Maniac Cop 2 (1990)
By: Julian on June 29, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Magna Pacific (Australia), Region 4 PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 83 minutes
The Movie
Director: William Lustig
Starring: Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Robert Z'Dar, Laureen Landon, Bruce Campbell Screenplay: Larry Cohen
Music: Jay Chattaway
Tagline: You have the right to remain silent…forever!
Country: USA
William Lustig is one of the most underrated horror film directors ever. After directing two hardcore porn films, Lustig made his horror debut with the sensational exploitation film Maniac in 1980. Lustig followed this with a low budget revenge film Vigilante before directing the genre classic Maniac Cop in 1988, which was written by Larry Cohen of It's Alive fame. After a number of fun but unmemorable action vehicles, Lustig returned to direct Maniac Cop 2, an enjoyable horror romp that resurrects the Maniac Cop for some more slaughter.

Before I delve into the review, it's necessary to give a little bit of background on the Maniac Cop for those who haven't seen the original. The Cop is a lumbering, disfigured hulk of a man who stalks the streets of New York, killing at random. The reason? The Maniac Cop is Officer Matt Cordell, a policeman wrongly sent to prison as a result of high-ranking police corruption. Being a police officer, Cordell is automatically hated behind bars and is murdered by a gang of inmates. Rising from the dead, Cordell turns the tables, killing at random to avenge his own death. Maniac Cop 2 picks up a couple of minutes before the original ended, with the Cop himself, skewered in the chest and in a van moving at high speed, driving off a Marina into what would appear to be a watery grave. Only thing is, the Maniac Cop survived and now he has a purpose – to kill those who murdered him.

For fans of Lustig, the Maniac Cop franchise or action/horror in general, this is a must see. Robert Davi (uber villain of License to Kill) stars as the detective after the Maniac Cop, and Claudia Christian plays Susan, a police psychologist who begins to question her own sanity after seeing Cordell in action. Horror fans are sure to delight in the relatively short appearance of Bruce Campbell, star of the first film and Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy.
Presented in full-frame 4x3, Maniac Cop 2 looks very good. There was little to no moments of grain, dark scenes show full blacks and the colours are vibrant.
We're given an English 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack, which is quite good – sound is generally clear but some periods can be quite muted at times. Lustig regular Jay Chattaway is Maniac Cop 2's music man, but the score is pedestrian eighties horror movie fare at best.
Extra Features
A theatrical trailer is about as special as it gets.
The Verdict
Immensely entertaining and filled with crowd-pleasing gore, Maniac Cop 2 is an excellent sequel to a genuine cult classic. The dread-like suspense of the first is traded in for more blatant scares and there isn't enough Bruce for my liking, but this still showcases Lustig working near the top of his game. While the Magna Pacific DVD may not be excellent in terms of special features, this is still as decent a release of a B-grade sequel Region 4 is likely to get. Cheesy dialogue and bloody corpses deftly blend to create a fine example of beer-and-pizza viewing. Highly recommended.
Movie Score
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