joakim dreams of peace’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hooptober 5.0 - He's a maniac, maniac on the floor - The 26th entry, 29.10.2018.
Produced and written by B-movie horror expert Larry Cohen, the fatal 80s slasher race Maniac Cop by William Lustig introduces a (former) cop... who is a bloody maniac. He kills - with no mercy! After the heat rises up, Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins and Laurene Landon have to stop Maniac Cop's reign of terror.
Honestly, I would have wanted to see Bruce go crazy AS the maniac fully in the style of Evil Dead 2 instead of chasing the bastard, but the ending result of Maniac Cop is tingling nonetheless. Cohen's script and Bill Lustig's directing create a faceless embodiment of police brutality, shattering the people's trust in the law in the form of a sleazy low-budget horror event. Oh the violence entertainment, so cruel and so fun! If you edited some footage of Trump joking about police violence, could the film be a well-timed satire for the modern age?
To go back to Mr. Campbell, again, I feel like Maniac Cop needs or would have needed more of him to be truly terrific. And adding to that, the film could have benefited from taking itself a bit less seriously; like BlacKkKlansman taught us this year, humor can add further layers and strengthen the impact of serious themes.
Yet, as it is, the social commentary in this bleak world with Lustig's twistedly entertaining action makes the experience certifiably special. The last twenty minutes - where Bruce thankfully receives more screen time as well - bring the Maniac Cop baby home with the power of few efficient kills and a fine car chase sequence. Unfortunately for us, the threat of maniac cops might never end.