Still On Duty – Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Continuing straight off from the end of the first Maniac Cop feature film, the second installment finds heroes Bruce Campbell and Laurene Landon believing Officer Cordell to be dead, despite his missing body. Unluckily for them, Robert Z’Dar as Cordell returns to wreak havoc once again and they find themselves on the receiving end along with a plethora of innocent victims who are more or less cannon fodder until Cordell reaches his ultimate goal. Enter Robert Davi and Claudia Christian who look to stop the monster, but how does one go about doing so, especially after seeing him get back up from anything they have to dish out?

Returning with Z’Dar are writer Larry Cohen and director William Lustig who began the adventures of the maniac cop and who deliver more of the same which does not necessarily make this a bad movie, but because of that, there are no surprises in store for any that give this a watch. For those that loved the first entry or might be new to the franchise, Maniac Cop 2 will not disappoint. Those that may not have been pleased with the first outing will not like this one any better. Cordell is still the same crazy, semi-pitiable monster that he was in the first film and while one might feel a little sorry for the big guy in one sense, it is hard to do so when he is out and about and killing anyone that essentially crosses his path. This film even delves into his origin story just a little bit more to reveal the true perpetrator behind his downfall which is a good thing. It adds a little more depth to the character, continuing to paint him as something other than the brutish killing machine he has now become. With this latest picture, Cordell also becomes a creature that death cannot seemingly stop which makes a person wonder as to why even bother with the bulletproof vest at this point?

Though Campbell and Landon get the old heave-ho with this episode to make room for Davi and Christian, it would have been far more preferable to see the former remain in lieu of the latter. There was more charisma between the leads of the first film than there was in this second one and not because they were not talented, quite the contrary, it was simply for the fact that Landon and Campbell were exciting to watch whereas Christian and Davi were only all right. Joining the cast for this go round was Michael Lerner, taking over for Richard Roundtree and while a good guy, some might say he was actually the villain of it all.

With everything that made the first film as successful as it was, Maniac Cop 2 improves on it and continues the story of everyone’s favourite monster in a police uniform, dealing out his own brand of justice, albeit usually to the wrong people. While it might seem like Maniac Cop 2 would be a fitting end to the series, the conclusion to the movie begs differently and of course, why stop a series at this point if it is able to keep going, thus leading to Maniac Cop 3.

3.5 out of 5

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