Sunday, March 29, 2009

Movie Review: Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Maniac Cop 2
MANIAC COP 2 - Movie Poster

Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by William Lustig

Bruce Campbell...Jack Forrest
Laurene Landon...Teresa Mallory
Robert Z'Dar...Cordell
Robert Davi...Sean McKinney
Claudia Christian...Susan Reilly
Leo Rossi...Turkell

Officers Teresa Mallory and Jack Forrest are cleared of all wrong doings from the events in the first movie, but the commissioner still doesn't believe their story about Officer Cordell--the so-called Maniac Cop--having survived death in prison to raise hell on the streets. We know the truth, of course. Not only did he beat death in prison, he beat death at the end of part one, and he's still out there, stalking the streets and killing the innocent.

And in true slasher fashion, the first people he goes after are the survivors of the previous installment. So don't get too attached to Jack and Teresa. They won't be around long.

Our real heroes this time around are the dark and brooding Detective McKinney and police psychiatrist Susan Riley, who form an unlikely alliance to bring the scarred behemoth Cordell to his knees. But, like your devout prom date, he won't be going down easy, and this time he's not alone. You see, in the same spirit of unlikely alliances, Cordell has teamed up with fugitive serial killer Turkell, who looks a lot like Charles Manson and gets his jollies by slicing up strippers (a convenient excuse to showcase a little tits-and-ass).

This film is exactly what you'd expect, and depending on your tastes, that could be a good or a bad thing. If you liked the original Maniac Cop, chances are you're going to like this one as well. It wasn't quite as fun and charming as last time--possibly because we've already seen this before, or maybe because the fun and charming Bruce Campbell wasn't around long enough to liven things up--but there was more sleazy excitement to be found here, and the action was ramped up beyond belief.

Standout scenes include a shooting range shootout that turns into a full-scale Police Department invasion (which fans love to compare to a similar scene in Terminator), an absolutely over-the-top and insane speeding bus chase, and a prison riot that breaks new ground in terms of human incandescence. Must be seen to be believed!

Seeing as how the Maniac Cop is a disfigured and seemingly unstoppable killing machine who has returned from the grave on more than one occasion, I'd wager that it's safe to say he has entered into slasher territory, but this is a slasher film done in an exploitation manner. So really, it's the best of both worlds.

If nothing else, you have to love the tagline: You have the right to remain silent...forever!

1990
Rated R
90 Minutes
Color
United States
English

--J/Metro

1 comment:

  1. The sequel is superior to the original in different ways, considering the expanded budget and scope, but I like both films equally. Still havent seen the third. I still cant believe the Cohen / Lustig team that brought us the Maniac Cops also brought the barfy travesty Uncle Sam..

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