Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop ★★★

Part of Hoop-Tober 5
Movie #3

I REALLY wanted to love this film. Sadly, I only "liked" it at best. I have seen William Lustig's Maniac many many times, and this felt so much flatter and tame compared to that. Maniac Cop has a great premise, Robert Z'Dar playing a zombified corrupt cop and framing Bruce Campbell for his murders, but there just is not much to support it.

Mistake #1: You don't hire Bruce Campbell as a straight man. He feels very miscast here as the unremarkable and down on his luck Jack Forrest. Mistake #2: They got rid of Tom Savini, whose gore effects in Maniac are some of the best. The movie almost feels ashamed of its violence, as there's very little of it and the choppy editing cuts away way too fast. It feels way too serious in tone for an exploitation movie and as a result very tonally conflicted.

And with that said, there is still a lot to respect. Robert Z'Dar is great to watch as always and for how uneven and toned down the story and action are, they're still executed fairly well. It's certainly watchable and has some great moments, particularly the fast-paced and highly energetic finale, but it's a pretty sad film because there is so much potential here, but a few missteps completely neutered what could have been a very satisfying follow-up of sorts to Maniac. Nicolas Winding Refn currently has the rights to remake this film and I hope he does, because there is a lot of potentials and he would be the guy to extract it.

Eric liked this review