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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 22 January 2017
Arrow Films once again delves into the low budget landscape of grunge, dirt and grime to pull out a long forgotten gem that spawned a much better sequel and a by the numbers third entry. However, this the first in the ''trilogy'' is a basic stalk n' slash entry enlivened by a hard action element that gives it audience a highly generic but nonetheless entertaining time…

On the mean streets of New York, innocent folk are being slaughtered by a killer wearing a police uniform: Is this a crazed lunatic on the rampage or indeed a real cop gone rogue? As the death toll rises and the cities' bigwigs attempt a cover-up, Detective Frank McCrae ('Halloween III' stalwart Tom Atkins) - all generic raincoat, fedora hat and side arm, heads up the investigation and all evidence points to hotshot young cop, Jack Forrest (a post 'Evil Dead' Bruce Campbell). In order to prove his innocence, Jack must team up with the grizzled McCrae and his partner Theresa (Laurene Landon) to put a stop to this maniac cop's murder spree but the truth of this unknown assailant may prove more shocking than the crimes themselves…

Riding a thin line between horror, action and social commentary, Larry ('Q The Winged Serpent'' and ''Its Alive!') Cohen's screenplay is fertile enough to ensure director William ('Maniac', Vigilante') Lustig gets the ultimate bang for anyone's buck on what is essentially a very low budget production. The concept isn't just the standard Freddy/Jason garden variety slash-a-thin of the time and has actual adult characters running throughout, rather the usual teens in peril…The whole political aspect with City Hall adds another dimension and gives the viewer something else to chew on, besides the murderizing and throat slashing. Lead Atkins heads up the movie well ably supported by Campbell and key character turns from Ken Lerner, William Smith and Richard Roundtree adder a much needed richer tapestry to what could have been a regular action/horror hybrid… And kudos to Robert Z'Dar who doesn't simply play the title character as a stuntman: His maniac cop has an almost tragic Frankenstein quality to him and greatly elevates the proceedings.

Arrow Films' UK Blu-Ray release features an amazingly detailed transfer with vibrant audio - each gunshot rings out in high velocity and every kill is dutifully rendered. The extras ain't too shabby either: Apart from that snazzy 2k restoration, we get interviews with Tom Aitkins, Laurene Landon, Larry Cohen and the usual treats of reversible cover art and trailers, etc. All in all, this is a slam dunk release (especial for the price Amazon are charging) and worthy of a place in any horror (or action) junkie's collection. Recommended.
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on 1 May 2017
The item came really fast, in perfect condition.Everything is as described. The story is great - real classic horror from 80's,picture quality is perfect.100 % entertainment.There's a lot of bonus materials on the disc and booklet, which is good.The price is cheap so, don't hesitate - BUY IT NOW!
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on 6 May 2017
what a great film and better on blu ray great picture and a pure classic worth buying on blu ray
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on 19 April 2017
loved the films, the disc is annoying though as couldnt remove the french subs
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on 1 September 2017
i like it.i am going to buy part 2
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on 11 April 2016
Exellent film uncut
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on 15 June 2017
the first 20 miniutes of maniac cop is inteřesting however it gets a bit long winded it could also be a bit more gory however for fans of cheesy 80s horror it is one to watch
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VINE VOICEon 25 December 2013
Up until the early 90s New York City was a very different place when compared to the vibrant cosmopolitan/metropolitan of culture and coffee shops with free Wi-Fi of today. It was a very dirty city filled with porno theatres, pawn shops, and crack houses where you couldn't walk ten feet without getting mugged.

In the absence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, morally sound/suspicious cop Matt Cordell makes it his duty to lay waste to the criminal scum infesting the city, but soon he goes too far and his maniacal ways catch up with him.

Grizzled Detective McCrae and rookie beat cop Forrest (that would be Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell himself) team up to track down Cordell, who has been dubbed the 'Maniac Cop' by the New York media, who have stirred the city into a frenzy by implying ALL cops are to be considered suspicious.

There's more plot than is necessary for what is, in essence, a disposable 80s slasher flick, but it's nice to have those satirical layers, which are even more relevant now in an America with a rising police state in which even small, local forces are being heavily militarized with so-called 'rights' going out the window. In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled that police do not have duty to protect and serve anymore, only to enforce laws. Contemporary America is a breeding ground for many Maniac Cops, which lends the movie and ironic and prophetic edge, and makes it ripe for a remake.

Writer Larry Cohen (who also gave us The Stuff, Phone Booth, and Cellular) and director William Lustig have no illusion that they are delivering a trashy exploitation flick and everything in the movie is a testament to that from the harsh, sleazy cinematography to the mostly unattractive locations. Lustig even casts a woman with a disgusting cold sore in a bit part with many facial close-ups. Gross! But for a film set in New York it is so very, very obviously film in Los Angeles with anonymous flyovers of New York pasted onto it. Not really a big problem, but extremely noticeable. The only real gripe I have with Maniac Cop is that it sets up a lot potential that is never properly realized. The sequels were bigger and glossier, and aesthetically very different, making this first entry a bit of a weaker false start, but it is entertaining and Matt Cordell, despite being the antagonist, is a sort of tragic anti-hero in the mold of Jason Voorhees which is a mark of a superior slasher flick.

The Blu-ray features the movie in all of it's grainy, grindhouse glory. There's not a significant amount of damage to the print but the stress lines and dirt are quite obvious, if not intrusive. The 1.85:1 1080p picture is an accurate representation of what the movie would have looked like in cinemas back in 1988 and I am happy with that. The LCPM 2.0 sound good, but the source audio was never going to be great, though Jay Chattaway's engaging score comes through clear as a bell. There are a decent amount of extras including some interesting interviews. The BD itself comes in a slipcase with a clear 'window' and a reversible cover featuring FOUR different poster arts. A booklet containing notes on the movie is found within as well as a folded, double-sided poster.
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on 8 January 2017
When old (and by ‘old’ I mean in the eighties!) horror films are discussed, you normally hear about the Friday 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. Granted, they were the most successful, yet for some reason the unsubtly-titled ‘Maniac Cop’ never really gets a mention. This is surprising for two reasons: the first is that it stars Evil Dead lynchpin Bruce Campbell and, secondly, it’s actually quite good.

Okay, so when I say ‘good’ I kind of mean that it’s good if you know what you’re getting. And you should. In the same way as if you watched ‘Snakes on a Plane’ you should know what kind of film you’re about to sit down to. Maniac Cop is a horror, vaguely slasher film, although rather than having an unstoppable brute mercilessly stalking a bunch of over-sexed teens, you have an unstoppable, well, maniac policeman stalking people in a major U.S. city.

But, fear not good citizens, for every nut-job with a badge who wants to hack you to pieces for running a red light, there’s an honest cop waiting to solve the mystery (and a mayor who doesn’t want to admit that there’s a problem – kind of like that official in ‘Jaws,’ but we’re dealing with a shark with a truncheon here). So, our decent, law-abiding boy in blue sets out to investigate the strange sightings of a cop out of control. But our hero isn’t Bruce Campbell. He’s also in it, but spends a large portion of the film in a cell. That’s not really a spoiler as it happens almost directly after meeting him. However, he does – as in many cheesy horror films – tend to steal every scene he’s in and the film wouldn’t be half so much fun without him (even if his ‘boomstick’ never makes an appearance.

As I mentioned, Maniac Cop never received the attention other – equally B-movie – horror flicks got and perhaps that’s because it’s (if I’m being generous) a little uneven (and if you don’t like the film you’ll probably call it ‘all over the place plot-wise). It’s like it really wants to be taken seriously as a film, yet exhibits no real traits of anything other than a B-movie horror film. Everyone plays it straight and there’s nothing particularly tongue-in-cheek here. The plot has various elements and threads which start heading in one direction, only to go off in another. Like I said, this could be a deliberate attempt to mislead the audience by the writer, or it could just be sloppy writing. We may never know.

However, what I do know is that Maniac Cop – for all its numerous faults – is actually quite good fun and well worth a watch if you’re into horror (and Jason-style slasher) films in general. See it quickly before it’s remade for the worse (Evil Dead, I’m looking at you).
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2015
This is a fantastic transfer of this b movie classic from Arrow Films. Maniac Cop features the inimitable Bruce Campbell in a story about a psychotic mass killing police officer. With a great cast, good story and a fantastic director Maniac Cop is popcorn entertainment at its best. There's elements of a cop thriller story mixed with a great horror story throughout and it doesn't disappoint with its epic finale. Recommended for classic horror fans. A must for your collection.
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