Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Directed by:
William Lustig

After token pre-credits flashback footage, ex-policeman Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar) returns from the grave to get revenge on some of New York's finest, starting with those who put an end to his killing spree in the first film (Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon). This time there's a cover-up subplot as Cordell's facially-scarred, ghostly avenger is after the corrupt cops who wrongfully sent him to prison where inmates slashed him up. His partner in crime (sort of) is a talkative, bearded serial killer (Leo Rossi) who is strangling strippers, while understandably perplexed officer Robert Davi, police psychiatrist Claudia Christian and others are hot on their trail. Larry Cohen's script gleefully stretches credibility to the limit, taking entertainingly wacky turns left and right, the cast (also including Michael Lerner, Clarence Williams III, Charles Napier, Claude Earl Jones, James Dixon, Sam Raimi and Danny Trejo) is good and director Lustig has a firm grip on the material, piling on the fast-paced action, violence, stunt work and pyro FX with engaging enthusiasm for his target audience. It also has one of the best car chase scenes I've ever seen. I haven't seen the original yet but I'm hoping it's at least half as fun as this one.


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