Steve G 🟨🟥’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maniac Cop is a film that has a few more smarts to it than you might think, and even so it is still determinedly dumb.
It starts at a real burn. Most slasher films start with one murder and then there's usually about half an hour where we get to know the characters and nothing really happens. Here you get three of them, one after another and then the rest of the film is also off the beaten track in many ways.
Although it starts off with the great Tom Atkins as the main protagonist, it then switches late on to Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon. It then has a subplot where it's revealed that Sheree North is in cahoots with Matt Cordell or Robert Z’Dar, whichever you find more terrifying, and you're not really sure which way this is going at certain points.
It's really a cut above most slashers in terms of how its plot pans out, but also in terms of the quality of cast. It was an amusing move to cast William Smith as one of the cops in this movie, a similarly hulking physical presence to match Z’Dar, and almost amusing as Atkins’ fake smile.
Well worth a revisit but I think first time round I preferred the sequel although I can't see how that's possible with no Smith or Atkins. Hmm.