Maniac Cop title

Tag Line : You have the right to remain silent...Forever.

Maniac CopNew York city is being terrorised by a killer in a police uniform, however this is no ordinary psycho. This cop-turned-killer is actually Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar), an ex-officer who was framed by his corrupt superiors and imprisoned, where he was believed to have been brutally murdered at the hands of the inmates. He has now returned to terrorise the city and dole out some payback to his former bosses.

The public are outraged, believing the murders are actually being committed by a maverick cop, despite announcements to the contrary by the police commissioner (Richared Roundtree) who believes it's the work of somebody trying to discredit the police force.

Unfortunately, poor cop Jack Forest (Bruce Campbell) becomes implicated in the murders after his wife is killed by the maniac and police captain Ripley believes him to be the culprit. However, detective McRae (Tom Atkins), who is investigating the killings doesn't believe that Forrest is the real killer.

After McRae discovers that Forrest was actually out having an affair with an undercover cop, namely detective Theresa Mallory (Laurene Landon), when his wife was murdered and thereby giving him an alibi, he decides to ask her to step forward, so to clear his name. This has the unfortunate result of bringing him face-to-face with Maniac Cop himself.

Having barely survived their first encounter with Cordell, they try to warn the commissioner and police captain about who is behind the murders and get them to free Forest, only to bump into Cordell once again, with fatal results for poor old McRae.

With Tom Atkins character out of the way, Bruce Campbell is then left to carry the rest of the film on his own, which climaxes in a bizarre, but sort of interesting shoot out in the films finale.

Directed by William Lustig and produced by Larry Cohen, this is pretty low budget B-grade stuff. It's definitely worth a watch, but not one of their better works (imagine Jason from Friday the 13th in a police uniform, and it about sums the film up). I also thought that the idea of killing off the films main character (Tom Atkins) 3/4 of the way through the story seemed a bit of a silly thing to do, but it was good to see Bruce Campbell being chased around by something other than "Deadites".

Overall marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Sometimes help can be dangerous", "He Prefers to Kill, Instead of Protect".

  • Cult director William Lustig was the man responsible for the 80's slasher pic "Maniac". Larry Cohen is Probably best known for his genre works "The Ambulance" and "The Stuff" which also starred Laureen Landon, and "Q the Winged Serpent" which also starred Richard Roundtree.

  • The films budget was $1,100,000.

  • William Lustig has a cameo appearance as a Motel manager.

  • Set in New York, the majority of the film was shot in Los Angeles.

  • Bruce Campbell is best known for his role as Ash in "The Evil Dead" series whilst Tom Atkins, a regular in John Carpenter's earlier films, is probably best remembered from his role in Halloween 3. Robert Z'Dar had previously starred as a bad guy in the Stallone film "Tango & Cash"

  • Fans of the cult 70's Blaxploitation film "Shaft" will undoubtedly be familiar with Richard Roundtree who played the title role in the movie. ".

  • Look out for Evil Dead director Sam Riami, who has makes a cameo appearance as a news reporter.

  • The music was by Jay Chattaway, who is probably best known for her work on Star Trek Voyager.

  • There have been 2 sequels, "Maniac Cop 2" which is better and "Maniac Cop 3 : Badge of Silence" which is probably the best of the trilogy.

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