He’s not much of a maniac. There’s really nothing manic about him. Actually, in this second film of the Maniac Cop trilogy, Cordell (the titular maniac) adopts the personality of Frankenstein’s monster as seen in Universal’s 1930s film series. He lumbers around slowly and communicates with a series of grunts. He even makes friends with an antisocial hobo rapist! I
I’m still not sure what he is. Is he a supernatural monster, or just a guy with scars?
In a way, though, Cordell is a reflection of the series itself. Where the first film had life and energy, this one just kind of staggers along.
The first Maniac Cop featured Bruce Campbell, who makes an appearance in this one as well; though the real star this time around is Claudia Christian (Babylon 5) who plays a cop/psychologist. She’s an easy improvement over the first film’s female lead, whom I remember absolutely nothing about. Joining her is a grizzled old cop played by Robert Davi. Davi’s biggest problem is that his character is just so painfully cliched. He doesn’t have the spark that Campbell’s character did in the first film; a spark that is so necessary when dealing with material like this.
The plot isn’t as interesting as the first Maniac Cop. Instead of a murder mystery infused with social commentary, we get a rather generic monster movie with a monster that isn’t particularly imposing behind his heavy and unrealistic makeup. They’ve brought the monster out of the shadows, and now he isn’t all that scary. Frankly, the scariest thing about this movie is the ’80s-era strip club.
Maniac Cop 2 is a fun, low-budget B-movie; but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. There were some interesting creative touches to be found in the first one; but now they’re just old hat. Simply put – this movie lives up the stereotype of all sequels; that they’re just lesser versions of their progenitors.
The Blu-ray, from Blue Underground, is quite nice. Video and audio quality are great, and there are a few extras, including a commentary and deleted scenes.