Maniac Cop 2 4K &
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence 4K
review by Bobby Blakey
There are so many variations on the slasher and revenge genres. During the 80s these were all the rage with the 1988 film Maniac Cop bringing both together starring Robert Z’Dar as the crazed cop. The film did well enough to spawn two sequels featuring the return of Z’Dar and co-starring Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Charles Napier, and Bruce Campbell, Paul Gleason, Jackie Earle Haley, Julius Harris, Doug Savant, and Robert Forster across both films. Now Blue Underground is bringing Maniac Cop 2 and Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence to 4K for the first time ever.
Maniac Cop 2 follows officer Matt Cordell was once a hero, but after being framed by corrupt superiors and brutally assaulted in prison, he sets out on a macabre mission of vengeance, teaming up with a vicious serial killer to track down those that wronged him and make them pay… with their lives!
Let’s start with these films and let me say they are far from good films, but instead guilty pleasure fun genre grindhouse. I remember seeing the original and finding it pretty fun and clever in the way they shot it so of course I wanted to see the craziness of the sequel. There isn’t anything fresh or stand out to this chapter, but they seemed to have a bit more money to play with or just spent it better. The story is still ridiculous in the best way possible and shifts it towards the action side with a couple of great sequences including one shooting up a police station similar to the original Terminator and an awesome two person fire burn.
I was a bit let down with the look of Z’Dar’s make-up this time around. They had him looking more zombie like and it just looked silly, but I appreciate them trying to make him more monstrous and menacing. This film is everything I love from 80s horror and action in the best and worst possible way. The 4K transfer looks great and better than I remember watching them on VHS. Of course these are no doubt a guilty pleasure flick for most and I for one and one of them.
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence follows officer Kate Sullivan who storms a hostage situation and the whole incident is captured on tape by an unscrupulous media crew who edit the footage to show Kate killing a helpless victim. Now in a coma, Kate's only hope is Detective Sean McKinney, who desperately tries to clear her name. But unbeknownst to him, “Maniac Cop” Matt Cordell takes it upon himself to exact revenge upon those responsible for smearing her name.
Right out the gate this entry plays up the supernatural side to bring back Cordell. Sure it was implied in the previous films, but this one dived right in. It is also all over the place using a lot of previous footage and filler in what appears to be an attempt to have a full fleshed out film. It limps along trying to build the mystery and takes forever to get any of the good Maniac Cop slaughter that fans want. I will give them credit for yet another couple great fire burn stunts with one merged with a car chase that's pretty awesome.
I find it a funny choice to at one moment have Cordell smashing through things like a mindless monster and then the next unlocking handcuffs with a key as opposed to just breaking them apart. It’s just more of the unbalanced nature this film offers between the long uninteresting element of solving this case and chaos we just never get quite enough of. When it finally does happen it is decent enough complete with some fun shoot outs, but nothing that ever really elevates it to anything memorable.