Where do you turn when the uniform that’s been the representation of safety and protection all your life is now the symbol of fear, murder, and evil? That is the question posed by Maniac Cop, William Lustig and Larry Cohen’s eighties ode to urban unrest and paranoia.
When a pair of thugs witnesses the woman they were chasing being murdered by a police officer, Det. Frank McRae (Atkins) finds himself fighting against both the commissioner and city hall as he tries to bring the killer to justice. Matters are made all the more complicated by the death of officer Jack Forrest’s (Campbell) wife, whose body is found in the same motel room that she caught him having an affair with fellow officer, Laurene (Mallory).
The powers that be assume that Jack is the murderer, and pin the other recent slayings on him, however McRae has another theory; one that involves cover-ups, deception, and a “supercop” long thought dead.
Maniac Cop combines the socio-politically charged humor of Larry Cohen’s best scripts with the dark and grimy tones of William Lustig’s earlier “Maniac”, and this winning formula (with the help of a great cast of horror icons) makes for an entertaining and oftentimes funny flick. While Maniac Cop doesn’t exactly offer up a lot of scares, it still packs a visceral punch, and Robert Z’Dar’s hulking, shadowy presence is chilling all by its lonesome.
Synapse Films presents the cult-classic film in a special edition DVD that sports a new widescreen anamorphic transfer, mastered in high definition, and it looks spectacular. The night scenes, so muddy in previous incarnations, now look sharp as a tack, with perfect contrast.
The DVD also boasts an all new 6.1 DTS, 5.1 Dolby, and original 2.0 Dolby Digital audio tracks, and a feature commentary with Director William Lustig, writer, Larry Cohen, star Bruce Campbell, and composer, Jay Chattaway. Rounding out the extras are several trailers and television spots, an interview with Robert Z’Dar, and a slew of additional footage filmed for the Japanese television broadcast (featuring Maniac Cop 2’s, Leo Rossi).
Maniac Cop is yet another cult-classic to get the Synapse royal treatment, and, with the excellent new transfer and audio mixes, it’s never looked or sounded so good.