It's Andy McGee vs. John Kreese!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 06/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remember that movie called The Horror Show, which had Brion James as a serial killer who was executed in the electric chair only to return to terrorize cop Lance Henriksen and his family? Or how about Wes Craven's Shocker, about a serial killer who comes back from the electric chair to terrorize Peter Berg, who turned him in?
Well, Judge & Jury is a similar concept, though an odd film. The box cover might have you thinking this is some kind of vigilante film, but it really isn't. It's a bizarre mix of straight to video action, horror and comedy.
In this film, executed killer Joseph Meeker(played by David Keith) comes back as a wisecracking specter to get his revenge on former football pro, Mike(played by Sensei John Kreese himself, Martin Kove!) Mike is a demanding dad who is trying to make his son(that irritating kid with the super arm from Rookie of the Year) a kickbutt football player. But Mike, his son, and his wife are now in danger as Meeker relentlessly pursues and terrorizes Mike. Along for the ride are the detective that arrested Meeker and a cab driver who has been thrown into the situation.
As I said, this movie is kinda strange. It's uncertain just which genre it's trying to be. The premise is horror-like of course, but the endless cat and mouse game is more in the direct to video action vein. Plus, Meeker is constantly appearing in different outfits with different personalities. You'll see him as an Elvis impersonator, a clown, a nerd in a toilet stall, and a woman. This really pushes the movie into full blown comedy. The scene that had me going is when Meeker attacks Mike in a kitchen, and he's dressed like a chef and using a French accent. Mike sets Meeker's arm on fire and Meeker says, "I see you prefer Joseph Flambe!"
All of this silliness really lifts this from the standard straight to video action fare. Sure, it's not a very original plot by any means, but it's quite funny and a good time. Hell, it manages to actually be a tad bit sad at the end!! And as much as I love Martin "Sweep the Leg" Kove, he is completely eclipsed by David Keith's insanely over the top performance. I've liked Keith since I'd seen him in Firestarter. Keith is the main reason to watch this film as he is funny as hell in his multiple "roles", but actually does manage to shift back to a sinister personna when it's called for.
Judge & Jury isn't very original as far as story and plot goes, but the cliches are used in interesting and unusual ways, and that alone makes this a very entertaining movie. Too bad nobody saw it."