Today DVD critic Tom Levier looks at a classic movie in his collection.
For those of you who thought Snakes On A Plane was the first movie where title told the public what to expect from the film before they even bought a ticket (snakes, planes, do the math) I have some very bad news for you.
You couldn't be more wrong. I hate you.
No, no, no…come back here, I don't hate you. I was just kidding. We cool?
For my money no other film title tells you more about what you should expect to see than the 1988 slasher film Maniac Cop, because the movie is indeed about a maniac cop.
It really must have been the fastest pitch meeting in Hollywood history when they shopped around the idea for Maniac Cop:
MOVIE STUDIO GUY - Got any good ideas for a movie?
PRODUCER - Okay babe, you'll love this one…Maniac Cop!
MOVIE STUDIO GUY - Interesting…what's it about?
PRODUCER - It's about a maniac…but get this…he's a cop!
MOVIE STUDIO GUY - No way!
PRODUCER - Yes way!
MOVIE STUDIO GUY - I love it! Here's a lot of money!
And that's how movies are made.
New York City in the 80's must have been a frightening place to live; crime was up, the economy was down, Billy Ocean music everywhere… if only there was a cop who could tame this tough town… a Maniac Cop perhaps?
The problem is this maniac cop threw out the rulebook about the same time he lost most of his face in a prison shower mishap (don't ask) and now he disembowels anyone he encounters with his nightstick/ginsu knife which is not standard Police issue by the way.
With everyone in the Police department more concerned with the upcoming St. Patrick's Day parade the only one who thinks a crazy cop might be behind this is detective Frank McCrae (John Carpenter movie staple Tom Atkins) a whiskey slugging trench coat wearing member of the burned out cops division.
McCrae comes to the aid of fellow officer Jack Forrest who is framed by the Maniac Cop for all the killings. Forrest (played by B Movie god Bruce Campbell, one of the greatest actors of his generation) was caught doing a little "undercover" work with a female officer by his wife, and when the wife turns up drawn and quartered, Jack is thrown in jail which means he probably won't be allowed to march in the parade.
As with all slasher movies where the origin of the killer is revealed, we learn the reason why hard working Police Officer Matt Cordell became a maniac cop, a career changing decision any cop will tell you will not get you a gold watch and a pension when retirement comes around.
Forrest chases down Maniac Matt for a classic man vs. psycho showdown, and the ending leaves the door wide open for sequels, which of course there were.
I have never seen Maniac Cop 2 or 3, but here's what happens in those movies:
Part 2 - Maniac Cop kills more, nails Lois Lane and defeats Genral Zod.
Part 3 - Manaic Cop kills even more, returns the ring to Mt. Doom.
Well, that's what I was told.
Tom Levier lives in New York City. He is not a licenced DVD critic. Don't tell anyone, okay?