Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 10th, 2013
BluRay released: November 19th, 2013
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Espanol Latino Americano, Portugues do Brasil, Espanol Castellano, Francais Parisien, Deutsch, Italiano, Mandarin (Traditional & Simplified), Korean, Japanese, Russian, Dansk, Nederlands, Suomen, Norsk, Svenska
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Sequels more often than not do not live up to their predecessors and though the majority of the reasons why they often come up short is because the recycle what made the aforementioned predecessor so successful. Then there are films like Maniac Cop 2 which defy all rules in regards to sequels. A film that literally follows the same formula that made its predecessor so popular and yet the end result is something that almost transcends the other films in the Maniac Cop series.
To Manic Cop 2’s credit is greatest asset is the way in which it deposes of its surviving protagonists from the Manic Cop. And thus quickly makes way for new blood to take on the ever formidable maniac cop who has risen from the grave and is once again wreaking havoc. Another reason why this sequel works as well as it does is because of how well rounded these new characters are. Especially the character named Det. Sean McKinney, who is superbly portrayed by Robert Davi (Die Hard).
From a production stand point everything is bigger and better this time around as this film reportedly had twice the budget of its predecessor. The film’s film noir like visuals give it a more of a thriller vibe, which greatly differs from the Horror vibe of the first film. And though this film does not have copious amounts of blood that one would expect from a film with a psychopath killer, all of the kill’s scenes are brutal and appropriately gruesome. Most notably there is a scene where the manic cop goes on killing / shooting spree in a police station and basically single handedly taking everyone out who crosses his path.
It should not come as surprise that this film like its predecessor is not rooted in reality and that the bulk of what occurs pretty much requires any perceptive viewers to take a leap of faith and then some. But then this is also why these films are so much fun and never lose any of the luster, no matter how many times you watch them.
Besides Robert Davi’s aforementioned performance, another performance of note is Leo Rossi (Relentless) in the role of Turkell, wild-eyed bearded madman who befriends the maniac cop. He gives a deliriously manic performance that dominates every moment he is onscreen. Robert Davi returns to the role of Matt Cordell aka ‘maniac cop’ and he delivers yet another imposing performance that is rooted in his physical size. To put it bluntly, he is a man of few words. Ultimately Maniac Cop 2 is an exceptional sequel that also makes a strong case as William Lustig’s crowning achievement as a filmmaker.
Maniac Cop 2 comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. For this release a brand new 4k transfer was created and the end result is exceptional. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good and details look crisp throughout. There are no issues with compression and grain looks natural throughout. Overall it is hard to imagine that this film can look much better than it does for this release.
This release comes with four audio options, a 7.1 DTS-HD mix in English, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English and the fourth audio option is the films isolated score. You really can’t go wrong with any of these audio mixes which all sound clear, balanced and robust when they need too. With the obvious winner of the lot being the 7.1 DTS-HD mix in English, which offers up a truly spectacular audio experience. On a the subtitle front there is wide variety of options to choose from. Subtitle options for this release inlcude English SDH, French Canadian, Espanol Latino Americano, Portugues do Brasil, Espanol Castellano, Francais Parisien, Deutsch, Italiano, Mandarin (Traditional & Simplified), Korean, Japanese, Russian, Dansk, Nederlands, Suomen, Norsk and Svenska.
Extras for this release include a slip cover, 4 trailers for the film (International trailer, French trailer, German trailer, UK teaser trailer), a extensive poster & still gallery, a deleted scene titled ‘The Evening News With Sam Raimi’, Cinemafamily Q&A with director William Lustig (28 minutes 36 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a ‘Making of’ featurette titled ‘Back on the Beat: The Making of Maniac Cop 2’ (46 minutes 52 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Other extras include an audio commentary with William Lustig and filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn.
There is a wealth of information covered in the various extras included with this release. A few topics include how the project came about, casting, shooting of location without permits or permission, special effects – most notably the finale where the manic cop is covered in fire, the look of film and so much more. Out of the three extras I found myself most enjoying the audio commentary with William Lustig and Nicolas Winding Refn. Overall Maniac Cop 2 gets a truly exceptional release from Blue Underground that can be best summed up as ‘definite’, highly recommended.
Note: This release comes with a DVD version of the film.