Maniac Cop 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given the movie’s age and low-budget origins, this 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.
Blacks felt deep and dark, while shadows offered nice delineation. This turned into a wholly appealing rendition of the film.
On the other hand, I found the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack less consistent. Remixed from the original 1990 stereo, the soundscape tended to work too hard to match modern standards.
By that I mean the 7.1 mix 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.
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 continues 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.
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 Blu-ray comes with surprisingly good picture and a nice mix of bonus materials, but I feel less enthusiastic about the over-active 7.1 remix. Even with that minor drawback, this turns into a high-quality release.