Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop ★★★


Seriously, that is the best tagline ever in a movie.

William Lustig, responsible not only from the surprisingly complex slasher thriller Maniac (1980), but for the doubtful sequels as well which I am not interested in, passes a severe trauma from a deeply troubled collector of female scalps to a brutally abused cop that is now stalking the nighttime streets of New York City and assassinating innocent people.

When discussing slashers of the eighties set in Yew York City, I must be reiterative as to why this decade was so entertaining. Horror was an artform that had to be carefully crafted, and the suspense and atmosphere in here are superb. This is definitely a much less serious, action-packed slasher thriller than Lustig's notorious and infamous, Savini-embellished classic of 1980, but it surely gives one hell of an entertaining ride. It doesn't matter if everything plays by the book of clichés; Lustig is still concerned with granting the audience the psychological motives behind the "maniac" in question and faithfully embraces its eighties vibe superbly. It's so eighties you can't stand it; it's gorgeous.

Props to the utterly amazing soundtrack! I had to pump up the volume to enjoy it to its full extent, which was hauntingly nightmarish during the horror sequences and exciting during the action sequences. It's almost even better than the film.

So yeah, it's a neuron-killer; all it's got going on is Campbell being an unfaithful idiot that barely got what he deserved (I was disturbed by the fact that the awesome Campbell had to impersonate an unlikeable character), atmosphere, soundtrack and the NYC of the eighties. Everything else is predictable and formulaic, and it unfortunately does not exploit its potentially great social commentary regarding police authorities and the abuse of power. Instead it opts for granting the killer questionably supernatural, bullet-proof and anti-chest-impaling abilities in a very Michael Myers fashion with no believable justification. But hey, it has basically the main ingredients that horror fans seek out in that deliciously-looking decade.

By the way, did I mention Bruce Campbell is in this? That makes it a mandatory viewing.


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