmoved by wealth, and motivated by vengeance, his message is a clear one. By placing a bomb at the top of the Liverpool tower, he hopes to lure the police into the building, seemingly to disarm the bomb. But he has other plans in mind for the innocent police officers…
Mersey Cop isn’t just the greatest scouse martial arts movie ever made, it also holds the honour of being one of my favourite films ever made. I know what you are thinking, “That’s a bold claim Jed, why haven’t I heard of it if it’s so good?” Well let me bring you up to speed….
The year was 2007 – September 2007 to be exact – and myself and my then housemates had just come home from watching a band I have no memory of. We were tipsy, tired and most of all hungry. Between the 4 of us, all we had in the fridge were eggs. EGGS. Yes Eggs. Lots of them, and as far as the eye could see (to the back of the fridge), so we decided to do what scientists thought (until this point) was impossible. We looked at each other. We looked at the eggs. We looked back at each other with the mutual sense that something special was going to happen. That was a night that would live on only as whispers in the wind; a cautionary tale that fathers tell their sons around campfires; an urban legend oft misremembered as pure fantasy. This was the night of THE TEN EGG OMELETTE. “But Jed, surely you didn’t make an omelette using ten eggs.. that’s impossible?!” That’s what they told us, but we did it. And we did it to the theme music from the Champions League playing on our tinny 2007 polyphonic phones. “The Chaaaaammmppiiiooonnsssss….” rang out into the east london night as we cracked egg number 10 (some scientists call this the “god egg”) and watched our food, nay mana, cool. Minutes later and we were all eating the ten egg omelette with our fingers, sprawled out across our sofas, while I (being the best with remote controls at 3am – years of insomnia) flicked for something suitably euphoric to watch.
I flicked past Simpsons reruns, a Bruce Willis Marathon (Now called Bruce Willis Snickers) and alot of soft-core Channel 5-esque porn until I reached a brand new channel I had never seen before. It wasn’t there the other day, and now here it was, today… there. I looked to my housemates for some kind of assistance with this quandary, but they were too engrossed in the aforementioned ten egg omelette. “I must call Guinness Book of World Records in the morning..” I heard one of them say to the other and I nodded as I tried to find out just what the hell was happening to the TV. “They can’t just spring a new channel on me” I said, looking directly at the Sky box. “They need to prepare me for this kind of thing. They need to send me a text or something. What if I were here by myself? What if I were the kind of person who became easily frightened at the thought of something new? Like that time I was on a bus and read that a new series of Red Dwarf was on that night. I had to get off at the next stop, find a bench and sit down for an hour, lost in my own thoughts…” I steadied myself and pressed the info button on the Sky remote. “MOVIES4MEN” it said, and little else.
“We are men!” I said to my housemates who had almost finished the ten egg omelette with smiles akin to scoring in a world cup final. “This channel is for US“. And for the night only, it was. I have little recollection what was on right at that moment, but I could see from the tv guide what was next. “FIST OF JUSTICE“. For 4 slightly drunk guys who had just eaten a ten egg omelette (yes you read right, TEN), those 3 words were like telling us we had got to the front of the cashpoint queue and the person before us had left a £20 note in the machine and was nowhere to be seen. Then I read the synopsis (above) to the other three guys and as I uttered the words “… kung-fu kicking scouse detective…” I already knew we were in this for the long haul.
We settled down and watched Fist of Justice while trying to google anything we could about it. Almost nothing. The IMDB page told us it was aka MERSEY COP and that it was written, directed and starred Matt Routledge but little else. “This is the best british film I have ever seen!” I said, but it was almost like it was a collective decision because we all thought it, just some of us still had remnant of the ten egg omelette in our mouths.
After it was done I checked the Sky record screen to make sure it had saved as I wanted to check it was a real thing we had watched, in the morning, and not some sort of gin-based dream. It wasn’t a dream, it was an explosive british martial arts movie, set in Liverpool with a multi-talented writer/director who just so happened to be an incredible martial artist with the comedy acting skills of Jim Carrey meets Bruce Campbell with a little dash of Benny Hill!
Fast Forward 7 years later and I am finally screening MERSEY COP the way it should be seen, IN A CINEMA as part of the wonderful SCALARAMA festival which runs for the whole month of September. It’s at Whirled Cinema (where I did a press screening of Birdemic 2 last year – yep I produced that!) in South London and features a Q&A with Matt Routledge himself! It’s on September 23rd 2014 and its totally free, just turn up before 8pm as its first come first serve! I am very very excited about this.
The poster was designed by Omar Hauksson (he did the wonderful Raid 2 posters!) and I’m in love with it. Yes that is a Mersey Ferry exploding out of the frame on fire. You’re going to love this film too, so I will see you there! If you need any info about this film or screening, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @jedshepherd. Also, add Matt Routledge on twitter @kungfumatty.
ALL HAIL SCALARAMA 2014!