1. Get invited to a dinner party your friends are hosting. Text the hosts asking if they would like you to pick up a film at Le Video for later. When one of them texts back Samurai Cop understand that this is not a joke. You may think that it is, but it’s not. They want you to go into Le Video and ask the cashier for Samurai Cop. They want you to embark on an adventure.
2. When you enter Le Video check your text to make sure the film is actually called Samurai Cop and not Karate Cop for if you ask for Karate Cop, you will feel like a fool and walk out of the store filled with a shame that you will carry with you for many years to come.
3. When you do ask for Samurai Cop, the first cashier will pause to think if they have it, while the second one will quickly say in a whisper: “Upstairs. Action.” You know then that he has seen this movie more than once, and probably more than twice.
4. When you slip the DVD out from its hiding place, marvel at its cover. It’s a hand-drawn cop holding a bloody samurai sword in one hand, and an even bloodier head in the other. Think to yourself, “I think this is good. I think we’ve chosen right.” Then notice the wedding ring on his finger. Samurai Cop is taken. But that’s okay, he wasn’t your type anyway.
5. Pay for the movie. Don’t shop lift! Le Video needs your help. Get a little sad when you realize you have to renew your account and it costs an extra five dollars. Feel poor. Remember to go back to that one Indian place you saw that had a help wanted sign. Look up some other Indian dishes besides naan and tikka masala when you get home. You want to seem qualified.
6. Decide you will make garlic bread for the dinner because people like garlic bread and garlic bread is easy. Get all the ingredients. Bread. Garlic. Butter. Parmesan. Parsley? No, that’s too much. You’re poor, remember? Realize you’ve never made garlic bread before and you and your boyfriend are already roasting the garlic wrong. Decide it doesn’t matter. It will probably be better this way. High-five and feel confident.
7. Show up to your friends house with brownish chunky garlic bread and at least two bottles of wine. Don’t worry, there will be at least one more bottle there.
8. Have a delicious meal with friends and talk expectations. What is a samurai cop? A cop who fights with a sword. Is he Japanese? No. Can he speak Japanese? It says he does on the back of the case. Decide that you should all just wait to watch it. Start talking about how to fry tofu. Apologize to the one guy you didn’t realize was vegan because all you brought was delicious buttery garlic bread. That’s okay. More for you.
9. Drink more. Watch one of your friends play Hotline Miami. Putter in the kitchen. Repeat.
10. Fill your glass. Insert disk. You are now ready to begin.
11. Try to watch the intro with Joe Bob Briggs. Laugh at the beginning because it’s so strange. Then realize it’s too strange and that Joe Bob is actually pretty boring. Skip to the actual film.
12. Realize very quickly that this movie may be one of the worst films you will ever see. Be grateful you just drank a lot of wine.
13. Watch the samurai cop preform only bad karate. Feel better about almost calling the film Karate Cop earlier at Le Video.
14. Realize that Samurai Cop has a black sidekick that the DVD case calls “puckish.” Laugh at this on an off throughout the film.
15. Feel slightly shocked at how sexual the movie is, then grow weary. It is more than once that a dopey-eyed girl will ask Samurai Cop, awkwardly biting her lip, “Would you like to fuck me?” Roll your eyes. Make a joke. If no one laughs make it again: they may not have heard. If after a second time no one laughs just know that it wasn’t funny. Spend the next couple scenes in shame.
16. Laugh at how ridiculous Samurai Cop looks. Extremely tan. Long hair. Small head. Thick neck. Kind of a neanderthal Tarzan. Wonder why he can’t pronounce anything in Japanese and why women are attracted to him. Shrug. Sometimes there are no answers.
17. Keep making jokes until people do laugh. Feel good. You’re so funny! You and your friends are now a regular comedy team. Zings comin’ left and right. Reward yourself with more garlic bread.
18. Get to the part with actual sword fighting. ‘FINALLY’ someone will say. Chuckle. Realize the two men fighting have probably never held a sword. Laugh. They look like children. Then feel a little sad. They look like children. Be glad when they quickly ditch the swords. It was a little too painful to watch.
19. Watch the credits role knowing that a lot wasn’t really resolved. And wait! Samurai Cop isn’t married! And he never cut off a head! Grumble about the deceitful cover.
20. Go to special features. Look at stills. Snicker. Tire. Go to commentary with Robert Z’Dar. See that he’s extremely overweight and sad. Get depressed QUICKLY. Realize you’re about to graduate.Think of the future. See yourself in a button up t-shirt with skulls and flames on it and balding head and small pony-tail. Get depressed. Look around at friends. See them happy and talking. Realize that you all are different from Robert Z’Dar and Samurai Cop. Feel hope. Know that you have a future. Feel relief and also joy for being in a room with such wonderful people. Celebrate with some garlic bread.
21. Return the DVD to Le Video the day that it’s due. Not because you wanted to watch it again, but because you like to live on the edge. Slip it silently into the DVD slot. Wonder where it’s off to next. Wonder where all the people who worked on it are today. Promise yourself you will write something better. Promise yourself you will finish that draft. Promise yourself you will get a job and start saving for your own feature.
22. Enter the store and rent something else. Feel happy that for some reason you’ve never been able to enter a video store without renting something. Embark on another adventure.