Maniac Cop Review

Movie: Maniac Cop
By: Maniac E
Date: November 15, 2012

He Prefers To Kill, Instead Of Protect

The 80tees were a time where everything was possible, the one after another slasher movie appeared and quality was farfetched. Iconic movie star Bruce Campbell turned in his chainsaw for a badge and started working at the blue force! Just to make the neighborhood a better place. He's up for the task to end the killing spree of a "Maniac Cop".

All of a sudden almost out of nowhere this giant cop comes out of the dark night and starts murdering innocent New Yorkers. It's as if he's on some kind of insane mission to get everyone in the city to fear and hate the NYPD. After a string of killings the Maniac Cop's rampage seemed to have come to an end when police officer Jack Forrest, Bruce Campbell, is taken into custody for the murder of his wife Ellen, Victoria Catlin. We know from the start that it wasn't Forrest who's the "Cop Killer", a cop who kills not someone who kills cops, because he was in bed with his partner woman police officer Theresa Mallory, Laurence Landon, at the local Sleazebag Motor Inn at the time of Ellen's murder. In fact it was Ellen who suspected her husband of being the Maniac Cop and followed him there and, to her great relief, found out that her deepest suspicions wasn't true but that he was only cheating on her by bedding down his police partner. With Forrest put away the killings stop but it's not that the Killer Cop was put away but that he, and what we later find out with the help of his girlfriend crippled policewoman Sally Noland (Sheree north),had gone undercover and out of sight until the real target of his murderous actions let their guard down.

maniac cop

One of the best things about Maniac Cop is the quality of the cast. Bruce Campbell,Tom Atkins,William Smith and Richard Roundtree give inspired performances. Robert Z'Dar despite not speaking a single word is perfect for the role as the Maniac Cop. His imposing and mean features add credibility to the character and makes it the perfect killing machine. Memorable moments include when Cordell drowns a victim in wet cement and when he makes decisive use of the blade contained his nightstick on a drunk driver.

maniac cop

Lustig's decisions as a director must be truly applauded. Not only is the movie tense and gritty, but he has shown admirable restraint in choosing to avoid the constant shock tactics of the time, thus avoiding the audience ever becoming desensitized to the horror and the scares the movie delivers. In most movies from Maniac Cop's era you have seen a full body shot of the killer by the time you're 15 minutes in, whereas Lustig's killer is only seen in fleeting appearances, often merely a hand with a knife or a dark shadow on the horizon, disappearing as swiftly as he appears. This makes him truly menacing as opposed to merely imposing, as he almost seems to be one with the night.

maniac cop

Maniac Cop is one of those movies where you don't need to think just watch and see the killings happen. The pace of the movie is getting a bit in the way of it being a real fun ride but for the people that can dig the slasher genre it is a must see! It does everything right for a slasher movie plus it is still watchable now. This gives the movie an edge when looking into most slashers around that time.



Image quality

Transfer isn't perfect, but this is nevertheless a sturdy, stable image that should highly satisfy longtime fans. Fine object detail is only fair, but the boost in resolution allows for slightly more revealing textures on complex surfaces such as faces, police uniforms, and odds and ends around the city, inside the police station, and elsewhere. Bright daytime shots fare best in terms of delivering more vibrant and sharply-detailed imagery, whereas dark nighttime scenes feature slightly crushing blacks that see backgrounds and dark foreground objects appear to melt together.


Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is available for this release which is always an upgrade of the older dvd that was released. Now hear the screams all around you!



Everything is good it is an old movie and the transfer has been updated but in the end what can you expect. The sound is decent and makes sure you will here all the screaming and more. The new Cultproof series is feature other trailers of the movies that are included in the series. DFW is getting some nice releases for this. More to come soon!

Dutch Film Works


Maniac Cop


Maniac Cop


William Lustig






Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon