“Maniac Cop” (1988) REVIEW

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This one has been shit on for years and I really don’t know why. It stars the great Bruce Campbell and the great Tom Atkins and it was directed by William “Maniac” Lustig.

The premise isn’t spectacular, but it’s still creative: a by-the-book cop (Robert “The Chin” Z’Dar) gets jailed on a technicality, and while incarcerated, is attacked by several inmates he helped lock up. Left for dead, he’s removed from the prison and sent to the morgue. Soon after, criminals and bystanders alike are being killed on the streets of New York. When the wife of a young cop (Bruce Campbell) winds up dead, it’s assumed that he’s been doing the killing all along. However, Campbell aims to prove his innocence and find out who has actually been doing the killing. Eventually he uncovers the truth: Z’Dar wasn’t actually killed in prison — just maimed and disfigured — and now he’s out for revenge on everyone.

Sure, the plot has some loopholes, the main one being: he wasn’t killed in prison, he merely had a faint pulse (as admitted by the coroner)…but how come he’s suddenly able to withstand getting shot numerous times, including in the head? Like, did getting jumped in the shower somehow make him supernatural?

Look, you’ll just have to suspend disbelief and roll with it. It’s 80s horror at it’s best: crime, undead cops exacting revenge, and New York – as filthy as ever.

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