fatpie42’s review published on Letterboxd:
Best thing: The premise is set up very cleverly as a mystery to be solved. It's very cool how the shots are composed so that we never see the maniac cop's face and we also can seriously believe that witnesses to his crimes won't have seen it either.
Worst thing: While it was disappointing to see Bruce Campbell playing it straight, he's fine in the role - if a bit bland. What was odd for me (and nothing was wrong with the performance) was the way the female officer who arrests people who pay for prostitutes by posing as one still has the same overdone makeup in her uniform. We are now pretty used to seeing female police officers with their hair tied back, but she seems like she's ready for a night out and it just makes her look unprofessional as an officer. Perhaps I’m blaming on her outfit what is really better explained by her performance. I never really get the impression that she’s had police training. (Or perhaps it’s the direction. Bruce Campbell seems distinctly lacking in decorum here too.)
Maniac Cop begins with a series of shots of a police officer dressing, putting on his gun holster, his badge and other accessories. I found it a little dull. I think living in a country where the police generally don't carry guns the image of a scary police officer isn't so creepy. That being said, I'd also note that most deaths here don't involve guns.
The central villain here is scariest while his face remains hidden. When finally his face is revealed, he doesn't look so intimidating. When the film moves away from its initial mystery to an all-hell-breaks-loose scenario I was reminded of the film The Hitcher. That film had a rather creepier Rutger Hauer in the lead role.
Overall this was a lot of fun but lost momentum in the second half when it crossed a line and became a bit too silly. But in the first half the mystery absolutely gripped me.
My review is here: