26 October 2010 | MetalGeek
A worthy, sleazy sequel...
William Lustig's "Maniac Cop 2" is a rare thing - a sequel that surpasses its original. Granted, the original "Maniac Cop" wasn't exactly Shakespeare (though it is a hell of fun trashy B-Movie) so that probably wasn't very hard to do. This direct-to-video follow up still holds up well as one of the better B-films of the early 90s.
We all know the story of how dedicated NYPD officer Matt Cordell became the Maniac Cop after being framed by his superiors and sent off to prison as part of a corruption cover-up. His vengeance against those who wronged him served as the plot of the first film, and as "2" opens, the horribly scarred, hulking Cordell still has a few loose ends to tie up. Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon return briefly from the first film though neither of them survives very long, and new characters are brought in to deal with the psychotic officer: grizzled NYPD detective Robert D'avi (of the James Bond flick "License to Kill") and police psychologist Claudia Christian (who went on to "Babylon 5" as well as lots of other genre TV/film). The ante is upped this time because the Maniac Cop has hooked up with a partner for this second installment (Leo Rossi of "Halloween II" fame), a serial killer who's been stalking strippers and prostitutes on New York's seedy streets. Cordell shoots up NYPD Headquarters in a hilariously over the top shootout/massacre that simply has to be seen to be believed before he and Rossi (along with a few other criminals freed from police custody) head for the prison where Cordell first met his fate, to take care of the inmates there who were responsible for his beating/coma/"death" in part 1.
OK, so the plot is ridiculous and was probably written on a cocktail napkin. That doesn't take away from the fact that "Maniac Cop 2" works beautifully both as an action flick and a horror/slasher movie. Lustig puts the pedal to the medal virtually from the first scene and doesn't let up through one bloodbath after another. Car crashes, shootouts, throat impalings, explosions -- whatever your taste in carnage, "Maniac Cop 2" will have a scene that satisfies.
The (slightly) larger budget when compared to the first "MC" go-round allows for nastier makeup on the Cordell character (who by this time is basically a hulking, undead Jason Voorhees type in a cop uniform), better set pieces, and improved stunts and pyrotechnics. Say what you want about "Maniac Cop 2," but you can't say it's a boring movie.
Fans of the "MC" series have long acknowledged that this second film is the highlight of the series. Sadly, the only DVD available in the U.S. went out of print almost as quickly as it appeared (and it was in fullscreen besides -- arrrgh!) but if you can get hold of a copy, "Maniac Cop 2" is a worthy night's viewing for action freaks and fans of cop-related carnage.