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Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1993)

Studio: Blue Underground

Video Release: July 7, 1993

Blu Ray Release: November 19, 2013

Director: Alan Smithee

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

Uh oh! Alan Smithee? For those of you unfamiliar with that name, Alan Smithee is a pseudonym that is given to a director when he/she wants his/her name taken off the film for whatever the reason. Basically, the director is embarrassed or unhappy with the final product. In this case, returning director William Lustig wanted his name off this picture and if one sees Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence, you can maybe understand why. That's not to say the movie is awful, there are moments that are enjoyable but compared to the other two films, it's the worst in the series and sealed the fate of any more future Maniac Cop movies.

Maniac Cop 3, like the second film, starts off immediately after the last entry. What we thought was a neat little Carrie-esque scare at the end of part 2 is taken literally as Officer Cordell smashes his hand thru his coffin to retrieve his badge. This is because he is resurrected by a witch doctor who brings him back to life...well, I am unsure really and this is where the problem lays in Maniac Cop 3. Larry Cohen's script is all over the place, not making a lick of sense. Strange too since he wrote the previous films which I found not to be the best written screenplays but at least were interesting and fun. Oh and comprehendible.
Maniac Cop 3

Det. Sean McKinney (Robert Davi) returns again whose close colleague, Officer Kate Sullivan (Gretchen Becker) is called to a drug store hold up and is shot by the store clerk who was in cahoots with the gunman. As McKinney is investigating the case, two TV camera men had captured the whole incident on camera but edit it in a way where Sullivan just shoots the criminal in cold blood. So where does Cordell come in? Cordell is out to get revenge on the men who smeared her name. Can she perhaps be an old flame of his?

The screenplay is a joke and one that may piss off fans of  the first two films but what more can you really do with this series? Cordell is now a walking corpse who can still drive a police car while engulfed in flames. He can be shot at point blank range without getting hurt. He is basically Jason Voorhees with a badge. Actor Robert Z'dar returns as the hulking monster who must be thankful that the series came to an end with this entry as he is given barely anything to do. Hopefully he got paid well. What I found annoying was the sudden lack of action and the forced love interest between McKinney and a lovely young doctor. The dialog is either groan inducing  or hilarious between these two, depending on how you look at it. 

I must admit I did enjoy a few action set pieces like the brief but bloody shoot out in the hospital and the ridiculous car chase at the film's climax. Like the other films, Maniac Cop 3 is filled with various genre actors like Paul Gleeson, Jackie Earl Haley, Robert Forester and Frank Pesce. I especially enjoyed the small role Forester plays as an obnoxious doctor. The scene is brief but it's maybe the best part of the whole film. If only the film was as well written and humorous as this scene.

Like Maniac Cop 2, the blu ray is rather amazing. The picture looks fantastic and the sound just blew me away. Blue Underground goes out of their way as always to bring fans a great blu ray, in it's unrated version in fact. There is no shortage of special features either as the movie has several deleted or extended scenes (none really all that good) and a fantastic featurette about the troubled production on Maniac Cop 3. Lustig and producer Joel Soisson don't hold back on their dispute during the making of the film with a smug Larry Cohen offering his two cents as well. The actors may have been oblivious to what was happening on the set but hearing some of these horror stories may make some aspiring film makers to think twice before venturing out and making their own film.

There are moments of greatness in Maniac Cop 3 but the film is just a mess and can ultimately become boring as the film goes on. It's a shame too since the blu ray and special features are really interesting to see. But is that enough to warrant Maniac Cop 3 into your blu ray collection?

Movie [Rating: 2]

Blu Ray [Rating: 4]

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