Robert Berlin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maniac Cop starts out absolutely amazing with a haunting atmosphere and a premise that feels very interesting and different from the rest of the 80's horror line up.
The story centers around a serial killer who murders innocent people in New York City while wearing a police uniform. Already there does our main villain have a very special kind of terror surrounding him. Unlike a chainsaw-wielding hillbilly or a hockeymask wearing psycho a cop is someone that you could actually trust and believe in.. Before it's too late to run away. Maniac Cop distincts itself by not only being a suspenseful horror thriller, it is also a rather effective critique of corruption amongst law enforcers and the public's increasing lack of trust in them.
Amongst the actors the ones that make the biggest impressions are Tom Atkins as a worn out Lieutenant and Bruce Campbell as a young eccentric police officer, the rest of the cast doesn't get enough screentime or are just pretty bland and forgettable.
The titular Maniac Cop is a menacing figure who is effectively hidden by shadows and evasive camera angels, that is until the finale part of the film where everything kind of fall aparts. The finale showdown between the hero and the villain feels rather uninspired and not something worthy of a film that was so haunting and effectively thrilling in it's earlier parts (but the very final shot felt very rewarding). Also the makeup effects for the maniac cop is kind of.. lazy. I expected a lot more and to be honest he was a lot more frightening when his face was hidden by the shadows.
In the end, Maniac Cop is a pretty damn good horror film with a great atmosphere and a villain that distincts himself from the rest. But a disappointing finale and some other nitpicks stops me from giving it the highest possible score. Still, anyone of you that haven't seen this film yet should check it out!