Maniac Cop ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"He knows! He knows! He knooows!"

To protect and sever.

This movie's something else. You'd think William Lustig just added the "Cop" moniker to his famous movie Maniac, and while there are similarities, they're quite different in many ways.

The plot is simple (were you expecting Shakespeare?). In The Big Apple, a large police officer has been seen murdering people, now they want to blame it all on Bruce Campbell. But they can't, 'cause screw you, Bruce Campbell's the man!

What a cast this movie has. Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Richard Roundtree, even a Sam Raimi cameo. And their acting is off the charts, especially Campbell's acting is just superb. I particularly love the scene where he's caught cheating by his wife, why does the man not have a bathtub full of Academy Awards? Oh, and the scene right after, where he is delivered the news of his wife's horrible demise. Tears me up every single time. Nah, but seriously, he's the best.

This is a quite well made little slasher flick. Probably because it's a mishmash of three genres (cop thriller, slasher flick and action movie) and it still holds together somehow! It's got all the tropes; brutish man with anger management issues is treated horribly by the system and "murdered", returns and vows revenge on everything that moves. The idea of having a man in uniform as a cold blooded killer is a great one though, I love how they explore that aspect of it - expectations of cops and officers of the law, the people's trust and all that jazz. It would've been even more powerful if the guy hadn't been just another hulking "Jason" in a cop's uniform though, but that's alright.

As much fun as this movie is, and as much as I like the idea, I'm still very conscious of the acting and writing at times. Like the scene where the most wanted man in the country prances into Sing-Sing and calls their coroner an idiot because there's a ghost on the loose. Movie logic. But it's got some fantastic kills (head in wet cement!), some..wonderful acting (ha), and some very moody flashback sequences - not that many slashers are missing those though. It's one of the more unique ones out there, but I see a lot of missed potential in this one, perhaps I'm taking it too seriously though. Oh, and speaking of taking things too seriously, isn't Campbell's role in this one a continuation of his cameo in Intruder? Just me? Ah well.