Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop
Director: William Lustig 
Release Date: 13th May 1988
Rating: 18
Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment 

A cop is going around murdering innocent people, he’s a maniac, maniac! Welcome to the world of B-Movie horror, but it seems someone forgot to bring the funky cheese to the party. Instead they brought the stale kind. 

Maniac Cop tells the tale of a cop going out at night to murder a bunch of people. Why he does it, we do not know, that’s Detective McCrae’s (Tom Atkins) job. He seems to believe everything people tell him and so goes off to hunt for clues while everyone else sticks the blame on cop Jack Forrest, who has been set up for the crime. It’s up to McCrae and Jack’s adulterer Theresa (Laurene Landon). The set up has potential, especially when we learn a little more about the killer and his transformation into who he is today, but it typically takes the easy route with predictable reveals. Everyone acts like an idiot, fight scenes consist of Maniac Cop throwing people around and the acting is stiff. It is almost like watching a violent version of Scooby Doo. Though it would be meddling cops this time rather than kids.

It has all the trappings of a B-Movie horror, but it doesn’t deserve the cult status like some of them do. It has nothing on Evil Dead, thanks to the boring script, repetitive fight scenes and lack of stand out extravagant gore. Even the Maniac Cops big reveal towards the end is disappointing, you expect something a little more shocking when his face has been in the shadows for an hour or so. He looks far more menacing when he lurks in the darkness and you wonder what his mug actually looks like. But any atmosphere is quickly sapped away by hum drum action and obvious direction. I didn’t see THAT coming you might sigh.

Maniac Cop has an interesting concept for a slasher, but fails at every turn. Predictable, stiff and slow, just like my… nevermind.


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