Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop

HOOP-TOBER 2015, part 23: 2 films from 2 franchises

This has been on my radar since the old days, and I'm relieved it didn't disappoint. But it's got more going for it than just singularity of premise (cop slasher!) and a Krueger-ish mangled-faced baddie - it's actually a cleanly assembled movie in the Larry Cohen mold (he wrote and produced), telling a direct yet not-just-gory-murders-strung-together story using likable characters (Bruce Campbell! And Tom Atkins, who should have been credited as the same character in this, "Night of the Creeps", and "Halloween III", if not also "The Fog", "Two Evil Eyes", and the "My Bloody Valentine" remake), a solid procedural momentum, sporadically decent suspense, and a supernatural foe whose visage the filmmakers very shrewdly conceal until the end - because it's lousy. The makeup job on maniac cop's mug is so hokey it instantly flips the switch on him from menacingly mysterious to B-movie joke. So real credit to the movie for keeping his face in the shadows for the rest of the movie, "Jaws" style - it keeps you wondering what kind of inhuman threat he is the whole time. It would've been better not to see it at all ultimately, but I would've felt shafted if we hadn't, so they should've just tried a little harder on that makeup

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