Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop ★★★

H19 – Film #9

"He'll kill again... he enjoys killing."

Considering the season itself and the recent announcement of Nicolas Winding Refn's upcoming reboot series for HBO, as well as William Hopper's strong recommendation, now seemed like the perfect time to watch Maniac Cop. And what a slice of slasher pulp it is, a genre film whose surprisingly thought-out and spirited first half unfortunately succumbs to an uneven and tepid close that still manages to entertain. For the first 30 to 40 minutes, director William Lustig and screenwriter Larry Cohen do such a great job exploring how public and police alike would react given the circumstances of this relentless psycho. It honestly subverted nearly every expectation I had for the flick, expectations that would come to pass just after the midpoint. Though phrasing the second half as such may indicate disappointment, which I suppose I do feel, the final section remains amusing nonetheless and has me curious to watch the sequels at some point.

The filmmaking throughout is rather solid, emphasizing the effort of the stronger narrative components, and every performer dives into the material with appropriate levels of severity and cheese. Maniac Cop is consistently interesting, though not entirely uniform. It'll be interesting to see how NWR spins the elements of the film into a full piece of television. If the resulting work is anything like Too Old to Die Young, we're in for a nightmarish, brazenly stylized treat from the most polychromatic depths of Hell. I can't wait!

"Whole city's goin' to hell. You can't take a pee anywhere anymore."

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a nice little cameo from Sam Raimi!

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