Maniac Cop 2 (1990) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray]

One thing you have to give it to the “Maniac Cop” movie series (as well we William Lustig and Larry Cohen) it that it tends to off the more interesting characters without much preamble amounting to some great plot twists. I never expected Tom Atkins to die in the original “Maniac Cop,” and it’s kind of a surprise to see Bruce Campbell, the dashing hero from the original movie, murdered brutally by the titular Maniac Cop. It’s a great entry way in to such a weird, zany slasher series.

Renegade police officer Matthew Cordell (Robert Z’Dar) once roamed the streets of New York City unleashing his murderous brand of vigilante justice upon its denizens before being struck down by good cop Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell). Now, Forrest is eager to move on from those heinous events, but he is stopped short when a familiar killing spree begins. Though thought dead and gone, Cordell is back from the grave and ready to wreak his merciless havoc once more.

While not as polished as the original film, William Lustig’s follow up is a very good follow up that drives the film home on the classic slasher tropes. Much like the “Friday the 13th” series, “Maniac Cop 2” is even set very shortly after the original making both films feel like a singular experience. The only thing I never quite enjoyed is that Lustig basically stages a meta-remake of “Maniac” where Cordell befriends and becomes something of a confidant to a maniacal serial killer prone to murdering gorgeous women. That said Robert Z’Dar is a lot of fun as Cordell, while Robert Davi and Claudia Christian are great as the film’s heroes, tasked with finding a way to stop Cordell and his reign of terror. Lustig and Cohen jump from B movie squad to B movie squad (Campbell to Davi and Christian) and never miss a beat with a follow up that’s bigger in scope and still so much fun in its nastiness. 

The new 4K UHD transfer from Blue Underground includes an audio commentary with director Bill Lustig and Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). It’s a commentary that previously appeared on the Blu-ray release of Maniac Cop 2. It is a very informative and very honest commentary with an abundance of information about many of the most memorable sequences in the film, the production history (including comments about the fist film) and the funding of the sequel, the creative atmosphere during the shooting of the film, the film’s premiere at Cannes, etc.

There are also a gallery of trailers, including the International trailer, the UK teaser trailer, the French trailer, and the German trailer. The Blu Ray Disc includes the feature, along with the aforementioned special features. There’s also the Isolated Music Score presented as DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. There’s also Back on the Beat – The Making of Maniac Cop 2, a very informative forty seven minutes featurette that focuses on the production history of Maniac Cop 2. The featurette contains interviews with director Bill Lustig, writer Larry Cohen, actors Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner, Leo Rossi, and Robert Z’Dar, et al. The featurette was produced by Blue Underground with association with Red Shirt Pictures.

The twenty nine minutes Cinefamily Q&A with Director William Lustig, follows a screening of Maniac Cop 2 where director Bill Lustig answers a series of questions about the shooting process, the funding of the film, the different locations used and and seen in the film, some of the most memorable actions sequences, and the stunt work, etc. The Q&A session was filmed on September 14, 2012. There’s a Poster and Still Gallery featuring a collection of posters, advertising materials, lobby cards, color stills, B&W stills, behind the scenes stills, deleted Sam Raimi scene, and VHS covers. The gallery was compiled by Gregory Chick, finally there is a Deleted scene titled The Evening News with Sam Raimi.