Maniac Cop (1988 – Blu-Ray)

“You always take a leak with a gun in your hand? That’s a good way to blow your balls off!”

I wanted to see 1988’s ‘Maniac Cop’ since it featured on the back-page ads of Judge Dredd The Megazine back when I was a kid. The impact of the title, the cracking tagline “You have the right to remain silent… forever!” and the totally trashy, garish and scary looking poster had my young mind excited by a film that my parents would never possibly allow me to see.  I was hoping for one of those “It’s soooo bad it’s good” experiences. For the most part it was… but a few elements like the hideously clunky wedges of exposition were just genuinely bad (It’s a fine line folks). Of course the casting of B-movie maestro Bruce Campbell gives it instant trash glamour but the woefully miscast Laurene Landon as his pneumatic love interest is simply awful. However the towering presence ofthe 6’2″ Robert ‘The Chin’ Z’Dar as the title character brings real power.

The thrilling action car-chase climax is the sort of thing they sadly don’t make anymore. The modern movie producers’ reasoning seems go thusly: Why spend pence on crashing real cars together in a thrilling, exploding, clash of metal when you can spend millions on a high concept fake-looking CGI showdown?  Sadly Arrow Videos presentation of ‘Maniac Cop’ is the sanitised UK theatre cut instead of the full blooded US X-rated version. However Arrow’s restoration of the print is lovely and overall ‘Maniac Cop’ is a schlocky blast.

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