Maniac Cop ★★★½

You always take a leak with a gun in your hand? That's a good way to blow your balls off!
-Security Guard

Sleazy B-movie goodness written by one of the best in the genre, Larry Cohen, and directed by Maniac helmer William Lustig. The ingredients for a truly great slasher film are all there but it misses the mark ever so slightly... but it's still damn fun.

First off you can't go wrong with the cast. You have genre favorite character actor Tom Atkins as yet another world weary cop, a role he can play straight out of bed. Bruce Campbell is the other "top billed star" coming off all that Evil Dead II heat. I love Bruce, but here he plays against type in a role that is completely straight. I spent a lot of the film wishing he'd hit on a woman with a cheesy line or just display a ridiculous amount of machismo in some key scenes, but it never came. It's still "The Chin" though damn it. Rounding that off we get Richard Roundtree who seems to be having a ball as the Commissioner. Now Roundtree can pull off playing his characters straight no matter the film he's in and as usual it works perfectly.

Now the look of the Maniac Cop is terrific and could have stood next to some other classic slasher flicks, but there's just something missing. Despite the film being loads of fun it's just missing a bit of gore with maybe some nudity thrown in to go full blown exploitation flick. I loved the gimmick of never seeing the Maniac's face clearly till the end of the movie. I thought that worked great. Now this sounds shallow, but more blood and gore would have really put this movie over the top for me. Still loads of fun though. The Sam Raimi cameo didn't hurt either.

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