I didn’t love the second Maniac Cop, but I did think it was a bit above average. Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, this sequel doesn’t fare nearly as well, and I generally didn’t care for it whatsoever.
It’s not like the movie’s awful or even that much worse in quality from the second, but I didn’t care much for the route the story took, what with a corrupt cop (Robert Z’Dar, our titular maniac cop) trying to protect an injured corrupt cop (Gretchen Baker) while another corrupt cop (Robert Davi, returning in his role from the second film) does other stuff.
The beginning of the film mentions that Cordell’s character was ‘framed’ and sent to prison. I won’t deny that whatever crime he was thrown into prison for might have been a frame-up, but I will point out that Cordell should have gone to prison anyway, as he absolutely partook in police brutality, the same as Baker’s character, it seems. And on that note, Baker had every right to shoot when she did, but she was using an illegal weapon and illegal ammunition (yet she’s still cleared in the mind of her corrupt cop peer, Davi’s character), so Baker’s character also should have gone to prison had her outcome in the film been better.
My point is that there’s no likable characters in the film. Even the one with potential, a doctor (played by Caitlin Dulany), then falls in love with a cop who just literally tortured her patient minutes before. Again, jail time would be nice.
I don’t like cops, and I don’t respect cops, but this hasn’t really hurt my feelings on the first two movies (though from the beginning, I scoffed when Cordell is called ‘sympathetic’, as he’s not at all). Here, though, it grated on me because there’s not one likable character in the bunch, and their behavior appears to have zero consequence (the video that was uncovered that would have ‘cleared’ Baker’s character, again, still showed multiple illegal actions), but that’s par for the course as far as the corrupt institution of the police force goes.
Throughout the film, there are some okay kills, mostly with firearms, but a solid stabbing is thrown in. As it was, the ending rubbed me the wrong way, also, mainly because I absolutely refuse to believe that someone on fire could drive a car for twenty minutes without 1) melting the seat, 2) causing the gas lines to malfunction, 3) effect the engine, or 4) screwing up the steering wheel. Did it look cool? For the first minute or so, but then it just keeps going. And using the burning arm to light a cigarette, eliciting laughs from his new love? Ugh, kill me now.
Despite all of this, I wouldn’t even be averse to watching this again, as there were some decent scenes, but it’s definitely nowhere near as good as the first movie, and doesn’t much come close to touching the second. It’s not terrible, but it’s not good, and I wouldn’t really go out of my way to recommend this unless you’re already a fan of the series, in which case you’re like to be disappointed anyway.
This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one.