Monday, January 26, 2009

Maniac Cop(1988)

There are many different uses for the word bad, especially when it involves movies and other sources of entertainment. Some people might say I like bad movies, but I prefer to say I like good-bad movies, or bad-good movies. It’s really all the same thing. I don’t like all bad movies. There is a great deal of garbage out there that I can’t even stomach. My review of My Bloody Valentine can attest to that.

Maniac Cop was a bad movie. But it was mad fun, making it a good-bad movie. It also starred the king of Good-Bad cinema, Bruce Campbell. If you are unfamiliar with Bruce, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog, or breathing my oxygen for that matter.

I’m serious.

New York City circa 1988 is the backdrop. Manhattan Island wasn’t exactly the Disneyland it is today back then. Street crime was a real problem. So when getting mugged by shadow-walking thugs, you would think a man in blue uniform would be a ray of hope in the urban wasteland. That’s not the case here. See, there’s a rogue cop on the loose, and everybody is a target. Especially innocent people. The deaths start out fairly random: a female bartender escaping from potential rapists, a young couple snogging at a traffic light, and a drunk returning home from the bar. The department seems to think it’s a maniac posing as a cop, but Detective Frank McCrae thinks differently. He thinks the actual maniac is a cop. He also thinks that the NYPD is involved in a cover up. Like any good stereotypical loose cannon, he is going to get answers by any means necessary. Including leaking sensitive information to the media. Not the smartest loose cannon on the force, in my opinion, or the opinion of his superiors. Because of the media hype, people in the city are in hysterics. Not only are people hysterical, they no longer trust the cops. Combine the two and you got yourself a dead-cop-cocktail. Innocent cops to boot.

Thanks a bunch, Frank. You fuckin’ asshole.

Bruce Campbell plays Officer Jack Forrest, our hero. Jack Forrest is not happily married. Since he is not happily married, he tries to spend as much time away from his wife as possible. His wife has a secret, and it makes her suspicious of his motivations for being out so much. She suspects jack might actually be the killer cop. How did she arrive to this conclusion you ask? Late night calls from a mysterious, female voice accusing him as such. How intense. After following him to a motel one night, she soon discovers her suspicions were wrong. Jack’s not a murderous nutjob, he’s a fuckin’ cheater. After discovering this, she leaves in a rage, only to be stopped in the parking lot by the real maniac cop, and he’s not in a mood to comfort her aching heart. Let’s just say another one bites the dust, and Jack is the suspect for real. After he is locked up, the murders continue, and they are not so random anymore.

Maniac cop is moving up the political ladder, starting with the NYPD.

Sounds fun, doesn’t? As I said, it’s a bad movie. Not exactly something to write a film school thesis on. It’s more for the get-drunk-and-loud crowd, which I happen to be a card carrying member of. Bruce Campbell is not exactly a thespian, but he does play a great Bruce Campbell., and he is a B-Movie God. Whether he plays Elvis or annihilates Legions of the Dead, it’s all good to me. Good-bad that is.

Being a recent arrival to NYC (2+years), it is also nice to see what certain areas of the city looked liked back in the late 80’s. Although at some points the movie looks like LA, especially the car chases, it looks like it takes place in the neighborhood I work in, Chelsea. Chelsea still has some seedy aspects to it, but not as many as there were 20 years ago. The pier area is very developed at this point, to the degree that it’s a tourist spot. Quite a change from the desolate waterfront that appears in this movie.

I could go on longer, but really…it’s a bad movie. Fun, but that’s about all. I will probably eventually see the following maniac cop movies, but not in the too near future. If you feel like getting drunk with friends around the television, this is a great movie. If your looking for new cinematic meaning in life, you would probably get more value out of watching a eunuch get a hard-on.

And now the trailer

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