Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In short: Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1993)

Turns out the revival of maniac cop Matt Cordell (always Robert Z’Dar) at the end of Maniac Cop 2 is the responsibility of some New York voodoo priest. He needs Cordell for something vague and hand wave-y to do with justice, apparently, though the undead cop will still spend the movie killing the guilty and the innocent alike, so no idea what’s going on there.

Cordell will show – probably (nec)romantic - interest in Katie Sullivan (Gretchen Becker), a cop who spends most of the film in a coma after getting shot. She just happens to be a protégé of Sean McKinney (Robert Davi), so the whiny cop is back with us again. She’s also framed for killing and innocent who was anything but, but given that here nickname is Maniac Katie, and she polices New York with a sub-machine gun and hollow point bullets, she’s not exactly the innocent victim of circumstance hear. Cordell’s implied search for a bride leads to him spending most of his killing time in and around the hospital she is in. McKinney obviously takes an interest.

Ah, how far the dynamic duo of Larry Cohen and William Lustig has fallen, not only from the heights of not only the wondrous Maniac Cop 2 but also the pretty entertaining original Maniac Cop! There are a couple of interesting ideas hidden away in the script here – the whole pseudo-romantic angle at least gives us a nice dream sequence – but none of them is developed at all. It’s all random goofy shit all the time, but unlike with the last film, the goofy shit isn’t cleverly embedded between sleazy New York and insane stunt work. Well, we get some of the latter in the final couple of scenes, but the whole scope of the film seems much reduced since the last time out, and the plot and pacing meander in many directions, none of them much fun to witness. Well, I enjoyed Robert Forster’s little outing as the vilest physician (shortly) alive.

The film as a whole feels reduced, in fact, not just because of the comparative dearth of action, and the lack of Claudia Christian. Cordell’s killing spree feels rather lackluster too this time, and for much of the film’s running time, he could be any third row slasher killing himself through an improbable hospital. Why, even Cohen’s dialogue isn’t as fun as it usually is.

There’s just too little of interest going on here at all, so I’m happy enough the series ended with this, before Cordell could be kung-fu kicked to death by Bustah Rhymes.

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