Review : Maniac Cop (1988)

Maniac Cop is a slasher directed by William Lustig (director of the original Maniac eight years earlier). The film stars Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon and Tom *motherfucking* Atkins.

The story takes place in New York City where a maniac dressed in a police uniform is killing innocent people. Jack, a police officer, is arrested after his wife is found dead, leaving behind a journal in which she expresses her fear that Jack might be the maniac cop. It is up to him and a fellow officer to catch the real killer to put an end to the rampage and clear his name.

Maniac Cop has a simple yet great premise. Unfortunately, the film abandons ideas as soon as they are introduced. The result is an entertaining slasher but not a memorable one. The film’s cult status might be largely due to Bruce Campbell’s and Tom Atkins’ fans because Maniac Cop is pretty tamed for a 80’s slasher. It is not particularly bloody and the murders are not graphic. Furthermore, our main villain is not nearly scary enough (if more efforts had been put into the make-up, the film would have benefited greatly and been scarier).

Though the film never takes full advantage of its promising story, it is never boring. There is enough intrigue and the characters are likable enough to keep you wanting to get to the bottom of it. Don’t expect any fascinating pay-off because this is not what Maniac Cop has to offer.

In the end, Maniac Cop is more of a cop drama than a proper horror movie. It uses New York City as a playground and a reassuring figure (police officers) as an antagonist. The film is well-made, simple with a certain charm to it and definitely deserves your attention.

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Review : Night Of The Creeps (1986)

Night Of The Creeps, directed by Fred Dekker and released in 1986 is a cult classic which the majority of horror nerds knows. The premise of the film is rather simple : alien parasites, which resemble slugs, enter humans through the mouth and turn them into zombies. The movie focuses on two college students, Chris and J.C, who are joined by Detective Cameron to deal with the zombies…and the slugs !

Night Of The Creeps has everything : aliens, zombies, blood and humor. The cherry on top ? It stars our beloved Tom Atkins. Before establishing its main storyline, the film starts in the 1950’s to explain how the parasites end up on Earth. It also manages in a short time to give background to some of the characters which is very useful for future events. This introduction is in black and white and feels like a movie inside the movie. It then skips ahead to the 1980’s where we meet our main characters. Chris and J.C are very likable, funny, dorky and overall good guys. I particularly liked the way they interacted in a very brotherly manner. Their interactions were very funny and they were believable as best friends. The highlight of the film is definitely Tom Atkins who is once again a joy to watch on screen though my favorite character is J.C, our hero’s best friend, who reminded me a bit of Evil Ed from Fright Night.

However, the practical effects are very bad. The director tries to go around the cheap effects by using different angles which does work in some scenes but is too obvious in others. The most atrocious effects were the aliens in the beginning of the film. Does this make the movie bad ? Absolutely not ! If anything, it adds to its overall entertainment value.

Night Of The Creeps is filled with memorable lines including the famous “Thrill Me” ! It is hard to explain why this film is a classic but once you watch it, you will understand within minutes. There is nothing to dislike about Night Of The Creeps. I’ll go as far as state this : I think I just watched what is now one of my favorite films. Night Of The Creeps is a wonderful B-movie and a delightful piece of 80’s cheesy goodness. I cannot recommend it enough.