Thursday, July 9, 2009

Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Released two years after Maniac Cop, the second installment ups the ante with a higher body count, more explosions, more crashes and even more killers. It’s bigger, it’s badder, but is it better than the first Maniac Cop?

Maniac Cop 2 starts off exactly where Maniac Cop left us hanging…after a spectacular crash into the harbor, undead police officer Matt Cordell is still at large. A few weeks later, Officers Forrest (Bruce Campbell) and Malloy (Laurene Landon) are still trying to convince those in charge that Cordell is not dead. Unfortunately, he gets to them before long, and it’s up to Lieutenant Sean McKinney (Robert Davi) and police psychologist Officer Susan Riley, to try and find out the truth about Cordell and the new rash of killings that have been occurring.

Meanwhile, the disfigured Cordell is befriended by New York City’s serial killer of the week, Turkell (Leo Rossi), who is being hunted by the police for killing strippers.

Can Lieutenant McKinney and Riley stop both Cordell and Turkell as well as getting to the bottom of why Cordell is so intent on revenge?

Writer/producer Larry Cohen and director William Lustig return again to bring fans Maniac Cop 2, the sequel to 1988’s Maniac Cop. Instead of the genre-bender that the first film was, part two takes things in a more straightforward “crime-thriller” direction. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we loose some of the levity and humor from the first film by doing this. In return though, we get the action turned up to 11! Car chases, explosions, people on fire and 10 more deaths than the last film are what round out Maniac Cop 2!

While the kill scenes aren’t nearly as gory as the first film, there are still some pretty sweet ones in there, including an epic scene where Cordell breaks into the station and bloodily guns down a bunch of cops in order to break Turkell out of jail. The jail-break scene is probably the most memorable and bad-ass in Maniac Cop 2, with good reason! There is also a breaking into prison scene where Cordell gets revenge on the prisoners that originally killed him…as he is on fire! There’s still some of that silly tone from the first film to be found as well, including a scene where Cordell handcuffs Riley to a steering wheel of a car, while she is still outside of the car, and puts the car in drive as Riley dodges oncoming cars, walls and traffic cones! Maybe this scene wasn’t exactly meant to be funny, but I found it hilarious!

The only thing that didn’t really feel right within the film was the subplot of Turkell, the stripper strangler. While it certainly made the story more interesting and it was fun to watch the crazy character, it just felt out of place. You’re never quite sure why Cordell befriends the killer as well – does he really need his help? Is he just lonely? Does he relate to another serial killer? I was just never quite sure about that part of the script, which isn’t even really focused on until the last half of the movie.

Other than that, though, Maniac Cop 2 is an action-packed spectacle that really must be seen to be believed! It may sacrifice many of its horror elements for a more straightforward action flick, but the result is well worth it! You get more of everything – explosions, car chases, shoot-outs, people on fire, run-away cars and so on! If you are looking for a film that packs a punch, take a gander at Maniac Cop 2! Just make sure you’ve seen the equally excellent Maniac Cop first!

Buy it on Amazon!

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