The title for this film is taken from the police code for “homicide.” After watching it however, 187 is now our code for “real shitty movie.” The credits for this movie say that it was written by a teacher. If this is true, I must conclude that it was written by the shop teacher. Or maybe even some brain damaged custodian who drinks rye with the shop teacher in the boiler room after hours. About halfway through the movie, one of the Mothers of Redemption muttered to himself, “I feel like I’m being mentally gang-raped.” He was too kind.
Sam Jackson is a New York City teacher who gets stabbed by a student then relocates to teach in that haven of higher education, South Central L.A. If that doesn’t tip you off that the man’s an idiot, the stupid shit he does through the rest of the movie will. Naturally, in LA he’s faced with the most incorrigble class this side of the Sweathogs. But he doesn’t try to pull them up (see Stand and Deliver), instead he kills a couple of ’em and chops off some of their fingers. Or does he? I’m not sure. That’s because 187 is as disjointed and convoluted a movie as you will ever sit through. Of course ten minutes into this tripe we were picking it apart and laughing so hard, who could follow the ridiculous plot?
The whole movie is shot in cheesy blue and sepia tint and is chock full of lame attempts at symbolism. I think they hired the director from MTV ’cause there were so many out of focus tilted zooms, impossible close-ups, and rapid fire edits that I almost barfed up my Hot Tamales. In the most unfathomable ridiculous scene in the movie, three of Sam’s evil students break into his house and force him to play Russian roulette (see The DeerHunter). Sam sermonizes to the three punks before blowing his own head off. Apparently, he makes such an impression with his soliloquy that it inspires the lead bad guy to blow his own head off as well. By this point in the film, we were all rooting madly for death, because that meant the credits would soon roll and we could move on to important things like tweezing our moles and shampooing our pets.