Looks like we’re all going to have the right to remain silent… forever – again! Looks like Maniac Cop, horrordom’s most popular pissed-off zombie policeman, will soon be back stalking the beat for the first time since 1993.
When I saw the article over at Fangoria my immediate reaction was, “Now they’re remaking Maniac Cop?” Turns out, no, they aren’t. Fango reports that at this past weekend’s Anthology Film Archives screening of the first two Maniac Cop flicks in New York City, director William Lustig broke the news that he and franchise screenwriter Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, The Stuff, Q the Winged Serpent, and much more greatness) have finally acquired the sequel rights within the last month and are preparing to give us a fourth installment in the Maniac Cop franchise.
Those uninitiated to the greatness that is Maniac Cop, the franchise has always combined action and horror in presenting the wrath of Matt Cordell, a decorated NYC cop… You know what; instead of me explaining it, just let the opening lyrics to the awesome rappin’ theme song to Maniac Cop 2 (that graced the opening of the first ever Foycast) tell the story:
It means that the Maniac Cop’s around
Once upon a time he was a super cop
But the bad guys framed him to make him stop
They put him in prison where they tried to kill him
But he broke out
Now he’s the villain
Bullets won’t stop him
I know that sounds like jive
We’re not sure if he’s dead or alive
Set him on fire
Shoot him with an uzi
But he’ll show up in your Jacuzzi
You can run him over
You can feed him poison
Push him out a window and it only annoys him
You better believe me if you think I’m lying
When he shows up people start dying
He’s out for vengeance and he can’t be stopped
That’s why they call him the Maniac Cop
The original 1988 Maniac Cop became a cult hit and, honestly, how could it not have? How many movies can purport to have the awesome might of Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, and Shaft together in one film?
Though for my money, the 1990 sequel Maniac Cop 2 is not only the best of the franchise, but also a personal favorite of mine. Any movie that has the guts to kill off Bruce Campbell in the first 10-minutes must have truly great things in store for the audience. It does. That end credits song alone makes it the best of the series.
Unfortunately, then came 1993’s Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence to help kill the good will of the franchise. Despite a few cool moments, it’s pretty stinky. What made it all the more unfortunate; the crummy nature of the film was due in tremendous part to creative interference from producers who seemed to be almost determined to sabotage the film. A tax shelter deal, I think. That behind the scenes story was somewhat infamous back in its day.
But today is a new day, a great day in fact, and now after 15-years it looks like Matt Cordell can again don his uniform and police baton with a huge knife in it and go back to once again terrorizing the streets of New York City and tormenting the boys in blue as part of his eternal vengeance against the powers that be.
Regarding the prospects of Maniac Cop 4, Lustig said, “I don’t have any more details other than that; this all happened within the last month, so it’s so fresh… When I get back to Los Angeles, Larry and I are going to sit down and work on something.”
I suspect the only person more excited than me about this news is title star Robert Z’Dar. And maybe Robert Davi.
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