Order of Death (1983)

  • Year: 1983
  • Released: 15 Mar 1983
  • Country: Italy
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085366/
  • Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/order_of_death
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Crime, Thriller
  • Runtime: 113 min
  • Writer: Ennio De Concini, Hugh Fleetwood, Roberto Faenza
  • Director: Roberto Faenza
  • Cast: Harvey Keitel, John Lydon, Nicole Garcia
  • Keywords: love triangle, cop-killer, sadomasochism, gay interest, psychological thriller, cat and mouse,

Order of Death Storyline

A pair of corrupt cops spend their illegal cash on an uptown New York City apartment. John Lydon stars as Leo Smith, a disturbed teenager who plays a bizarre game of cat-and-mouse with cop O’Connor (‘Harvey Keitel’). He convinces him that he’s the notorious cop killer that has been hunting police officers. O’Connor kidnaps him and makes him his permanent guest inside his apartment. Is Smith the corrupt cop killer? Can Harvey get to the bottom of this twisted case before it’s too late, or will he get caught up in some twisted game?—TheUnbeholden

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Order of Death Movie Reviews

A claustrophobic, robustly acted, cop-baiting poliziotteschi oddity!

Roberto Faenza’s stark, downbeat ‘Cop Killer’ (aka) ‘Order of Death’ (1983) is a paranoid, palpably grimy,intermitently intense NYC-set poliziotteschi with the singularly arresting concept of pairing muscular method-man, Harvey Keitel’s brooding Lt. Fred O’Connor, against the preternaturally angsty ex-Pistol, John Lydon, whose blithely bilious, Pil-popping persona is put to lurid good use as the manipulative, morally bankrupt psycho killer, Leo Smith. With shocking bursts of violence, and fevered flourishes of Mamet-like intensity, the misanthropic, ‘Order of Death’ has more refined cinematic qualities than its current bargain-bin obscurity suggests!

This claustrophobic, enjoyably skewed celluloid oddity is enlivened by maestro, Ennio Morricone’s beautiful theme, and the increasingly tormented, Keitel makes for a memorably vexed, psychologically complex cop. While Faenza’s jittery psychodrama is flawed, the gritty film’s incendiary dynamics are undiminished,’Cop Killer’ remains a darkly compelling entry in the by-then waning poliziotteschi movie cycle; and the sweaty, antagonistic interrogation sequences between, Keitel and Lydon still make for compulsive viewing! With modest expectations, Roberto Faenza’s dingily exciting ‘Cat & Louse’ thriller is unlikely to disappoint, and should rate higher with the more obsessive Euro-crime, midnight movie addicts!

Fascinating but Kind of Sick

The acting is very good in this study of police corruption. It stars Harvey Keitel as a bad cop who has taken a great deal of money, and, with a partner, purchased a condo. When the relationship gets strained and the other guy wants out, Keitel becomes a bit paranoid, knowing that such a move could expose them to authorities. Meanwhile, there have been a series of cop killings in the city. Keitel finds himself being stalked by a young man, played by Sex Pistol, Johnny Rotten (Lydon). He has something up his sleeve, although he spends much of his time in a bathtub, wearing almost nothing, handcuffed. The former partner becomes a problems and an act takes place where there is no returning to normalcy. The young man continues to be tortured, but, at the same time, seems to be in control of things. He becomes almost wifely in a way. He pushes Keitel’s tortured conscience to the very edge. The acting is very good, especially Lydon. The scenes are really brutal. It’s a movie that makes you want to wash afterward. Still, it’s pretty captivating and well done.

John Lydon’s first and only starring role!

Corrupt (1983) was a very good film. The movie is about a pair of corrupt cops (Harvey Keitel is one of them) who spend their illegal dough on an uptown New York City flat. It’s unfurnished because they didn’t have anymore money to put furniture in it. John Lydon stars as a very disturbed youngster who plays a bizarre game of cat-and-mouse with Harvey. He convinces him that he’s the notorious cop killer that has been hunting police officers. Harvey kidnaps him and makes him his permanent guest inside his apartment. Is John the corrupt cop killer? Can Harvey get to the bottom of this twisted case before or will he get caught up in some twisted and sick mind games? To find out you’ll have to get Corrupt!

A rarely seen film that is in the hands of the public. Since their is no true owner of this movie, scores of terrible copies are floating around the market place. The only legitimate copy of this film I have seen was the mid-eighties release from Thorn-E.M.I. The true title is Corrupt, any other copy is a crappy transfer (Cop Killer) and their has been no official D.V.D. release either. Any copy on this format is nearly unwatchable and horribly edited. Try and find the old eighties copy on Thorn/E.M.I. Stay away from others.

Highly recommended.

P.S. John Lydon’s pop group Public Image Limited was supposed to score the soundtrack for this film. He even worked on the soundtrack with his band mate Keith Levene and Martin Atkins over the phone (long distance). The original title of the film was to be The Order of Death. The unused music appears on the semi-official release “You are Now Entering A Commerical Zone” album. Harvel Keitel plays an early proto-type of his future “Bad Lieutenant” character in this film.