Customer Reviews: Maniac Cop [Blu-ray]
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VINE VOICEon May 21, 2007
First of all, let me clarify that the four star rating only qualifies in the genre of slightly-schlocky gore. For those of you that don't appreciate this type of movie, it's more like one star. But if you're looking to buy the DVD and reading this review, I have a feeling you're into this.

That being said, this is top quality when it comes to off-kilter horror action. A monstrous killer dressed like a cop is on the loose in New York, killing innocent people instead of criminals. One cop lets the paper know that they think it's a cop gone bad, which turns the public against the police force.

As the terror level escalates Bruce Campbell is framed for the murder of his wife, and becomes the lead suspect in the brutal killings. Now, only Bruce and two other cops know the chilling secret of the maniac cop, and will stop at nothing to try to stop him.

Although there are numerous amounts of "what the...?" sections in this film, it's still mindlessly enjoyable and Tom Atkins' performance as a hardnose cop keeps the film tenuously grounded in reality.

If you're into Bruce Campbell and silly horror movies, then you can't go wrong with Maniac Cop. If you're at all averse to either of those, then don't even bother thinking about it because you won't appreciate the hidden quality of such a classic as Maniac Cop.
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VINE VOICEon January 6, 2007
This Larry Cohen flick (produced and scripted by Cohen but directed by William Lustig) is a clever hybrid of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA story, 1970s and 1980s cop films, and the slasher sub-genre of horror cinema. But instead of an opera house, the venue has expanded to include the entire city of New York, and the wronged antagonist is not a forgotten composer but is, instead, a once-good police officer (hulking actor Robert Z'Dar) who was used as a scapegoat by higher-ups and was subsequently murdered in prison at the hands of thugs. Slasher-film elements come into play when the resurrected cop leaves a trail of corpses in his wake as he heads to city hall to even the score with his former bosses.

As is usually the case, Cohen's script is replete with dark tongue-in-cheek humor and palatable helpings of terror and blood. The gags (both the laughing and choking kind) are bolstered by the presence of horror-genre fave Bruce Campbell, he of EVIL DEAD (1981) fame; Tom Atkins, a ubiquitous face in police departments on TV and in the cinema; sexpot Laurene Landon, a Cohen favorite; and the original SHAFT (1971) himself, Richard Roundtree. There are also some delightful cameos from genre regulars like the late George "Buck" Flower, Victoria Catlin (known to genre fans from her role in David Lynch's TV series TWIN PEAKS), Judy Levitt (wife of STAR TREK's Walter Koenig), director William Lustig, and SPIDERMAN (2002) director Sam Raimi.

The Special-Edition DVD of MANIAC COP from Synapse is well worth the price of admission. It offers a crisp, rich digital transfer of the film in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (enhanced for 16x9 TVs) with the original Stereo SurroundSound soundtrack (as well as the option of using new Dolby 5.1 or DTS 6.1 soundtracks). Extras include a delightful feature commentary with Larry Cohen, Bruce Campbell, and William Lustig; a new interview with the Maniac Cop himself, Robert Z'Dar; theatrical trailers, including one from France; and much more.

MANIAC COP is a must-see for fans of Larry Cohen and slasher-flick fans, and the Synapse DVD will make a nice addition to the film collection of any horror fan.
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on October 4, 2012
one of my best early 80's horror, tom atkins,bruce campell,richard roundtree. How in the world you can go wrong with this gem blu-underground has done a bang up job on the presentation of this blu-ray a must have 4 horror genre fans.
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on June 17, 2015
A mixture between 1980s exploitation movie and modern urban thriller, Maniac Cop stars cult movie stalwarts Bruce Campbell, Richard Rowntree and Tom Atkins. A movie moot is that the director is Jake le Motta’s nephew. For those that don’t know – Jake le Motta is the boxer whose life is depicted in Raging Bull.

The opening sequence of this film is vaguely similar to that of the first and best Nightmare on Elm Street franchise: like Freddy, Maniac Cop is getting prepared for his work – he is putting on the finer details of his uniform. There are no knife fingers here though as Maniac Cop relies on twisted justice, a truncheon, superhuman strength and size and insider titbits fed to him by an old girlfriend still on the force.

Like a lot of outings of the stalk and slash variety made in this era, MC is deeply flawed. The acting is wooden, the dialogue and story ludicrous – but we do not watch movies like this to be greeted with quality. It has no capacity to really scare either – but that isn’t a problem. It is still a joy – for all the reasons given above. No-one could call this film boring. Innocent people are being dispatched in the dead of night and by a police officer. One guy is drowned in concrete and has to be drilled out of hard pavement the next day. No-one trusts the men in blue anymore and the Police Chief (Rowntree) and Mayor want something done about it quick.

Of course those who are psychologically disturbed on the force or have ‘emotional problems’ should be looked at but as Rowntree points out ‘that would include the entire unit.’

The disgruntled wife of Jack (Bruce Campbell), cops it from MC, so he takes the wrap for it as he is seeing another woman on the force, Teresa (who does undercover vice and keeps her hooker clothes on throughout proceedings). The Mayor gives a public address to the citizenry that all is now well – only the murders keep happening (surprise, surprise).

Tom Atkins plays Frank – a white haired old timer who isn’t convinced Jack is the man they are after. Him and Teresa buttonhole a cripple who has worked on the force 20 years, Sally Noland as the link between the real culprit and the force. This is one of the best characters in the movie – apart from MC himself. Sally walks with a stick and has one of her legs in a calliper. She is hilarious. Frank follows her to a secret location where she meets MC (Matt Cordell – the ex-cop presumed dead), and she tells him that the killing of innocent people is wrong. ‘I thought you were only going to go after those that had hurt you’, she says to the hulk of a man whilst there is nought but silence back.

Frank investigates the history of the super cop that was Matt Cordell and he was something of a hero on the force until the city (The Mayor) made sure he went to Sing Sing for being too trigger happy. So the protagonist killer is not bad per se – but a twisted, disturbed angel.

When Sally leaves Matt/MC alone to ponder his actions, he remembers Sing Sing and there is a flashback sequence to a particularly brutal attack in the showers (where else?), leaving the poor duck battered and with deep facial scarring. MC cannot distinguish right and wrong now, but it is not his fault. It is the system that done it.

Needing vengeance of any sort Matt/MC goes to the police unit on a killing spree, dispatching his one true love (no MC NO!!!!), and throws Frank through a window. Not before Frank and Sally have a confrontation where Sally beats Frank with her stick screaming in frustration at no longer being able to help her tortured lover. Jack though is released from prison as there are no more cops there to guard him/keep him under lock and key. Teresa intrepid and lip glossed to the hilt goes with him to seek out the Chief Medical Examiner at Sing Sing who was responsible for releasing Matt’s/MC’s body to his woman all those years ago post shower incident.

After some pointed and determined interrogation from Teresa, the CME reaches for the scotch and recalls the truth. ‘He was more dead than alive – with severe brain damage.’ ‘A woman on the force persuaded me to give her his body, he would never have survived here – NEVER.’ ‘What was I supposed to do?????’ They leave him to finish his scotch only for a nurse to come in and give him a St. Patrick’s Day present. It appears to help.

The planned City Parade is still going ahead in spite of the spate of killings – or so says the news reporter to the camera filming the parade outside the municipal building which houses The Mayor. Cue inside the building and a very worried mayor is frightened that MC is out to get him. With some feasible justification one would have thought. Jack and Teresa return to the City and Jack leaves his glossy gal to go tell the powers that be the real story that they got wind of at the Examiner’s office.

Matt/MC is there already and another spree occurs culminating in Teresa escaping through the window and being followed by Matt/MC. Jack is down at the bottom of the building and gets thrown into a police van of humongous proportions (by MC) and a car chase starts with Teresa following captured boyfriend. ‘I know where he’s going – he’s going to pier 14’, Teresa informs the police officer driving the car chasing the van.’ Pier 14 is where Matt/MC simulated his own death with the aid of Sally – his own love all those years ago. Marvelous.

Breaking out Jack clings onto the side of the van (why, Jack why???), whilst Matt/MC plunges van, Jack and himself into the river, complete with supporting beam plunges into some vital vital organs. No-one trusts that he is dead (wonder why???), so the truck is raised out of the river and (surprise, surprise), no Matt/MC. Though we are given that telling glimpse of scarred hand raised out of the water to preamble the next sequence…..
Cue Mayor drinking scotch in his office looking pretty smug. Not for long a pair of soggy police shoes are hiding behind a curtain……and the twisted lullaby music is in the air which can only mean one thing…..

You can guess the rest.
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on November 27, 2013
If you're a fan of old school, 80's, B Horror movies, or Bruce Campbell then you'll love this movie. Bruce Campbell is great as usual in it and the underrated Tom Atkins is his usual bad ass self. There's not a whole lot to say about this film because you'll either love it or hate it. It's pretty much a cop version of Jason Voorhees exacting his revenge from beyond the grave. So if cult horror films are your thing then give this a try and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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on November 22, 2013
Synapse blu-ray release of MANIAC COP is excellent,
better than the synapse special edition DVD release years ago
the picture and audio have been upgraded to HD widescreen transfer
and it looks and sounds excellent, best quality this film is ever going to get i think
any fan of this film knows the plot so this review is about this synapse blu-ray release
and U.K. Arrowfilms blu-ray of Maniac cop
which has more special features than the synapse release
this synapse blu-ray release has
Maniac cop memories which is Robert Z'dar interview
plus there are 2 new interviews on this blu-ray Interview with Tom Atkins and Danny Hicks
but very unfortunate no interviews with Bill Lustig, Bruce campbell or Laurene Landon
but there's additional scenes from the Japan release
aswell as still Photo Gallery, TV spots and Trailer.
the DVD release has commentary by Bill Lustig and Bruce campbell, this blu-ray release does not
so take your pick, get the blu-ray release with more special features or just get the DVD.

I also have the U.K. arrowfilms blu-ray of Maniac cop aswell which you can still get on
this U.K. blu-ray release is only region B but also has an HD transfer so both versions are similar
but this U.K. blu-ray has even more special features than the U.S. synapse blu-ray
there's an interview with writer Larry cohen, interview with Tom Atkins and Laurene Landon
plus other extras aswell
so both synapse Blu-ray Maniac cop and arrow films Blu-ray Maniac cop
is definitely worth the money for sure,
both are HD widescreen and loaded with all new special features/interviews.
so you might aswell scrap the dvd release and get this blu-ray version
i gave them both 5 stars,
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on May 21, 2016
I don't know if anyone else had this problem, but it seemed like there was a problem with the syncing of the words and sounds with what was happening on the screen. Otherwise the picture and sound quality were good. A good '80s horror flick. Look for Bruce Campbell in one of his early film roles.
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on May 24, 2013
Now I've known about the Maniac Cop movies for awhile now and I've finally watched the first one and I have to say it's pretty darn good at points. It can be a little slow and boring at times but the overall atmosphere and acting saves the movie. The kills are ok but nothing to special. The plot is really cool with instead of it being a serial killer on the loose it's one dressed up as a cop so it sets the stage for a who done it kind of thing. Bruce Campbell makes a nice appearence in it as a rookie cop. Overall it's a very solid slasher flick from the 80s that's a little different from the norms and I like that. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic by the way so it's worth the purchase.
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on March 9, 2015
Maniac Cop 1 & 2 is perhaps meant for those thriller seekers. I found both movies to be quite different from the movies I have watched over the years. Decide for yourself if you wish to watch this type of movie or not.
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on May 15, 2015
Great movie! One of my favorites as a kid and still love it. And why not killer cops, murder, suspense and Bruce Campbell. What more could u want? Definitely a movie to watch if you like 80s suspense/horror movies!
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