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William Lustig
Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner
Writing Credits:
Larry Cohen

A supernatural maniac killer cop teams up with a Times Square serial killer.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
French Canadian
Brazilian Portuguese
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 11/16/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director William Lustig and Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn
• Isolated Music Track
• “Back on the Beat” Featurette
• Q&A With Director William Lustig
• Deleted Scene
• Location Stills
• 4 Trailers
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Maniac Cop 2 [4K UHD] (1990)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 1, 2021)

When I last inspected the efforts of director William Lustig, I took in 1982’s Vigilante about a year ago. That one left me cold, but I figured I’d give Lustig another shot via 1990’s Maniac Cop 2.

A sequel to 1988’s Maniac Cop, Cop 2 apparently picks up right where the first film concluded. In that story, nutbag former cop Matt Cordell (Robert Z’Dar) worked in police uniform as he committed brutal crimes, mostly in an attempt to exact warped justice for wrongs done to him.

Though left for dead, Cordell remains along the living – sort of, as he seems to have supernatural powers that leave him as neither truly alive nor dead. Cordell gets back to his violent ways and teams up with serial killer Turkell (Leo Rossi) while various authorities led by Detective Sean McKinney (Robert Davi) and psychologist Susan Riley (Claudia Christian) attempt to halt his rampage.

As noted earlier, Cop 2 represented my first experience with a Lustig film after I watched Vigilante a year earlier. Prior to that, I saw 1980’s Maniac back in late 2018.

I’ll say this for Lustig: he got better as he went. Though apparently a cult classic, I thought Maniac offered an amateurish bore. Vigilante didn’t do much for me either, but at least it demonstrated a level of competence and professionalism absent from Maniac.

Without question, Cop 2 plays more like a “real movie” than either of its predecessors, though I can’t compare it to the original Maniac Cop. I never saw that one, so Cop 2 offered my first entry into the franchise.

Cop 2 won’t make anyone think it comes from a master filmmaker, but it seems more than competent as a movie. Unlike Maniac and Vigilante, Cop 2 demonstrates fairly good pacing, as it builds the narrative and tension in a gradual, logical manner.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus

Maniac Cop 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Given the movie’s age and low-budget origins, this Dolby Vision image became a surprisingly solid presentation.

For the most part, sharpness satisfied. Occasional wider shots seemed a little soft, but the majority of the flick appeared pretty accurate and well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no signs of edge haloes. With plenty of grain, I suspect no overzealous use of noise reduction, and print flaws remained absent.

Cop 2 opted for a fairly natural palette, albeit one that leaned toward the blue and/or amber/orange side of the street. Within those parameters, the hues looked well-portrayed and accurate.

The 4K’s HDR added range and impact to the tones. Indeed, sometimes this made the 4K too revealing, such as the way Claudia Christian’s bruise now looked like the red makeup it was.

Blacks felt deep and dark, while shadows offered nice delineation. HDR gave the contrast and whites pleasing presence. This turned into a wholly appealing rendition of the film.

On the other hand, I found the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack less consistent. Remixed from the original 1990 stereo and downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape tended to work too hard to match modern standards.

By that I mean the Atmos went a little overboard in the way it used the surround channels. While the forward speakers demonstrated fairly positive spread and delineation, the back channels played too much of a role in the proceedings.

This meant music from the surrounds felt a little too loud, as did some effects. For the most part, the soundfield seemed acceptable, but I thought it should’ve stayed closer to the stereo source, as the new track didn’t integrate as well as I’d like.

Audio quality felt dated but decent, as speech seemed reasonably natural and concise. A little edginess bled into the track at times, but most lines seemed well-rendered.

Music showed nice range and impact, while effects were fairly accurate. Though those elements occasionally betrayed some distortion, they worked well in general. This wasn’t a bad track but I think a more subdued soundfield would’ve blended better with the on-screen action.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos track came with the same pros and cons as the BD’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix, as both felt like contrived reworkings of the source.

While the Dolby Vision 4K came from the same scan as the Blu-ray, the HDR grading made a difference. The 4K showed superior delineation, colors and blacks. The limitations of the low-budget 31-year-old source restricted growth, but the 4K nonetheless became the more atrractive version of the film.

As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary from director William Lustig and filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, stunts and action, and related domains.

I liked the two prior Lustig commentaries I heard, and this one continued that trend. Best-known as the director of 2011’s Drive. Refn generally acts as interviewer, and he does well in that regard.

Refn pushes Lustig to dig into various topics – not that Lustig seems to need a lot of encouragement, as he proves blunt much of the time. This becomes a consistently informative and engaging discussion.

Another audio feature runs alongside the film via an Isolated Music Track. It gives us the movie’s whole score in its DTS-HD MA 2.0 glory.

The 4K disc also provides four trailers for Cop 2, and we find additional extras on the included Blu-ray copy. A documentary called Back on the Beat goes for 46 minutes, 52 seconds and brings notes from Lustig, writer Larry Cohen, special makeup effects creator Dean Gates, stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos, composer Jay Chattaway and actors Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner, Leo Rossi. and Robert Z’Dar.

“Beat” looks at the movie’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and performances, makeup effects, sets and locations, stunts and action, music, and the movie’s release/reception.

Given the quality of the commentary, some of that material inevitably repeats here. Nonetheless, “Beat” offers a solid overview of the production, and it benefits from the additional participants involved.

Next comes a Q&A with Director William Lustig. Shot in September 2012, it spans 28 minutes, 35 seconds and examines sets and locations, stunts and action, cast and performances, story and characters, and post-production.

After the commentary and the documentary, Lustig left few stones unturned, and that means we find little new information from the Q&A. Objectively, Lustig gives a likeable chat, but he doesn’t produce much material that we don’t find elsewhere.

One deleted scene lasts one minute, 31 seconds. Called “The Evening News with Sam Raimi”, it shows a short glimpse of Raimi as a TV anchor.

The clip also shows comments from New Yorkers about the Maniac Cop. It’s cool to see Raimi briefly, but it doesn’t offer anything noteworthy as a scene.

In addition to four trailers, we get a Poster & Still Gallery with 201 images. It mixes ads, promo materials and shots from the set. It presents some good shots, though it’d be more user-friendly if it split into a few separate galleries and not one huge compilation.

At least one Easter Egg appears here. If you click to the left of any options on the “Extras” screen and click “enter”, you’ll find a two-minute, 40-second featurette that includes notes from Davi, Lustig, Lerner, Rossi and Z’Dar. It’s basic promotional fluff.

As a low-budget genre sequel, Maniac Cop 2 does nothing to stand high above its brethren. Nonetheless, it winds up as a reasonably interesting effort, as some intriguing plot points and a strong cast bolster it. The 4K UHD comes with surprisingly good picture and a nice mix of bonus materials, but I feel less enthusiastic about the over-active remix. Even with that minor drawback, this turns into a high-quality release.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of MANIAC COP 2

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