×

Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop is a disappointing thriller that wastes an oddball premise and offbeat point-of-view. Writer-producer Larry Cohen's gimmicky approach has the novelty of all leading characters (male and female) working for the police force. A maniac dressed in police blues is terrorizing New Yorkers and the investigator on the case, Lt McCrae (no-nonsense Tom Atkins), is convinced the killer is really a cop.

With:
Tom Atkins Bruce Campbell Laurene Landon Richard Roundtree William Smith Sheree North

Maniac Cop is a disappointing thriller that wastes an oddball premise and offbeat point-of-view. Writer-producer Larry Cohen’s gimmicky approach has the novelty of all leading characters (male and female) working for the police force. A maniac dressed in police blues is terrorizing New Yorkers and the investigator on the case, Lt McCrae (no-nonsense Tom Atkins), is convinced the killer is really a cop.

A fellow cop with marital problems, Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell of the Evil Dead films), is framed by the killer, but after McCrae is murdered, Forrest takes over the investigation to try to clear himself, aided by his girlfriend, undercover vice cop Theresa (Laurene Landon).

Director William Lustig, who helmed the violent horror thriller Maniac in 1980, keeps the killer’s face offscreen or bathed in shadows, but it’s the massively built, angular featured actor Robert Z’Dar who’s on the rampage, avenging his being bounced from the force and sent to Sing Sing 20 years ago.

Acting is deadpan and straight ahead. Sheree North has an interesting character role as a hobbling, crippled girlfriend to the maniac, combining bitterness and pathos.

Popular on Variety

Maniac Cop

Production: Shapiro Glickenhaus. Director William Lustig; Producer Larry Cohen; Screenplay Larry Cohen; Camera Vincent J. Rabe; Editor David Kern; Music Jay Chattaway; Art Director Jonathon Hodges

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: Tom Atkins Bruce Campbell Laurene Landon Richard Roundtree William Smith Sheree North

More Film

  • Clement Miserez, Matthieu Warter

    Mediawan Acquires French Production Banner Radar Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mediawan has acquired a majority stake in Radar Films, the French production company behind “Belle and Sebastian,” one of France’s most successful family movie franchises. Headed by Clement Miserez and Matthieu Warter, Radar Films has been producing French and English-language films, teaming up with France’s top studios, including Gaumont and SND. Besides “Belle et Sebastien” [...]

  • Jojo Rabbit

    San Diego Film Festival Adds Environmental Focus

    Now in its 18th year, the San Diego Intl. Film Festival, produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation, once again steals the movie glamour spotlight from its neighbor to the north, combining major regional premieres with a focus on social and environmental issues. Running Oct. 15-20, the festival received more than 3,000 submissions from [...]

  • Alex in Wonderland

    Mandi Riggi Tells Post-Punk Tale of Rebellion in ‘Alex in Wonderland’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Aftab is a bright, feisty, British-Indian teen living under her parents’ watchful eye amid the hedonism and decay of Thatcher’s London. When her strict and traditional parents decide to marry her off to the first available Indian suitor, Aftab rebels, taking a job at a sex shop and setting off to write her own destiny. [...]

  • Festival Directors Panel at Pingyao International

    Global Film Festival Directors Talk Chinese Cinema in Pingyao

    One of the Pingyao International Film Festival’s strengths has been its ability to draw on founders Marco Muller and arthouse auteur Jia Zhangke’s powerful network of global festival directors, who this year made the trek to China’s coal country, in Shanxi province, to engage with new Chinese talent. They gathered for a panel Tuesday afternoon [...]

  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Film Review: Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

    With her horned headpiece, impossible alabaster cheekbones and high-camp attitude, Maleficent looms as by far the most iconic villain Disney ever created. Landing Angelina Jolie to play the “Sleeping Beauty” baddie in 2014’s live-action redo was a dream-casting coup for which the studio was rewarded with three-quarters of a billion dollars at the global box [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content