Saturday, December 10, 2011
Blu-ray Review: MANIAC COP (1988)
Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by William Lustig
Distributed by Synapse Films
MANIAC COP is a film I have always known about, but for one reason or another have just never seen. The premise sounds cool and it stars two of my favorite horror movie actors (Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins), but this was just always slipped past me somehow. If you haven't seen this film either, now is a perfect time now that the fine folks at Synapse Films have released this brand new high-definition transfer of the original unaltered theatrical release version! If you are not familiar with the film, here is the basic plot courtesty of the Synapse Films website:
Innocent people are brutally killed on the streets of New York by a uniformed police officer. A young cop, Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell, TV’s BURN NOTICE and the EVIL DEAD trilogy), finds himself marked as the chief suspect after his wife is murdered. As Lieutenant Frank McCrae (Tom Atkins, DRIVE ANGRY and LETHAL WEAPON) investigates, the death toll rises and he suspects a mysterious police cover-up. This “maniac” cop must be stopped, but it might not be so easy. He seems inhuman, and ready to take on the entire police force, hell-bent on revenge!
I'm not sure why you don't hear more about this film....this film isn't talked about too much, but to me this is a classic slasher flick for sure! It was at least good enough to garner two sequels and can definitely hold its own when compared with other horror films of the 80's (the greatest decade for horror films in my humble opinion).
MANIAC COP actually reminded me of a FRIDAY THE 13TH film. I say that because the killer in this film is a big, hulking man who moves slow and [in the beginning at least] never shows his face. When we do see his face finally, it is very disfigured and we get a flashback scene to explain why. Slap a hocky mask on this beastly cop and you could have a FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 8: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN that was actually good!! HA!
I loved the fact that this killer was a cop, or at least wore a cop uniform. Policeman usually are the ones to protect us from the bad guys, so when the main bad guy is a cop, it gives the viewer a real uneasy feeling. This was noticed right from the start when in the opening scene a lady is mugged by two street hoods. She gets away and they chase her, but before they can catch her, she spots a policeman in the distance. She runs to him yelling "Officer! Officer!" and when she gets to him, you can see an instantaneous feeling of safety replace here feeling of panice and dispair. This feeling of safety and protection is short lived, though, as she sees the officer's face and is lifted off the ground by the neck. Her neck is snapped and she is tossed aside like a piece of trash. The thought of someone who is supposed to protect you being the one you have to be aware of is very unsettleing to me. Another grim aspect of the killer stalking the city being a cop is that all over the city, people now don't trust any of the police officers. This leads to a very grueling scene in which an innocent cop is shot by a motorist thinking she was about to be attacked by the "maniac cop" on the loose.
This is a great film and I recommend it for any horror fan. It was a blas seeing Bruce Campbell in another horror film other than the EVIL DEAD films. As with all their titles, Synapse Films has released this Blu-ray with tons of awesome special features including the following:
*New 2011 2K HD Restoration of the Original Unaltered Theatrical Release Version
*DTS-HD MA 6.1 Surround / DTS-HD MA 4.0 Surround / DTS HD-MA 2.0 Stereo
*MANIAC COP MEMORIES - Interview with Robert Z'Dar (HD)
*OUT THE WINDOW - Interview with Tom Atkins (HD)
*THREE MINUTES WITH DANNY HICKS Featurette (HD)
*Motion Still Gallery (HD)
*Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
*Additional Scenes Filmed for Japanese Television
*Spanish Radio Spot
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Synapse Films