Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop ★★★

Maniac Cop (1988)
Directed by: William Lustig
Written by: Larry Cohen
Starring: Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, & Laurence Landon


Hooptober 5.0: Ethan (Finally) Joins the Fight! - Film #12: 4/6 Selected directors: Lustig
7/10 Anniversary films

”You always take a leak with a gun in your hand? That's a good way to blow your balls off!”

When a lunatic wearing a police uniform begins to stalk the night, killing innocent people, the local police division is in a panic trying to find out who did it. All of this leaving an effective, yet morally grey cop framed for the actions of someone else.

I really wasn’t excited to jump into the other William Lustig movie I had queued up for Hooptober. I found Lustig’s previous film: Maniac to be a dreadful experience that’s as boring as it is stale. Thankfully, Maniac Cop was a better experience, but it’ still not particularly a good film.

The strongest aspect to this entire film has to be Bruce Campbell in the leading role. Although Bruce infamously hates this movie, he brings the right amount of charm to his performance that he becomes the shining star of the whole ordeal. Tom Atkins also has a leading role within the film and he’s rather great, and Laurene Landon is rather good in her role, too, but honestly, only in certain areas. Everyone else who gives enough of a performance to be a real, dedicated character are all pretty bad, if I’m to be frank.

Probably the only other real notable thing about this movie is the VFX work, which, in terms of its violence, is pretty mediocre, but in tandem has some extremely crazy stunt work. I do not know how much the stunt double for Campbell was paid, but whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t enough to hang onto the side of an armored police truck, barreling down a peer, only to crash into a bunch of debris, sending the truck, you, and loose pieces of wood and metal flying into the air, and hopefully landing in the water nowhere near you; that is borderline suicide, but very visually impressive. Honestly, all the other stunt work in the movie is really good, too, providing some of the most entertaining kills and thrills this more “indie” side of the slahser movement had to offer.

If I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t find much else to be particularly great or entertaining. The filmmaking is pretty alright, but nothing special, the remainder of the performances are pretty terrible, the plot is yet another simple “who dunit” movie with a rather cheesy conclusion, and half of the VFX were pretty shoddy to say the least.

Maniac Cop is by all means, superior to Maniac, despite there being no real relation to each other outside of the director and the word: “maniac”, yet again, that doesn’t mean this movie is without its glaring faults. If you’re interested in some of the smaller slasher movies of the 80’s, Maniac Cop delivers what you want, just don’t expect it to reinvent the wheel, or do anything particularly interesting.

Parents Guide:

Violence: 6/10
Language: 5/10
Sexual Content/Nudity: 4/10
Drug/Tobacco/Alcohol Use/References: 4/10
Intense/Horrifying Content: 6/10
Personal Recommended Age: 16+
Original rating: R