Silent J’s review published on Letterboxd:
24. Any movie starring Tom fuckin' Atkins!
First off, I am finally DONE with this challenge! It took a lot longer than I planned, but I'm glad I went through with it. Thanks Todd for compiling such a great challenge! I've discovered so many gems and interesting flicks I never would've seen if I didn't take part in it. And I'd rank Maniac Cop among those wonderful gems.
Due to the cases of police brutality in recent years (and especially this past summer), there's something unsettling about not only having a "maniac cop" as the villain, but watching the panic and fear it creates among citizens in the film. It all feels eerily current; maybe more current than it did in 1988. That alone makes it work as a horror film. It also helps that the music and shadowy cinematography add to the already creepy atmosphere. Plus, the script is laced with intrigue that keeps you guessing at every turn and gives you chills at every turn knowing there could be a cop in uniform at any turn of the street corner. Also, it stars B-movie legends Bruce Campbell and Tom fuckin' Atkins. As always, they don't disappoint.
For a B-movie, Maniac Cop features A+ storytelling that deserves a look. If you can handle the uncomfortable vibe the film gives in light of recent real life events. It's a time capsule worth checking out because it remains relevant after 25+ years.