Thursday, October 15, 2015

Horror Review #15 - Maniac Cop (1988)

In honor of Throwback Thursday, a horror movie that came out when I was 18, that I had still not seen until tonight (although I have seen a couple of the sequels).  Throwback Thursday is a little new to me, because until recently, I was still living in the 80's.  I mean, what's to recommend sleazing one's way through the 90's or 00's?  Not much anything of note happened then, and I've only been semi-conscious since the late 80's, anyway.  1988 was the year I graduated high school, and started college.  It may have felt like Miskatonic University at the time, but I managed to get through it without being sucked into a dismal hell-plane.  Unless of course, you count the rest of my life since college, in which case, I probably was.

Maniac Cop (1988) is the story of, well, a maniac cop.  The action begins pretty much right away, with a woman fleeing a pair of purse-snatchers and possible rapists.  Managing to get free after their initial assault on her, the woman flees to a police officer at the edge of a park.  She runs up to him, only to have the impassively large form of the policeman grab her by the throat, lift her bodily into the air, and savagely snap her neck.  The pursuing criminals, who turn and flee the scene after witnessing the woman's murder, are left alone.  Enter Detective Frank McCrae, who happens to know the dead woman, and is lead detective on the case as the slew of murders by the Maniac Cop continues.  McCrae wants to start looking into police officers who might be on the edge, anyone capable of murdering innocents, but then his superiors start the cover-up.  Apparently, having people walking around scared of police officers is bad for business.

Maniac Cop was actually a pretty good horror flick for the late 80's.  Frank McCrae is played by Tom Atkins, who was in a slew of horror flicks back then, everything from Halloween 3 to Night of the Creeps (one of his, and one of my, favorite horror flicks) to The Fog.  Bruce Campbell, of Evil Dead and Army of Darkness fame (who also has a new series premiering on Halloween on Starz!), plays the prime suspect in the string of grisly murders. The late Robert Z'Dar, who is pretty much only famous because of the entire manic cop series and who sadly just passed away earlier this year, actually plays the title character of the Maniac Cop.  But that's not a spoiler, since it's patently obvious to anyone watching the movie that Bruce Campbell's character is being framed.  There's some familiar faces in the rest of the cast, but not anyone who spends a lot of time on-screen.

I'm surprised I hadn't managed to catch this movie before tonight.  Apparently, it's not played on TV very often, and I'm not really sure why.  The special effects aren't terribly great, I mean, it's basically just some fake blood and prosthetic scar tissue, but they work fine considering there's no horrific explosions or weird-looking aliens in this movie.  Meh, I guess it's just one of those decent 80's movies that they just never seem to show anymore, but it's still definitely worth a watch, if only to find out exactly how the Maniac Cop got his start.  I caught this movie for free on hulu.com, and apparently, there is a remake that's going to start filming next spring.  I found it fun just to see something starring Bruce Campbell that didn't have the Necronomicon in it.

Woohoo!  Finally caught up.  Review #15 on the 15th of October!  Now all I have to do is find and review another 16 horror movies in the next two weeks and two days, while still enjoying the plethora of other horror movies on TV and the internet that I've already reviewed in the last six years of blogging, AND managing to catch the slew of fall colors before autumn dips into the seven months of winter coming up.  Not even mentioning that November is national Novel Writing Month, and I'm STILL trying to start and finish a novel in 30 days time (which I've been trying and failing to do for the past 6 years), and I have to prepare for that as well.  Wheee!  Stress can be so much fun when you self-medicate with alcohol!  :-D

That's all for tonight.  Going to relax with a drink and a horror movie.  Til tomorrow's horror movie review, then.

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