Maniac Cop

When I was in college, my brother took a trip to Thailand. When he returned to the United States he presented everyone with gifts and the gift he gave me was Maniac Cop 2. Unfortunately, the movie was in Region 3 since it was bought in Asia and I couldn’t play it on anything I could get my hands on. I always regretted that. My brother had no idea that the DVD wouldn’t work and somewhere in my travels I lost it. It’s probably a lot easier to watch it now, Region 3 or not. Still, the movie intrigued me and he bought it for me because it had Bruce Campbell in it and he knew I was a huge fan of the Evil Dead series.

Over the years I continued to be a fan of the Evil Dead but also a fan of Bruce himself. He seems to love all of the fans of schlocky horror and is really good at poking fun at himself. He finally achieved more mainstream success when he got a main role in Burn Notice. So, yes, Bruce Campbell attracted me to finally checking this movie out. However, it also includes three other notable actors in it as well. Tom Atkins is arguably the lead protagonist of the movie and you may know him from my favorite movie from the Halloween franchise (Halloween 3: Season of the Witch). Richard Roundtree makes a prominent appearance, an interesting break from all of his Shaft movies. Finally we have Robert Z’Dar whose strange bone structure is easily recognizable especially in movies like Soultaker (easily one of my favorite MST3K episodes).

I should probably mention the elephant in the room. This movie is about a man dressed as a police officer murdering people. Lately this has become a frighteningly commonplace news item to see an officer of the law killing a suspect or innocent person with excessive force. Of course, this isn’t a new thing. All of us alive at the time remember the Rodney King beating and the riots that ensued. Before that there was the excessive force employed against the civil rights movement in the sixties. There have been many other instances of a person with a badge overstepping the boundaries and injuring or murdering somebody. Obviously, this movie draws on that fear we feel when we see a cop car or a police officer in public even though we have done nothing wrong. I’m glad that the protagonists are also cops which helps remind us that their are good guys out there too.

The movie is actually far from a cheap eighties afair that I thought it would be. They actually poured quite a bit of money into it and the effects and cinematography are top notch for a horror film. The movie has a similar feel to movies like Death Wish and Wolfen. A lot of movies back then had a dark, grainy quality that worked with horror movies like this. One year later Batman would be released but this movie feels like it’s from the late seventies instead. New York is shown as indifferent, paranoid and angry especially when it comes to police officers. It’s not an optimistic film nor does it have any sunny characters. Even Bruce Campbell is without his trademark quips.

This was a movie about a police officer, back from the dead to kill the innocent and those who wronged him. Easy comparisons could be made to Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers but this killer is far more intelligent. By keeping the villain silent and shooting him beautifully, they were able to keep him mysterious and menacing until the end of the movie. I definitely recommend checking this one out as it has a lot of good, suspenseful fun.

(Check back here at noon for the next movie!)

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One Response to “Maniac Cop”

  1. Media Update 10/13/2016 | Wolf of Words Says:

    […] Maniac Cop 2 Sequel to Maniac Cop […]


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