This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Locke.’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Thirty One Horror Films for Halloween (2018) — Film Seventeen.
While it would have been a logical segue to go from ‘Intruder’ to 'Evil Dead II’ I decided to take the less obvious route and use the Bruce Campbell cameo at the end of ‘Intruder’ as the inspiration for my next watch.
‘Maniac Cop’ is the kind of film which in hindsight seems a lot better than it may have seemed when it first came out. Its biting social commentary (which feels even more relevant today) helps it stand out from the pack of its peers. There is nothing wrong with "Have Sex, Then Die" but this film just feels refreshingly different. Then there is the choice to focus more on brutality in the kills than outlandish gory spectacle, something which allows the special effects to hold up much better than it does in many of its peers. And of course there is the intriguing choice of a swerve in protagonists towards the end, which means you get an hour of Tom Atkins being his usual awesome self as Frank and then for the finale you get Bruce Campbell stepping up in a rare hero role that isn’t him playing Ash Williams. Although I’d totally pay to see Ash vs the Maniac Cop.
In terms of the Maniac Cop himself, he may very well be one of my favourite Slashers. Played by Robert Z’Dar, the man has such an incredible physical presence that it hardly matters that Matt Cordell’s backstory makes zero sense. It is never properly explained but it goes something like he is a cop who gets attacked and left near death, they assume this will leave him braindead but instead it seems to stop him from ageing, makes him immortal, superhumanly strong and turns him into a raging psychopath. Its dumb but I’ll take it because it is awesome.
In fact those words really sum up my feelings about this movie in general. Outside of Atkins most of the acting is pretty bad, outside of the strong execution of the kills a lot of the filmmaking is very poor and while I like the films choice to have politics, it ultimately doesn't do a whole lot with it, in fact a lot of the writing is bad enough to actively undermine the films own stance. However, none of that truly matters because if you are the right audience you'll be having far too much fun with the Maniac Cop’s rampage through New York City to care or notice. I really do like this film.