Maniac Cop 2 is a 1990 American action horror film directed by William Lustig (Maniac) from a screenplay by Larry Cohen (It’s Alive; God Told Me To; Q: The Winged Serpent). The movie stars Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner and Bruce Campbell.
Lustig considers this to be his best film, saying: “It was the film [where] I felt as though myself and my crew were really firing on all cylinders. And I think we made a terrific B-movie”.
Maniac Cop 2 is the first film in the series to suffer cuts by the MPAA with some of the violence trimmed to get an “R” rating, most notably the police station massacre, which appears in its entirety as a flashback sequence in Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence (which was also originally rated NC-17).
Surviving being impaled by a pipe and plunging into a river, the undead Matthew Cordell acquires a junked police cruiser, and continues his killing spree through New York, attacking a convenience store in the middle of a robbery, and killing the clerk (the thief subsequently being killed in a shootout with police).
As Cordell stalks the streets, Officers Jack Forrest and Theresa Mallory are put back on duty by Deputy Commissioner Edward Doyle, who has the two undergo a psychiatric evaluation under Officer Susan Riley.
While out at a newsstand, Jack is knifed through the neck by Cordell, leaving Theresa distraught, and prompting her to decide to appear on a talk show to inform the public about Cordell, the police having kept Cordell’s supposed return covered up (Commissioner Doyle was involved in originally framing Cordell and sending him to Sing Sing).
While en route to a hotel in a taxi, Theresa is joined by Susan, and the two are attacked by Cordell, who kills the cabbie, and forces Susan and Theresa off the road. After handcuffing Susan to the wheel of a car and sending her into the busy streets, Cordell kills Theresa by snapping her neck. Gaining control of the car, Susan crashes, and is found and given medical attention.
Elsewhere, a dancer named Cheryl is attacked in her apartment by Steven Turkell, who has strangled at least six other exotic dancers over the course of several months…
” … the ‘serial killer team-up’ sub-plot gets a little annoying, but the story regains a sense of purpose towards the climax, which brings a spectacular and logical closure that the first film lacked. I rate Maniac Cop 2 over most Friday the 13th and Halloween sequels in the category of most entertaining ‘undead killer’.” Black Hole Reviews
“Director William Lustig and producer/writer Larry Cohen return for this follow-up and deliver a motion picture rarity. Maniac Cop 2 is as good, and possibly better, as its predecessor, with heightened action and suspense, making it one of the more fun and pleasurable B-exploitation actioners of the late 80s.” High-Def Digest
“Maniac Cop 2 is a thinking man’s exploitation film, improving on the 1988 original.” Variety
Maniac Cop 2 was released by Blue Underground as a Blu-ray/DVD combo on November 19th 2013, with a new 4K high-definition transfer from the original negative supervised by cinematographer James Lemmo, in 16×9-enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen with DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio (plus the original Dolby Surround track), enhanced for D-Box motion-control systems.
- Audio commentary by Lustig and filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn
- “Back on the Beat—The Making of Maniac Cop 2,” a newly produced retrospective documentary including interviews with most of the cast and crew
- Cinefamily Q&A with Lustig
- Deleted scene (The Evening News with Sam Raimi)
- Theatrical trailers
- Poster and still gallery
- Isolated music track