With a deep stinker cast and the classic script-writing of Larry Cohen, we've got all the elements for an amazingly awesome bad movie. Robert Z'Dar becomes a murderous Frankenstein in pretty nonsensical plot with lots of action and bad acting to boot.
In a double plot of framing another cop for murders (without any evidence) and trying to kill the Mayor (who doesn't have a role) and the Commissioner (Richard Roundtree), Maniac Cop fails to achieve both of these things. It also fails to tell a full story. If a story consists of a beginning, a middle and an end, this film appears to be only the middle. The beginning of the story is only told briefly in exposition and a tiny flashback of hardly any new knowledge and then the end of the film appears to be a setup for just the next scene...that doesn't come.
It's also pretty difficult to define exactly what Maniac Cop is, not the movie but the character. Is he undead? Or is he just so brain-damaged that he's immune to death? If he's undead, is he a zombie? What the hell is he? Well we figure it out but we're gonna make you listen to the podcast to find out what Maniac Cop actually is.
Laurene Landon paves the way as the best bad actress of the year as she struggles to deliver a single line. It's not really her thing though...the acting. So we'll forgive her as she's arguably the biggest riff opportunity of the film.
It's got ups and its got downs, slow pacing and fast action. Which may not work for all (one reviewer, Sam, barely gave it a do) but its loaded with enough stinky goodness for all.
Over the top action:
Good Movie Quality:
Bad Movie Quality: