Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Maniac Cop

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Maniac Cop

    Click image for larger version

Name:	cover.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	8.2 KB
ID:	384164

    Released by: Synapse Films
    Released on: 11/14/2006
    Director: William Lustig
    Cast: Richard Roundtree, Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Robert Z'Dar, Laurene Landon
    Year: 1988
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    A hulking man in a police uniform (Robert Z'Dar) is killing people on the streets of New York City - not criminals a la Dirty Harry, but innocent people and seemingly at random. The NYPD are obviously not too happy about this and Lieutenant Frank McCrae (Tom Atkins of Lethal Weapon and Night Of The Creeps) starts snooping around to see if he can figure out who or what is behind this rash of brutal murders. Commissioner Pike (Richard Roundtree of Shaft) thinks that it's someone from outside the force but McCrae feels differently as it seems like whoever is responsible has access to insider information.

    When the wife of a cop named Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead) is found in a fleabag motel with her throat slit, the cops figure he's the one responsible. After all, he admits to having been at that very hotel that night and he's not been doing a very good job of hiding the fact that he and his wife have been having some serious marital problems. When the cops find his wife's diary full of clippings about the killer and an entry where she states that she thinks her husband was responsible, Jack winds up in some very hot water indeed. The reality of the situation, however, is that Jack was at that hotel because he was having an affair with a foxy lady copy named Theresa (Laurene Landon who recently showed up in Pick Me Up - Larry Cohen's Masters Of Horror entry and who also starred in the masterpiece that is Armed Response) and that the killer is someone else entirely.

    Theresa and Jack start working alongside McCrae to figure out the real story behind the murders but along the way they start to encounter some resistance from various factions inside the precinct. When Theresa is attacked while out working an undercover job one night, and other cops and victims start turning up it soon becomes obvious that Jack is innocent but strangely enough all the signs point towards a cop who was arrested for vigilante style justice and who was killed by the inmates during his stint in Sing-Sing - but how could a cop who died years ago be running around New York killing people off at random?

    Lustig and Cohen's semi-kinda-sorta follow up to the notorious Maniac tried to cash in on the popularity of films like Robocop that were big box office at the time (the film's famous tagline “You have the right to remain silent… forever!” probably helped get people into theaters) and it was successful enough to spawn two sequels. It's a pretty effective take on the standard slasher film and throwing in the police element does make for a really interesting premise - after all, we're taught to respect and trust cops from a young age, so the idea of one running around killing innocent people at random is definitely a good one to base a horror movie around. A lot of what makes Maniac Cop so much fun is the great cast of B-movie regulars. It's not often you see John Shaft, Ash, and Hunsaker in the same movie and when you throw in the always recognizable Laurene Landon and William Smith with feature roles, it's trash movie heaven. Robert Z'Dar is the icing on the cake as the killer, he brings a really imposing persona to the screen and does a fine job playing the part without any dialogue whatsoever. Look for cameos from Sam Raimi as a TV news reporter and Lustig himself as a hotel desk attendant while boxer Jake LaMotta also shows up in a small cameo role.

    The film moves along at a really good pace and considering the fairly low budget of the movie it's packed with some impressive stunts and a few really impressive kill scenes and the finale works really well as the tension builds and the action explodes. The cinematography is quite good (Sam Raimi shot some of the St. Patrick's Day parade footage) and the film looks like it cost considerably more to make than it really did which is a tribute to the people who made it. It's not exactly a masterpiece, but as far as solid, low budget entertainment goes, the film definitely delivers.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Synapse's new 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is a vast improvement over the previous DVD release from Elite Entertainment. While there is still some grain present throughout and the odd speck shows up here and there, the murkiness that plagued that last release is gone and the difference in color reproduction is like night and day. There's a lot more detail here and everything looks much, much cleaner than it ever has before. Fine detail in both the foreground and the background of the image is strong and even the darker scenes look quite good. There aren't any compression artifacts to complain about nor is there any edge enhancement. Maniac Cop will probably never look perfect, but this disc brings it pretty damn close.

    Not only is the original English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track here but Synapse has also included newly created Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS 6.1 Surround Sound tracks exclusively for this release. If your hardware can handle it, the DTS track is definitely the way to go on this release. Sure, the 2.0 mix is nice for purists and the 5.1 track is definitely solid but the DTS track sounds fantastic. The music is spread out nicely between the channels giving the score a much more epic feel but it never overpowers the performers or the effects. There's plenty of directional action coming at you during the scare scenes, the murder set pieces and the car chases and you'll note some really nice bass response from your subwoofer when it's needed as well.

    Carried over from the previous DVD release from Elite Entertainment is the commentary track from William Lustig, Bruce Campbell, Larry Cohen and Jay Chattaway. Those who haven't already heard this track are in for a treat as it's very active, very informative and also very funny. Each of the participants has a few stories to tell and they're all in very good spirits here. Lustig talks about how he got his actual doctor from L.A. to play a doctor in the film while Campbell talks about some of the stunt work. Cohen covers the script and story ideas and Chattaway talks about the score. This is a really well rounded talk that covers all the bases and does so with a good sense of humor.

    Also carried over from that release are the six scenes that were shot for the Japanese television broadcast of the film. These don't add much of anything to the movie and they more or less feel like they're there to pad out the film more than anything else but it's nice to have them included here for the sake of completion.

    New to this disc is an eleven and a half minute interview with the Maniac Cop himself, Robert Z'Dar, from Red Shirt Picture entitled Maniac Cop Memories. Z'Dar has got some interesting stories as he starts by telling us how he got into acting and started by doing bit parts and small roles in comedies before moving on to action and horror. He talks about how Lustig and Cohen gave him the part without wanting an audition and about how much he enjoyed working with Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins. He dodges some questions about Laurene Landon, inferring that they had a relationship and admitting to owing her 'seven hundred bucks.' Z'Dar periodically breaks into character voices and seems in, shall we say, 'good spirits' for the duration but he's got some interesting stories and it's fun to hear him talk about his involvement in the film.

    Rounding out the trailers are two American theatrical trailers, a French theatrical trailer, two radio spots, animated menus and chapter selection for the feature.

    The Final Word:

    For fans who missed out on the Elite version of Maniac Cop, it's now back in print and for those who already own the disc, if you enjoy the film this newly remastered edition is definitely worth the double dip. The picture and sound are excellent and you get all the extras from the last release along with a keen new interview.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Born To Win (Fun City Editions) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Fun City Editions
      Released on: April 26th, 2022.
      Director: Ivan Passer
      Cast: George Segal, Karen Black, Paula Prentiss, Hector Elizondo, Jay Fletcher, Robert De Niro
      Year: 1971
      Purchase From Amazon

      Born To Win – Movie Review:

      Directed by Ivan Passer shortly after he immigrated to The United States from his native country of Czechoslovakia, 1971’s Born To Win revolves around a man named J. (George Segal) who lives
      ...
      05-12-2022, 01:15 PM
    • Around The World With John “The Wadd” Holmes (Impulse Pictures) DVD Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Impulse Pictures
      Released on: April 13th, 2021.
      Director: Donald U. Canard
      Cast: John Holmes, Gloria Adams, Colleen Brennan, Janice Bronson
      Year: 1975
      Purchase From Amazon

      Around The World With John “The Wadd” Holmes - Movie Review:

      “You're looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the two wonders of San Francisco. The other wonder? Me, because I've got the biggest cock in the business.”

      This narrated
      ...
      05-12-2022, 12:22 PM
    • Burglar From Hell (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Saturn’s Core
      Released on: April 26th, 2022.
      Director: Phil Herman
      Cast: Debbie D, Bryant Sohl, Barry Gaines
      Year: 1993
      Purchase From Amazon

      Burglar From Hell – Movie Review:

      Directed by Phil ‘Chip’ Herman for his own Falcon Video Productions, 1993’s Burglar From Hell opens with a huge guy in a ‘KOOL’ cigarettes shirt named Frank The Tank (Bryant Sohl) breaking into an old lady’s home hoping to make off
      ...
      05-03-2022, 11:37 AM
    • Human Lanterns (88 Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: 88 Films
      Released on: June 7th, 2022.
      Director: Sun Chung
      Cast: Liu Yung, Chen Kuan-Tai, Lo Lieh, Tanny Tien Ti
      Year: 1982
      Purchase From Amazon

      Human Lanterns – Movie Review:

      From director Sun Chung, the same man who gave us Big Bad Sis, The Sexy Killer and City War comes this grim martial arts/horror film, Human Lanterns, also known as Human Skin Lanterns.

      The film follows the rivalry between two men,...
      05-03-2022, 11:28 AM
    • The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue (Synapse Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Synapse Films
      Released on: June 7th, 2022.
      Director: Jorge Grau
      Cast: Ray Lovelock, Christine Galbo, Arthur Kennedy
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue – Movie Review:

      Jorge Grau's 1974 zombie opus, The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue was originally released on DVD back in the glory days of Anchor Bay Entertainment's Euro-Horror binge under the alternate title of Let Sleeping
      ...
      05-03-2022, 11:21 AM
    • Bartleby (Indicator) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Indicator
      Released on: February 22nd, 2022.
      Director: Anthony Friedman
      Cast: Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters, Colin Jeavons
      Year: 1970
      Purchase From Amazon

      Bartleby – Movie Review:

      Directed by Anthony Friedman from a script he co-wrote with Rodney Carr-Smith based on the story ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street’ originally written by Herman Melville, 1970’s Bartleby is centered around
      ...
      05-03-2022, 11:17 AM
    Working...
    X