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Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence

USA 1992
produced by
Michael Leahy, Joel Soisson, Larry Cohen, W.K. Border (executive) for NEO Motion Pictures, First Look Pictures, Overseas FilmGroup
directed by Alan Smithee (= William Lustig, Joel Soisson)
starring Robert Davi, Robert Z'Dar, Caitlin Dulany, Gretchen Becker, Paul Gleason, Jackie Earle Haley, Julius Harris, Grand L. Bush, Doug Savant, Robert Forster, Bobby Di Cicco, Frank Pesce, Lou Diaz, Brenda Varda, Vanessa Marquez, Denney Pierce, Ted Raimi, Vinnie Curto, Jophery C. Brown, Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter, Jeffrey Hilton, Barbara Pilavin, Vic Manni, Tony Capozzola, Barry Livingston, Jason Lustig, Bill Irving, Harri James, Katherine Marie Elledge, Amanda Finnigan, Claudia Templeton, Hillary Black, Henry Pensen, Andy Gill
written by Larry Cohen, music by Joel Goldsmith, special makeup effects by Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger/K.N.B. EFX Group, special effects by Larry Fioritto

Maniac Cop

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Maniac Cop (Robert Z'Dar) has been killed for good at the end of Maniac Cop 2 - and yet there was enough of him left to bring back to life by a voodoo priest (Julius Harris).

In an at first unrelated story, cop Katie Sullivan (Gretchen Becker) walks into a hostage situation where she ultimately shoots the hostage and the hostage taker, Jessup (Jackie Earle Haley), but is shot herself and left in a vegetative state back when. However, while she's out, she's disgraced by the media for endangering a hostage, and those higher up decide to do away with her by just turning off her life support. Katie's mentor, detective McKinney (Robert Davi) - the man responsible for the destruction of Maniac Cop back when -, figures she was framed though (and is correct about it), and he does his best to prove her innocent, even if that means forcing a confession out of Jessup. But it seems he has the whole city against him, all but Dr. Fowler, who works at the hospital where both Jessup and Katie are kept. Maniac Cop though hears about Katie's story, which reminds her of his own, so he decides her to abduct her from the hospital to bring her back to his voodoo priest to see her revived - and as distraction he even sets Jessup and a few others free to wreak havoc at the hospital ...

 

It is said that director William Lustig has only directed roughly 50 minutes of this film before throwing it into his employers' faces for creative differences - and it would most certainly explain that especially when compared to the first two movies, this one looks a little choppy in its story, and a bit incoherent, not only in storytelling but also in character motivations. And especially some action scenes, as slick as they might look, seem to be just there for their own sake, distracting rather than contributing to the storyline.

That all is not to say Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence is a bad movie, because while it fails in some departments, it succeeds in many others, like moving on a fast pace, holding the suspense up throughout, and featuring many inventive action and murder scenes. And while the film has this irresistible B-movie aura to it, screenwriter Larry Cohen's predilection for subversiveness also clearly shines through every now and again, making this maybe not a masterpiece, but an enjoyable ride nevertheless.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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