Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop

maniac cop still

You have the right to remain silent…FOREVER. Such is the tagline of this week’s schlockfest, the classic cable TV staple, “Maniac Cop”, written by our fave Larry Cohen and directed by Warren Lustig of “Maniac” fame. Loads of familiar faces in this one, and some pretty impressive stunts for a low-budget movie. Enjoy!

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Maniac Cop (1988)

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys in a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: It had been a while since we’ve done a request, so we put a few of the requests that have come in to our patrons. And the requests that they voted on… was 1988’s Maniac Cop, out of the three that I presented. And, honestly, this is a movie that I’m very familiar with, although I had never really seen.

I know I had seen bits and pieces and snippets here and there, because in the 90s, when I was watching cable and television and stuff like that, this seemed to be… On a lot. Like, like, it was on cable a lot, I know, and I think even on network television it appeared many times. I’m not quite sure why, but it was just such a staple of network television and cable, late night kind of horror movie, that I count bits and pieces of it here and there, but I never sat down and watched the whole movie.

And as an adult, and later on… Had learned that, you know, it was a bit of a fan favorite, it had a cult following. It spawned two sequels, and so, yeah, it was a request, and we put it up against a couple other ones, and our patrons chose this one for us to do this week, and so this is what we were doing.

However, having seen a few clips here and there, not remembering a bit of it, but re but it was always a part of my consciousness, this is the first time I ever actually sat down and watched the whole movie. So yeah, that’s my history with Maniac Cop. How about you, Craig?

Craig: Pretty much the same. I feel like everything I say, I’ve said so many times, people are get irritated, but this this feels like one of those movies, like, how have I not seen this?

I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been aware of it since I was a kid and I don’t know, the, the box art in the video store was kind of compelling, you know, scary cop guy, I don’t know, I just, I. Never picked it up, I guess, or if I did, I don’t remember, and I think that maybe is a possibility. 

Todd: I I I would not doubt that one bit.

Craig: Because, to be honest with you, when you put up that request, like, I was rooting for Maniac Cop, like, come on, Maniac Cop, you got this! Let’s see it! It won. By a slight margin, and I was glad because, you know, I haven’t seen it, and I thought, well, finally, I’ll get to see it, and it was disappointing. 

Todd: It was, but…

But let me tell you something, and I think only because we’ve been doing this for so long and we’re so steep now in the history of these movies and we see actors who resurface and writers and producers and things who sort of resurface, that for me, this was a bit of comfort food. Like, the enjoyment that I got out of this movie wasn’t about the plot and stuff because it’s lame.

It’s lame. Like you said, it’s, it’s not a very good movie. It’s not… Oh, I mean, we’ve seen way worse acted films than this, and honestly, the acting is fine, and even, to be honest, like, the plotting and all that, one thing I really appreciated about it was it jumped right in, and it kept moving. I don’t think it was ever boring.

I don’t know if it was just the mood I was in or whatever, but I, it, I did start to feel a little long, like I was kind of checking the clock at about 1. 10, and I was like, oh shit, there are 20 more minutes. But, but aside from that, like, I felt like it really moved, and it was compelling enough for, What it is, but more than anything else, I was excited about the pedigree, like when I looked into it, of course, when I was a kid, I didn’t know this stuff, but the director of this movie is William Lustig, and you have to imagine the reason that it’s called Maniac Cop is that he wrote and directed and produced one of the classic Grindhouse horror films, Maniac, you know, which was remade in the 2000s, I suppose, and that’s one that we haven’t even done yet, and I I think we need to soon and then we did another one that he directed more recently called Uncle Sam Which was another direct to video thing and look, I mean William Lustig is clearly not the world’s best director 

Craig: No, but when I saw that when I saw that he had done Uncle Sam, I was excited because I thought that movie was fun Yeah, it was fun.

And I know I interrupted your train of thought I’ll let you get back to it I just you said you didn’t think it was boring. I did it’s not like things weren’t happening I just didn’t care like up until the last, I don’t know, 15, 20 minutes when things just went kind of bonkers, then that was fun. Anyway, I knew you would be excited about all this cause you know, and that’s, that’s great.

It is interesting. And you’re right. We’ve. All of these names William Lustig, Larry Cohen, Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Ramey, Sam Ramey, has 

Todd: a cameo. I wasn’t expecting that either. I was blown away when that happened. So 

Craig: I, I totally agree with you on that front, and I want you to talk more about Larry Cohen because though I know we’ve talked about all these people a bazillion times, I get confused because there are so many of them.

What saved it for me was that it was a fun game of, wait, who is that? Wait, who’s that? Yes! Yes! Because almost every actor you see in this movie you recognize from something. That was exciting. It’s not like they’re big stars or anything, they’re just these actors that you recognize from something. And so, if you’re a big nerd and you, you know, go to IMDb immediately, you know, it’s a fun little treasure hunt, oh yeah, that’s what she’s 

Todd: from, the Golden Girls.

Craig: It’s fun. Agreed. Yeah. So. So that was fun on that front. But anyway, back, back to your lesson. 

Todd: What? Is this 

Craig: really all up to me? Sorry teacher. I love it. Sorry teacher. 

Todd: I don’t, I don’t know how to feel about this, but anyway, I’ll go ahead. You know, am I the stiff guy? Are you the crazy, fun, loony dude and I’m the stiff professor?

You’re professorial type. No, 

Craig: no, no, no. I do this. I, I do this. No, I do this all the time. I go, I, like, you know, give my little lectures about things. This is your wheelhouse. 

Todd: And they get lazy. This is what I love. 

Craig: This is your wheelhouse, and I’m gen I I’m genuinely interested, 

Todd: I’m just giving you shit. You’re right.

Okay, so, we’ve done a lot of Larry Cohen stuff, you wanna talk about Larry Cohen, let’s talk about him. I do, I remind me. He’s been writing for television and movies since, like, the 1950s, okay? He wrote, like, and directed, like, blaxploitation movies, big ones, like Black Caesar, in, like, the 70s. He did one that I Is he THE 

Craig: Troma guy?

Todd: Like, who’s that? That’s Kaufman. Lloyd Kaufman. Oh, okay. 

Craig: Yep. I’m getting them mixed up. 

Todd: Go ahead. Larry Cohen is way more respected in Hollywood. Even though he never really got out of like, independent sort of exploitation films. Like, he doctored even more movies than he was ever credited for. Because he’s just this super prolific writer who just, high concept guy.

We did It Lives. Oh, yeah. The baby, right? We did the stuff, right? About the stuff you feed. He did that. He wrote the sequel to Salem’s Lot, a return to Salem’s Lot. Cue the winged serpent, which has been requested many a time, but we haven’t done yet, but we absolutely will. That has a bit of a cult following.

All three Maniac Cop movies, cause this burned, like, Two or three others. He actually did write Uncle Sam, that we were talking about. And even more recently, Cellular, Phone Booth. 

Craig: Okay, 

Todd: okay, Phone Booth, I saw, yeah. Yeah, he’s done a lot of these movies. He’s directed a lot of movies. He’s written a lot of movies.

He died several years ago. Was just kind of, just seemed to be a cool guy. Well respected as a writer, again, called in to doctor major Hollywood scripts that he never got credited for and things like that. Just, I watched a documentary about the guy once because I was so fascinated because I’m like, this guy’s name keeps popping up and in all these quirky, interesting movies, he just seemed like a really cool guy.

It was, his head was just full of ideas and he just spent his life putting them on paper and Most of these were not big Hollywood blockbusters, but honestly, all of them are sort of high concept. And one of the things that he was kind of known for doing is taking an interesting idea. You know, like, wouldn’t it be interesting if blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And a lot of his movies have the social commentary in them. So, like, you know, we talked about the stuff. It was very much about… 80s consumerism. And It Lives had a lot of, like, stuff about, like, abortion and women’s rights and things like that in it. Interestingly enough, and definitely giving the movie way more credit than it deserves, but it was kind of interesting in Maniac Cop to see a little bit of Again, I’m not crediting Larry Cohen with any kind of, like, crazy ass foresight, but nowadays, watching this movie about a cop that’s kind of renegade and on the loose, and seeing clips in the movie where, you know, people are being interviewed on TV about how now they’re, like, afraid of cops and distrustful of cops, and, like, some black characters in the movie talking about how, yeah, my friends are, like, targeted by the police and all that, so this is nothing new.

Like, it was interesting how prescient Some of that felt in, you know? I was just 

Craig: gonna say the same thing, like, all of the people talking about how they’re scared of this maniac cop or whatever, but then the one black guy is like, yeah, cop’s been beating people up all my life. What are you talking 

Todd: about?

Right, all my friends get harassed by the cops all day long. Like, my buddy was shot. It’s more 

Craig: like, oh god, it sucks that that’s not changed. Like, not, not that he was foreseeing. A problem that would happen, but a problem that we’ve clearly had since probably well before 1988, and 

Todd: continue to. But God, let’s give him some credit for sticking that in the movie.

That was really impressive that that bit was in there. Honestly, I don’t even think it was a cheap shot for its time. I feel like it was rather progressive and impressive that he got that in there. You will. 

Craig: Yeah, no, I agree, like, I’m, I, I’m all for it, like, yes, draw attention to these, but it, it felt, it was highly reminiscent of…

Uncle Sam where you’ve got like this fun campy movie and then now we are gonna hit you with this really heavy hitted scene Do you remember in that movie? Yeah, the the black veteran sat the main character down and had like a very serious Conversation. Yeah, that’s what this moment felt like like, okay.

Hold on from the crazy for a second. Here is a Very serious message. Alright. . Right, 

Todd: right. And now, and now we return you to your , to your regularly scheduled exploitation flick. Yeah. . Right, right. 

Craig: It’s true. But no, I, I, I agree with you. I think that’s cool. I, I think that it’s cool that he incorporates those things into his movies and it did, it drew my attention and I was like, wow, here.

A little commentary on police brutality here. 

Todd: Right. And this stuff was like, 100 percent that almost. So like that was like the best example, I suppose, right? Like the stuff was just 100 percent about 80s consumerism and it was just sort of chock full of it and we dug that. And I liked it. It was fun. Yeah.

Yeah. So, so you got Larry Cohen and you got William Lustig directing. Then you have Tom Atkins. As a police officer, a police detective or whatever, who was with us for half the movie. And then it sort of feels like, there’s a little overlap, it’s like we could only afford Tom Atkins for like, you know, about 40 minutes.

And then, around the time he dies off, we get very young Bruce Campbell, who was with us for the rest of the movie. Which I… F ing loved. And then Richard Roundtree is in here as Commissioner Pike, the police commissioner, and it’s a smaller ish role, but freaking Shaft is in this movie, like, that was fun.

It’s so crazy that a movie like this would be peppered with these folks. And then, again, later on, Sam Raimi comes in, and I wasn’t expecting it, and Pow! He’s on the screen, and he’s a news reporter, and I was like, Yes, this is fantastic. And later on, I mean, we’ll talk about a few more cameos, I think, as we talk about the movie, but it just, the whole thing reminded me about something that we talked about when we did Intruder, when we talked about Evil Dead 2, and when we talked about Blood Rage, and all of these movies that kind of happened around this time period.

Well, this is 88, so it’s a little later in that time period. But still, Almost seemed like this mini community of independent horror filmmakers in each other’s movies and just kind of helping each other out and like, Oh, like, I’ll cast you in this, and I’m gonna write this, and so because I’m writing this, like, I’ll put you in it because I usually do that, and then I’m gonna direct this, but I’m a director, but I also act on the side, and I’m gonna have like a cameo role in this thing.

All before half of these people were wildly famous. Sounds just… blissful, like college, you know, like filmmaking college, all these guys are just helping each other out and being each other’s movies and they’re all equally kind of silly and but they’re fun and reaching people and we’re talking about them here and in 2023.

So it was so cool to see this. And for me, this was the fun of the film. And of course, the campiness of it. I agree 

Craig: with you. I think No, I think that’s super fun too. I mean, it’s kind of like, you know, there’s a group of them now, like, like you’re next and is it Wingard, I think is one of them and 

Todd: West and it’s like the modern version of that.

Craig: Yeah. I can’t think of the woman’s name. There’s a female. Director, she was in your neck. She, she played the youngest daughter. Anyway, so it’s, yeah, I like that stuff too. I like when you can get a sense of community in, in the filmmakers and that’s like half of this, but then as I kind of already mentioned, the other half are all of these like really old school actors, when I say old school, like 1988, they’re in there.

Twilight years and, and you look them up on IMDb and they’ve been acting since like the 40s. Right. Like their, their IMDb pics are like these black and white old school Hollywood shots. Like, it’s wild. And, and like I said, they’re not. Necessarily anybody that was a huge star, but you recognize them from things, and I found all that interesting.

Todd: Frickin Buck Flowers had a small room. 

Craig: He was in the Police Brutality PSA, wasn’t he? Yeah! 

Todd: He was, it was so cute. I 

Craig: know, and it was blink and you miss it too, but you hear that voice. 

Todd: It warms your heart. 

Craig: It really does. Alright, so, I guess, like That’s the thing, to talk about the plot, First of all, there’s really nothing to it.

Second of all, like, when you get into the weeds of it, It’s so stupid.

Todd: At least it jumps right into it without any exposition. Well, I guess 

Craig: there’s like five minutes of a cop getting dressed in close up. The credits. And, right, and they tell us, he puts on a shake, he puts on a name tag, so we know who it is. 

Todd: No secret there. It doesn’t even matter. No, it 

Craig: doesn’t matter because it’s dumb.

And then, there’s a big shot of the Twin Towers, which is always… Kind of a weird, surreal thing. ’cause this is supposed to take place in New York, even though they only shot there for what, like three days? Mm-hmm. , and then shot the rest of it in Los Angeles. And, and 

Todd: you can kind of, it sure feels like they’re in New York though.

They faked it. Well, I thought it was good. I felt 

Craig: like they tried harder in the beginning and then by the end they were like, yeah, whatever. , . There’s like palm trees. Like, I don’t remember. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think there are palm trees in New York, but what do I know? Yeah, so, okay, so it gets right to the action, like there’s this tense chase scene where this woman is being relentlessly chased by these two muggers on a New York City street without, with no other people in sight, like there’s one guy that like looks up from taking out his garbage.

Now, I’ve never been to New York, but I can’t imagine that it’s, maybe I’m wrong, maybe the streets of New York go quiet at night, for all I know, but she runs for like blocks and blocks and sees nobody, like, I thought New York was one of the most populated… Cities in the world. Anyway, but they chase her for like, they really want her purse mad.

I guess if she’s the only woman on the street, she 

Todd: must, you know, they got nobody else, 

Craig: they chase her forever. And eventually she runs up to this. This HUGE cop, who we only see in silhouette, we don’t see his face until the very end but he’s enormous, and he picks her up by the head and breaks her neck.

Oh god. And then, and then Frank, and then Frank McRae. Detective, detective, lieutenant, I don’t know, something. I love that name. Suited cop, Frank McRae. If 

Todd: I were to ever write a police procedural, Frank McRae would be at the top of my name lists for the police detective. And 

Craig: Tom Atkins, I didn’t even bother to look up because I was like, oh, that guy that’s in everything.

Can, do you have like a point of reference for him? I don’t know. He’s been in everything. Do 

Todd: I know what Tom Atkins has been in? He has got like 82 credits to his name. And 

Craig: he always plays the same character, it seems like. He does. Some 

Todd: version of this character. I would love this guy’s career. You know, he’s been around since the sixties and mostly on television, but you know, for horror fans, he was in the fog.

He was an escape from New York. It seems like he played a lot of stuff. We just did creep show recently, and he was the father in creep show, the angry father, and then Halloween three. Oh, right, yeah. Night of the creeps. And then, you know, he’s in like Lethal Weapon, just a, just a year before this movie.

Very recognizable. He’s 

Craig: on the case, because they think the muggers killed that girl, but he’s like, Do you see the size of those? What does he say? What is, what’s the technical, what’s the tech Do you see the size of those hematomas? Yeah. 

Todd: Oh my 

Craig: god. You think either of those guys could have done that?

Todd: It’s just weird how, and I don’t even know how, he suddenly jumps to the conclusion that it was a cop that killed her. I don’t either, but 

Craig: he is confident about it from the beginning. I mean, 

Todd: he’s right. He’s right, but he immediately knows. It’s super convenient that this guy who, you know, in the first five minutes of the movie…

Is on the case, and knows exactly what’s going on. Now it’s just about him trying to convince everybody else. With very little detective work involved. 

Craig: And, and in trying to convince, who’s he talking to? He’s talking to the commissioner, or the mayor, or somebody, I don’t know. And he’s trying, he’s like it’s, it’s, it’s one of us for sure, I just know it.

So we should look into their files and see if they’ve, you know had any violent incidents, or tried to kill themselves. The guy’s like, didn’t you try to kill yourself? 

Todd: I didn’t even 

Craig: understand 

Todd: this stupid. No, he was like, did you have an incident too? Yeah. Where he killed somebody, right? Wasn’t, weren’t they talking about No, I think he’s trying to kill, 

Craig: he was trying to, trying to kill himself.

Oh, okay. Because his, his partner died. I assume his partner died in the line of duty. I don’t know. But I don’t know. All I remember, it was very confusing to me because the only thing that he would say about it was the gun went off. Well, yeah, that tends to happen when you pull the trigger. Like, I don’t understand the context.

What does that mean? And, and what, it doesn’t make any difference. Like this never comes up again. There’s no 

Todd: characterization. We’re not going to get deep into this guy’s character. Anybody is. 

Craig: No, no. And this movie is. It’s stupid. Because, like, the, the main, like, it will just cut back and forth, like, okay, the police, let’s talk for a little while, okay, back to the maniac cop, killing a rando, okay.

And again, you never see him, all you see that he’s enormous and he has the biggest jawline. 

Todd: Oh, yeah. Insane jawline. Did you look this guy up on IMDb, by the way? Robert Dazar. Yeah, I saw he 

Craig: I think he was a Bond villain, maybe, at one point. He’s done a lot of 

Todd: stuff. Yeah. I thought for sure, like, half of his stuff was prosthetic, and it’s like, nope.

All they had to do was put a couple boils on his face, and it’s him. He has an insane, wide face with the deep jawline and stuff. He was in 124 movies, and… I’m sure, always, bad guy. Well, yeah, he’s huge. He was all over television, he’s huge, he’s got this huge jawline, this wide face, like, honestly, weird looking dude.

Dude was in an episode of Growing Pains, I’m sure it was an episode of Growing Pains where somebody broke into the house or something, cause I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine anything else! You know what 

Craig: I mean? We only ever see him like, like lit from behind, you never really see his face, I mean you can’t, you can’t miss, like his silhouette is huge and bizarre, but, right.

But he just like he just kills people like he and you said a huge knife He does like in his nightstick There’s like a concealed 12 inch knife that he cuts people with but like he pulls some Dude out of his car and kills him and then he chases he handcuffs some guy and chases him down the street and drowns him and Cement, I guess.

Todd: There’s like three killings in like the first ten min Just random killings in the first ten minutes. Yeah. I thought that was cool, that bit where he buried some dude’s face in wet cement and then it’s, I guess the cement dried really quickly the next morning they’re using pile drivers to like break it apart to get him out.

That was funny. 

Craig: I like that. Yeah, it was kind of cute, but like, that, the aftermath, like, them, like, jackhammering to try to get his body out. That was funny, but really, like, the, the kills are nothing, they’re nothing special at all. They’re not, they’re not exciting, they don’t look good, like, you don’t see very much.

I don’t know, I 

Todd: thought they were rather… Brutal. I mean, if you cared about these characters, that’s the problem, right? These are just randos that you met like 10 seconds before. So you don’t really care. So you’re not invested. If you were invested, honestly, I think these were shot quite well. The editing is tight.

The, you know, they’re going for suspense and all that stuff. It’s sort of like the Roger Corman quota of killing, you know, we need to have boobs within the first 10 minutes and, and, you know, three people killed before Five minutes is up, you know, that kind of thing. 

Craig: Well, they need, they need to establish really quickly that this guy is super dangerous and he’s just killing people at random because then they have to get, you know, the whole town all worked up.

But God, there’s so, so many hilarious things to me. Like McCray thinks it’s a cop. But the commissioner’s like, no, no, no, we got to keep this between us. So he immediately runs to a reporter who I guess he knows, like this sexy woman reporter. And he’s like, they, they said we have to keep it under wraps. So I want you to report it on the news tomorrow night.

And so then you hear her reporting it. She’s like, an anonymous source tells us that we will, there’s a crazy cop on the loose. And everybody needs to be terrified of. Cops and they’re like that anonymous source told us that tomorrow. We’ll be speaking with detective Frank McRae who has inside information

Todd: Honestly this makes very little sense the motivations of him to expose it like all this stuff none of it makes sense It’s just total Hollywood stuff now I have to ask you because I know we independently watch these movies Did the version that you watched have scenes with the mayor in it? I don’t know 

Craig: I don’t, 

Todd: I don’t think so.

Was there a moment in the film where suddenly the film quality got really, really weird? Like, completely different? And there are these shots with the mayor? 

Craig: No, I saw a cigarette burn at one point, but that was really 

Todd: quick. I think the version that I saw had obviously previously deleted scenes edited in.

There was a whole character in this movie that I think… Was cut out of the final product. There was a mayor named Jerry. I don’t know, there were like five. Separate, short scenes, peppered throughout the film. Where as I was watching, it was like the film quality went completely shitty. And it’s the mayor talking about, Oh my God, there’s this guy, like, you know, he’s killing people.

We gotta keep it under wraps. And then, Oh my God, this guy’s killing people, and I think I might know who it is, and he might have a thing against me. And then, you know, his advisors are like, Oh my God, this guy, he’s still killing people. You’re in danger, and all that. And he’s like, Oh, well, I had this thing against him, and that’s probably why.

And then, it comes in at the end. So, you didn’t see any of that. I don’t 

Craig: think so. I, I honestly don’t remember. You would remember. Yeah, I definitely didn’t, the version I saw definitely didn’t have scenes that were obviously lower film quality. So, I, I, it must have been I, I streamed it on Peacock. In case anybody’s curious.

Once everybody’s all scared of the cops, then some woman has car trouble, and a cop comes to help her and she blows his head off. Right. This is such a wild movie. It’s crazy. Then there’s the Bruce Campbell side plot, and I didn’t know that he was in this until I looked, you know, IMDb page just to have the cast, I wanna, you know, I wanna, be able to write down who each character is or whatever.

And I was like, Oh, Bruce Campbell’s in this and he’s like almost top build. He has an integral part, but yeah, he doesn’t get to do anything fun and Bruce Campbell y like. He’s just kind of a lame duck character, 

Todd: basically. He said he took the movie because he needed work. He said at the time he thought there was something to it, but obviously in retrospect he said no, it’s definitely not a good film.

But it’s weird to think, I mean this is early Bruce Campbell, because at this time when he took this and he said he needed work, I believe he had just gotten off of Evil Dead 2, so we’re talking… We’re talking Evil Dead, you know, his first big movie. He probably didn’t make any money on that though. Yeah, probably not.

I mean, you know, that was 1981. Well, that was 88. He was in like Crime Wave, which Sam Raimi directed, but then they did Evil Dead 2 in 87. So the 87, the year before this was Evil Dead 2, it, it might’ve barely been out. And it, I don’t think it was a huge, like. box office smash, you know? And so he did Maniac Cop the year after this, and then he had a very small bit part in Intruder the year after this in 89.

So this is the early point of of Bruce Campbell’s career, before he did Army of Darkness in like 92, and then he was, you know, subsequently like on television, he did Briscoe County Junior in 93 and stuff like that. So obviously by that point he didn’t need work, but at this point, yeah, he’s still starting out and he needed to work, and he just said, ah, I took this movie.

At the time, I thought it might be interesting, but like, once I saw it, I was like, Oh, God, that was horrible. So, 

Craig: yeah. Yeah, and he, and he’s fine and he’s young and handsome and He looks 

Todd: great 

Craig: in this. Yeah, he does. And, and he has a really, like, I mean, it’s one of his trademark things. He’s got a really distinctive jawline too.

Like I read that him and Robert Zadar both. have the nickname The Chin. So it makes sense, like this guy, Robert Zadar, the Maniac Cop, whose name, by the way, is Matt Cordell, and I had already been abbreviating in my notes, Maniac Cop MC, and then when I realized his name was Matt Cordell, I’m like, that is so charming.

Todd: Wow. I didn’t 

Craig: catch that. Hilarious. But they, they both share the nickname, The Chin, which makes sense because Bruce Campbell is not an enormous person, but he’s really tall. Like I forget how tall he is. Yeah. And he has a wife, but he’s having an affair. Clear something up for me in that first scene where we meet him and he’s getting he’s putting on his uniform and his wife is like, I don’t know, there’s obviously tension in their marriage and she’s acting weird.

Was there not a baby crying in the background of 

Todd: that scene? Oh, I didn’t hear that at all. Oh my 

Craig: god, I swear to god there was a baby crying. And then, there’s never any mention of a baby. Well, I wouldn’t 

Todd: doubt it. I wouldn’t doubt it. I mean, you know, I wouldn’t put it past this movie to sort of stick that in and then forget about it.

Like, this wife character is so ridiculous. We’re introduced to Bruce Campbell. She’s in the kitchen clipping articles about this killer for reasons I have no idea and putting them in some kind of scrapbook. She thinks it’s him. Yeah, why would she be clipping them and putting them in a scrapbook? I have no idea.

Anyway. And they’re having this, again, I love Larry Cohen because I love what he has made and I enjoy watching his movies. And he’s a high concept writer and he’s good at plotting. Honestly, like the dialogue in a lot of the stuff we’ve seen of him is laughable and silly. And the dialogue in this is just over the top melodrama between the two of them that we’re thrown into.

And it’s just silly. You used to talk to me. Look, you’re the one that dropped out of the therapy. I was willing to go and I was willing to pay the bills. 

Craig: So it’s all my 

Todd: fault now, is it?

I did everything I could to hold this marriage together. You talk like it’s already over. Yeah, well, it’s not enough to talk. You have to listen, too. I suppose that’s why you’re taking so much overtime, to get away from me. Is it something else? What’s that supposed to mean? Sometimes you wake up screaming like you can’t breathe.

Sometimes I get afraid that you might hurt me in your sleep. He’s, like, the picture of calm. You know, business like, getting ready for his day, and she feels, she looks like she’s on the verge of suicide. Yes! You know, the way she’s just super distraught, and, and he’s quite dismissive, and she says she thinks she’s hearing things.

I mean, they’re these things that you sort of feel like we’re going for character development, like we’re gonna see her more, and like there’s gonna be some kind of thing, and… And there’s not, it’s just, we barely see her again after this. He leaves, she 

Craig: follows him. Yeah. To a motel where she catches him f ing this blonde lady.

Todd: But wait a minute, before this happens, the phone rings right after he leaves and somebody goes He went out again, didn’t he? And she’s like, why do you keep calling me? Why do you keep doing this to me? I’m like, okay, this is interesting. Like, there’s some thread happening here. This maniac cop is out there.

There’s this weird shit with the mayor. There’s this other cop who’s obviously, their marriage is in turmoil. And then this woman, his wife, is getting these bizarre phone calls that she’s apparently been getting for a while and yada yada yada. So she goes to follow him. And she finds out, like you said, that he’s banging some other cop, some female cop in a motel down the street.

And then she catches him in the act. She holds him at gunpoint, you know, it’s very dramatic, and she runs away, and then she just gets pulled into a car randomly by the maniac cop. And the next morning, the maid of the hotel comes in and finds her dead in that same room that Bruce Campbell’s character Jack and that chick Giselle?

Was that her name? Giselle? Whatever. 

Craig: I don’t know, Teresa. 

Todd: Oh, Teresa, yes, we’re in. So, and then… That’s it. So I was like who was calling her like that was a thing that just immediately got dropped And I have no idea what that shit was about. 

Craig: I don’t even remember how all of it unfolds I just remember that it’s so convoluted.

So like because his wife gets murdered They think it’s him. They think he’s the maniac cop and they find the wife’s murder scrapbook and like in her diary She writes about how she thinks he’s the maniac cop. And so every everything points to him He fit like he fits the physical profile more or less.

He’s tall and white and He’s basically 

Todd: been framed for all this. Yeah 

Craig: Right. So then the question, so which again, McCray just instinctively knows like, Oh no, no, he’s, he’s, he didn’t do it. He would never.

Yeah. Somebody, somebody is framing him. Something weird is going on. And then I don’t need to, then he hooks up with like, not, not figured out literally meets. Right. He meets up with the mistress. who is also a cop, an undercover hooker cop. Hooker cop. Oh my god. The 80s, I swear to god, the 80s was all about cocaine and machine guns and undercover hooker 

Todd: cops.

Yeah, it’s like Vice. The only thing we cared about was the Vice squad, right? Right, right. Miami Vice was on TV. There was smoke in every alley. It was beautiful. I kind of missed it. 

Craig: Explained something else to me when we’re, when we see her and she’s undercover as a hooker, a john pulls up in the car and they have an exchange where he wants to engage her services, but it seems like she needs him to say, Say it.

Like, it can’t be you know, just insinuated. He has to, you know, say something incriminating. So she’s like digging. And eventually he says, hold on a second. Are you a cop? And then really coyly, she’s like, you know, you get the golden question. And he’s, I don’t know, he’s like, I’m just gonna go home and be by myself, and she’s like, well, I can’t arrest you for that, and they smile at each other and he drives away.

What was that all about? Was the insinuation that because he asked if she was a cop, she had to tell him, and… That’s why she let him go. 

Todd: I think it was just he was too clever for her. Yeah, I mean, I mean it’s entrapment. That was just so like, I don’t even understand how this works in real life. I honestly don’t, I don’t get it.

I don’t either be, well, 

Craig: like I remember, I remember hearing in college like, I don’t know these like, you know, bad kids that I knew who would like buy. Marijuana from other people they would be like if you ask if they’re a cop they have to tell you I don’t think 

Todd: that that’s true No, I don’t think that’s true at all.

No, it’s not true at all. 

Craig: I think that that is an urban legend, but this movie seems to insinuate that it’s true because when he’s like, are you a cop? She’s like, oh you got me you old dirty charmer you get out of here Maybe that’s true Anyway, so then she walks He’s down a dark alley by herself and comes into contact with the maniac 

Todd: cop.

Which, you know, it’s silly, right? Because, like, he’s just sort of randomly… For a while… He’s after her specifically because it’s a whole plot. It is, but let’s be clear. Like, this is a guy with a motivation, right? He was ousted from the police force. We’ll get to that later. But my point is, like… Until it’s convenient for the movie to, like, get to that, he’s just killing random people.

He’s not working towards his goal. No, he 

Craig: is! Like, she’s not random! No, 

Todd: she isn’t! But the, like, three people we saw him kill before this were just, like, three total 

Craig: randos. Yeah, but he wasn’t supposed to kill those people. That was him going rogue. That was not part of the plan, which becomes an issue later.

But he’s after her because she’s the only one who knows that she’s, she’s Bruce Campbell’s alibi. Right. So he needs to get her out of the way because Bruce Campbell is his scapegoat. Yeah, right, but but he doesn’t he I don’t know he he picks her up by the neck or something but Frank McRae is Right there there and they both shoot him multiple times.

This makes no sense Like yeah, I don’t know explain they never never do because she even says she even says it couldn’t have been just Bulletproof vest. I shot him in the face at least twice. 

Todd: Yeah. What? So, but yeah. Bullets 

Craig: don’t hurt him. Yeah. For reasons unexplained. Now, okay, so here’s where it starts to get really convoluted.

Because Frank McRae is talking to her and he’s like, You had to have told somebody about the affair. Somebody else had to have known. She’s like, No, I didn’t tell anybody. Wait, except for my friend, Sally. This random woman in the police office. Except for my crippled friend, Sally. At the police station.

That’s hilarious. Okay, so let’s go talk to… Wait, 

Todd: before we talk to Sally, and I want you to talk about Sally, but before we talk about Sally, I have to just… I just have to highlight my favorite line in the whole movie. And I don’t know why this just tickled me pink, but he gets injured in this and he goes to the police report and to the police office.

And of course, he’s going to talk to Sally. He signs in. The police officer sees his hand all bandaged up and he says, Hey, Frank, what’d you do with your hand? And he says. I cut myself shaving. 

Craig: Yeah. That was a good one. There are some 

Todd: other good ones, too. That was brilliant. 

Craig: One of my favorite ones is later.

Oh, well, we’ll get to it in just a second. So he goes to see… Crippled isn’t a nice word, but this is a silly movie, so he goes to see Cripple Sally, who has a brace on her leg, and limps around, and, I don’t know, like, they talk, and Nothing comes of their conversation. Sally, by the way, is played by Cherie North, who one of our patrons alerted me in advance was somebody that I would recognize from The Golden Girls.

She played Blanche’s sister, Virginia, on The Golden Girls. Oh, nice! Gary, thank you, Gary, for pointing that out. I, I did recognize her right away, but I had forgotten about that, and so I, I, I empty beat her and she was in, and I was like, oh yeah, she’s totally Virginia from the Golden Girls. But she also played Kramer’s mom on, on Seinfeld.

Oh, no way. She’s been acting since she was young, and she’s done tons and tons of stuff. She’s hilarious in this because she’s just kind of standoffish with him, but then he follows her and she immediately goes to the docks where she meets with the maniac cop. At the docks. I know and she meets with the maniac cop and she’s like you gotta stop killing these good people.

You’re only supposed to kill bad people like the 

Todd: mayor and the commissioner and the people you have a problem with. Yeah. 

Craig: Like we gotta, we gotta stick to the plan so you can get to the, yeah, like he’s got this vendetta. Oh, okay. First. So, okay. So, so McCray is following them and he like. kicks a paint can or something so she doesn’t see him but she shoots blindly into the night but he gets away and he he’s walking off of the docks and like the dock 

Todd: guard I’m so glad you’re gonna point this out I had it written down too Hey, you!


Craig: are you doing? Whoa, take it easy. What are you doing? 

Todd: I had to take a leak. You always take a leak with a gun in your hand? It’s a 

Craig: good way to blow your balls off.

Oh, the writing is so funny. And McCray says something like, Oh, the city’s going to hell. You can’t take a leak anywhere anymore. Like, oh boy, oh boy. And then, okay, so then Maniac Cop takes a nap on the dock and we get to see a flashback where, okay, so I guess I guess he was a cop, and he was really celebrated because he was really ruthless and he took down all these bad people until, I don’t know, something happened.


Todd: that’s unclear. I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you what we know. Because I think it was cut out. So, like, the bits and pieces with the mayor that I saw that you didn’t see insinuate that he was really… He was like a super cop and he was involved in like taking down the mob. But if you know anything about New York city and like the eighties and seventies, like the mob basically ruled the city and, and they had their feelers and everything.

And the insinuation here is that I was too close to the mayor who also like. I guess had a relationship with the mob and so the mayor himself was dirty and so yeah, he was kind of like okay That’s too far, and I’m gonna protect the mob people and so he kind of sort of had him put away 

Craig: I felt like in the version that I saw it was just kind of implied that he was too rough or too violent like He was getting bad guys, but it was kind of like vigilante and, and so not only was he kicked off the police force, but he was put in prison 

Todd: where, 

Craig: okay, so he does this long walk down.

Like, I mean you see this in the movie all the time where they bring in the newbie and all the other prisoners are Licking their lips 

Todd: or whatever. Sneering at them, yeah. 

Craig: Todd, I have seen, I have seen this scene in so many movies And usually it’s like, really scary, like, oh, these people want to kill me I swear to God, the look that all of these Those guys wanted to 

Todd: f k me.

Craig: Every single one of them was looking at him like, Oh man, you’re gonna get me a piece of that. Well, that’s 

Todd: legit. Yeah, it’s true. Cause that’s kind of what happens. He’s 

Craig: attacked in the shower. Yeah, he gets attacked in the shower and he fights them naked, like they, of course you never see any nudity. He 

Todd: kicks their asses.

Big time. Yeah. 

Craig: Oh boy. But they, they, they shank him. Yeah. He shanked him a bunch of times and they cut up his face. Now, this goes on for a while, like all of this like unspools over time. Meanwhile, Bruce Campbell is in jail and the cops are trying to get him out. McCray and the, the lady cop are trying to get him out.

Frank is coming in. Yep. But eventually. We find out God. Oh, well, there’s a slot right? Okay. There’s a whole slaughter at 

Todd: the Police precinct. Yeah, it just suddenly escalates. Yeah, Frank goes to the computer. He runs through that chick’s purse. He sees a glove I guess that is meaningful to him. I mean, it’s meaningful to us because we saw the cop wearing gloves But I don’t know why it would be meaningful to him She jumps behind him and starts beating him down with her cane Runs out of the hallway but screams because there’s another cop hanging there dead and then maniac cop breaks through like a window and a door And pulls her through and then starts Banging her against the wall.

That was hilarious, by the way. That was 

Craig: crazy! Yeah.

Hahaha! She’s this old lady in a leg brace, and he’s just 

Todd: slamming her against the wall. Frank’s shooting at her, then he starts grabbing Frank and throwing him around. He slams Frank against every filing cabinet in the entire room, of which there are many. And then he throws him out the window. Yeah, throws him out the window.

So he’s dead. I was surprised. I thought he would. Yeah, 

Craig: he could be kind of seems to be the main 

Todd: character. That would, by the way, that was a nice stunt. That was really cool. I mean, this is the era where stunts were real and yeah, he falls down from a significant height. There are multiple shots on this and it lands on the car.

I was like, that is really impressive. It 

Craig: did look good. Yeah, well, the maniac cops slaughters Sally. I don’t understand why, because we find out that they had a relationship later, and he kills, I don’t know, a dozen police officers. 

Todd: No, the entire police, the entire, the station is gone. Like like Jack and what’s her name?

Teresa? Teresa. Teresa. They run out. Just past body after body like the whole he’s killed everyone in the station And then he just sort of Jack runs off and 

Craig: well and somehow somehow or other they have found out Who this guy is the Matt or whatever is it? Yeah Matt Cordell They found out who it is, but he’s supposed to be dead.

Like, he was supposed to have died from that incident. And, but they’re like, let’s, we need to drive to the prison to find out if there’s some way that he can still be alive. 

Todd: Right, right. And, and by the way, at this point in the version I saw, there was a scene between the mayor and like his lackey or whatever.

And the mayor was drinking scotch in his office and freaking out. And he was like, he won’t be satisfied until he’s got me. And then we get some voiceover and some really nice helicopter shots, like you said. They decide they’re going to the prison, and so this is some more establishing shots of like, Hey, we’re still in New York.

Of, of like, them on the metro train, heading to the prison, and they go into the prison, and they’ve gotta prove that Cordell is still alive, or he’s in trouble. I, I don’t know, it’s like… Weird, so they meet with the prison doctor. 

Craig: So dumb. It’s so stupid. It’s like, then he tells, I don’t know, he’s like, oh yeah when he was on the table, like dead, covered in a sheet completely saturated with blood the doctor just casually hears that his heart is still beating once every Starts 

Todd: feeling his pulse, yeah, putting his thing on, it’s like a whole flashback sequence.


Craig: stupid, and so apparently what he did God, it’s so convoluted. The reason, the reason that Sally… Okay, so when the maniac cop went to prison, Sally tried to kill herself. That’s why she’s crippled now, 

Todd: because she threw herself out a window. Threw herself out a window? What?

Hahahaha! What? 

Craig: Okay. But, but, but when this doctor at the prison finds out that this… Cops not dead. He’s like, I can’t put him back in prison. They, they’ll just, they’ll just kill him. They’ll just kill him again. 

Todd: So, 

Craig: so he calls Sally. And apparently Sally comes in, gets him and, and they’re like, are you kidding?

You just let him go. And. He’s like he’s like brain dead. He can’t function as a person. Oh, 

Todd: okay. He says, I was telling the truth when I signed that death certificate. Yeah. He was brain dead, so there was no way he could function as a human being. Like, what kind of doctor would say somebody is literally dead?

When they’re actually still alive. It’s dumb. A 

Craig: really stupid movie doctor. It’s dumb. So, they know who he is. I mean, 

Todd: who cares at this point? Well, he had sympathy. He was like, Oh, but the system screwed him and blah blah blah. So I had to kind of let him go and yadda yadda yadda. And then, after Jack and Therese leave, a random orderly or somebody walks in and says, Here doctor, put on this tie.

It’s like a green tie. And she just… He’s like, Oh, he’s just like, you know, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, right? 

Craig: That was hilarious. That was the funniest. Because then the plot, then the plot immediately centers around St. Patrick’s Day. That was 

Todd: so funny. It was so funny. Oh God, I can’t talk enough about this. The clunky transition to somehow St.

Patrick’s Day. So apparent, so then suddenly it’s a St. Patrick’s Day parade. And we get footage of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. And Sam Raimi. As a reporter and that I was so thrilled because I looked at him and I immediately I was like, oh my god, Sam Raimi Reporting on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and apparently, Sam Raimi shot this footage of the St.

Patrick’s Day Parade before they even started filming this. He used some of it I guess they used it to like, even get funding for the movie. So that they could just stick this in. And then, from then on, every time we get a shot of someone’s office, like the police commissioner, whatever, they have St.

Patrick’s Day decorations in there. Like, who? Decorates their office for St. Patrick’s Day by putting up random green banners and sticking some shamrocks on their desk and on the walls and blowing up balloons and putting them by the window. Oh my god. 

Craig: It was funny. It was really funny and it was all just so that they could have, you know some cool footage of the parade.

And it was, it was cool 

Todd: and it was funny. I guess it adds production value, right? It does, 

Craig: it does! And it, it, it, honest to God, does. It adds production value to this pretty crappy movie. But for whatever reason Therese and Jack go back to the 

Todd: police station? But, but let me tell you. Again, in the version I saw, there was another scene in here with the mayor.

And there’s a guy who jumps into the mayor’s office like, Man! You gotta come down to the parade. You said you’d make an appearance. You need to make an appearance. And he’s like, There’s no way I’m not safe. I’m staying here. I’m gonna stay here in my office, and I want the security around me doubled. Well, 

Craig: that’s so weird, because I She goes in there, I guess, to tell them what they’ve figured out, but they don’t believe her.

They think that she’s just his 

Todd: accomplice. Yeah, and she’s his 

Craig: accomplice right and but then who because there’s there’s shaft and then there’s a white guy huh, 

Todd: the police chief or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, 

Craig: so I don’t think I ever saw the mayor cuz we they walk away but never do maniac cop maniac cop just comes up behind them and Slaughters them and then the the cop that they left with what’s her but he like hits on her for a while which was weird and then Handcuffs himself to her, and so the maniac cop kills him, and she has to drag him around.

That was hilarious. Let’s 

Todd: be fair, this was a cool scene. Like, I loved that bit where they were walking to the elevator, the door closes but there’s kind of a window in the doors. They see a hand with a knife come through. The maniac cop kills them. Like, I thought that, from a filmmaking perspective, this was really good.

It’s, it felt Yeah, I liked it. I really liked it. 

Craig: It was fine. I mean, it was one shot for like one second.

Todd: She’s handcuffed to this guy and she’s trying to get through the door, but like, he’s a burden and so like, they’re kind of stuck and you don’t know where he is and you, you know, she covered in blood and, and stuff. I don’t know. I, I thought it was honestly, I thought that whenever. There was like a murder scene or wherever there was like you know, like action or whatever that it was well filmed.

I was impressed that fricking William Lustig did this movie. I didn’t 

Craig: think it looked bad. I thought it looked fine. 

Todd: I thought it looked better than fine. I thought it was good. I mean, look, I mean, the movie’s silly, but the cinematography and the staging of these scenes was skillful. I thought. Anyway. Well, 

Craig: you are more talented.

Technically knowledgeable about that stuff than I am, but God, it’s so dumb. Bruce Campbell comes in to save her, 

Todd: I guess. Well, she tosses a chair out the window. She’s like climbing on the ledge and stuff. Like, this was kind of exciting. I like this bit. It was alright. What? Look, I’m just trying to get my nuggets where I could get them.


Craig: Well, my favorite. He comes in to save her and I think like, you know, a bunch of people are dead and the cops still think that he did it. But. Two cops like run in and he’s like, he’s like, hey put your guns down. I didn’t do it I didn’t do any of this and they’re like, oh, yeah sure and he’s like Hey put your guns down and they do and he’s like get on the ground and And they do and then he and Therese run away and one of the cops says hey, man Are we gonna go after him?

And the other cop says you heard him. He didn’t do it 

Todd: That was funny. That was hilarious 

Craig: Hey man, we gonna go after it? 

Todd: That was brilliant writing. No, I give him, I give Larry Cohen full credit for that. Just like, you know, my favorite line earlier, about cutting yourself shaving. I laughed so hard at that, it was funny.

But then, they spring out, right? And the police, the police officer 

Craig: I’m mixing things up, that was earlier, like I’m No, you’re right. No, because this time she goes out the window and like the maniac cop is like pursuing her outside the window But then we cut down to Jack who is still outside and the the cops at the parade Recognize him and isn’t that Forrest?

Let’s get him. Yeah, and they grab him and they throw him in the paddy wagon Did you but did you recognize one of those guys? No, I don’t think so the 

Todd: the lead of those two the one who had lines who was like, isn’t that Forrest? Let’s get him. I was like, holy shit That is the dude from Intruder. Oh… No. He was the guy, right?

Remember? I just love this story! Ha ha ha! 

Craig: Oh… The bad guy. I remember that guy. 

Todd: Yeah! I did. He’s in… He was in several of Sam Raimi’s movies. He was in Darkman, and he was the… Do you remember in Evil Dead 2? The… The kind of hillbilly type, yeah. Redneck guy who 

Craig: came up… That was him! Oh, funny. No, I didn’t recognize him.

Throw… They throw Jack in the paddy wagon, and then, the maniac cop… Who was just upstairs, is now down there. 

Todd: In the paddy wagon. 

Craig: He commandeers it, and drives it away, and… I don’t even know, like… This was fun! Teresa… I love this bit! There’s like a chase, Teresa and some rando cop. Like she hooks up with some 

Todd: rando cop.

Yeah, she just hops into his car, and they drive off chasing this guy. And I thought this was a nice… Chase scene. Honestly, it was really well filmed. It was fine. It was great. But the hilarious bit is, meanwhile, in the back, Bruce Campbell is getting absolutely bashed up. He’s like, every time this, this van turns from side to side, like, he’s handcuffed in the back of this thing.

He’s the only one back there in this big, empty van. And he’s just getting slammed against this side, slammed against that side, tossed on the floor and things. And I thought, my god, I’m kind of surprised Sam Raimi didn’t direct this movie. Because he sort of famously liked putting Bruce Campbell in these sort of…

Three Stooges type situations where he’s just getting thrown around and abused and this felt like it. Did you notice 

Craig: how hard that cop threw him up against the side of the truck? Like when the cops grabbed him whoever that actor was who grabbed him threw him up against the side of the paddy wagon really hard.

I was like. Dang

So maniac cop drives back to the docks, I don’t know cuz he lives there. I don’t know 

Todd: why Why did 

Craig: I know I so he goes there and then there’s kind of a showdown like we and we Finally see his face and he’s all cut up and stuff. Like it’s not even really that bad. Like he’s just kind of got scars on his face.

He’s a menacing looking dude, but as far as like gross factor, it’s not, it’s not that big a deal. And he almost kills Bruce Campbell, but then rando cop. Shoots him a couple times, but then he kills Rando Cop, and… 

Todd: Teresa’s got a shotgun, she shoots him a couple times, He ends up back in the van in in the paddy wagon somehow, and he’s like 

Craig: he’s trying to escape, I guess, but It’s 

Todd: weird, it’s like but here’s the thing, like, here’s what I don’t understand.

What was his beef? With Bruce Campbell’s character. At this point. I guess he just foiled his plan. But then he doesn’t care, right? Like, they get in there, he parks his paddy wagon, he gets an axe, he axes open the back of the paddy wagon so that Bruce Campbell can come out. It seems like he wants to kill him, but then he sort of gets foiled by the other two.

Then he just jumps in the patty way and he starts driving away. Bruce Campbell’s character, Jack, is climbing towards him and clinging on to the side for dear life and he’s just sort of like, kinda trying to knock him away. It’s like he doesn’t give a shit about him anymore. I don’t know where he’s driving to and I don’t know what his point is.

Is he trying to kill the mayor? Who knows? But he’s far away from where the mayor is. It makes no sense. He just drives off the dock. It culminates in an awesome stunt and it looks fantastic it looks great he drives off the dock and this pylon or something that’s sticking out goes through the front of the of the paddy wang through the windshield into him and Bruce Campbell’s still hanging on to the side and they Fly off and there’s this like slowmo of them flying off with this thing on it.

And Bruce Campbell, I mean, it must’ve been a stunt man. Oh yeah. Flying into the water and the thing flies in the water and I’m like, fuck. Yeah. Like that looked great. . 

Craig: Yeah, I mean, just it, the, the truck flying off the dock into the water and Slowmo looked fantastic, but the fact, yeah, that there was a stunt man hanging off the side who, when it went over the dock, then like Swan dived off the thing and landed like, 10 feet away from it.

That was cool. Like, whoever that guy was, is a badass. 

Todd: I miss that shit so much, because nowadays, like, you just don’t believe anything you see. I don’t know. 

Craig: I’ve never seen, I’ve never seen a Mission Impossible movie, but apparently if you’re into that stuff, Tom Cruise is… Crazy person 

Todd: who’s doing all his own 

Craig: stuff.

Yeah, and all his own crate like I’m hanging off helicopters and blah, whatever Yeah, the birds. They still do it. I mean that whole franchise is built on that So it still happens you just but you you don’t see it like he used to you’re no 

Todd: And not in an independent film like this, you know, right lame ass independent movie.

So that was cool the whole 

Craig: ending happens very fast and then they they fish the truck out of the Hudson, I guess it’s supposed to be, I don’t know. His body’s not there. And then it, you know, wide shots out and you see down by one of the pylons of the dock, the maniac cop’s hand come up. So, he, he has 

Todd: survived.

And let me tell you, the version that I saw had an alternate ending, so… 

Craig: Really? I didn’t even read that there was 

Todd: a different version. I didn’t either, but I’m telling you So the hand goes up the pylon, and then it dissolves back to that mayor’s office again, with the scene of the mayor getting the news about the guy dying, and he’s like, sitting at his desk and whatever, and the camera pans across the room, and you see feet under the curtain, and then those feet walk out, and then you hear AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I don’t know why they 

Craig: would have cut that stuff out because with that stuff, the movie would have made so much more sense in the version that I saw his motivations were entirely unclear.

It just something bad happened. Something bad happened and he got kicked off the force and put in jail. And, you know, Sally says to him, you know, you gotta stop killing these random people because our remember our main goal is to get to the commissioner and the mayor. Why? Like, that’s never explained in the cut that I saw, so it doesn’t make any sense.

Not that these movies necessarily have to make a lot of sense, but it’s frustrating. It’s especially frustrating to know that, at one point, it may have made sense, and they intentionally cut that stuff. That’s weird. I don’t get it. And 25 minutes. I don’t… I don’t get it. 

Todd: Yeah. I know what you mean. I know what you mean.

Well, in any case, I don’t know how I ended up with this version of the movie, but it was clear that these sequences were cut and, and like restored because there was not even a great effort to restore them because they were, like the audio was super loud and the, the video was very off and grainy and looked washed out and, and stuff.

Because I, I 

Craig: look like I, on IMDB there’s a place that says if there’s alternate versions and it said. You know, and I, I don’t know, maybe in Europe or something, they cut like five seconds of when he got something violent. I don’t remember when he was getting slashed up or something. They cut a tiny, tiny little bit for some releases, but I didn’t see anything about cut scenes.

Yeah, it’s really 

Todd: strange. It was almost like there was some contractual issue and they just decided to cut this mayor guy out of the picture entirely so that he could get his money or something because it’s like he never appears in the film, but in these particular scenes. So, anyway. 

Craig: Yeah. Well, yeah, I mean, the movie didn’t do well in theaters, but it did, like, incredibly well on home video and so well enough that it spawned a sequel, as you said, Bruce Campbell does reprise his role in the sequel he’s top billed, he’s got three minutes of screen time, he’s killed off in the first 15 minutes of the movie.

Todd: Robert Davi is in it, right? Like, he’s like, one of the Fratelli brothers and Goonies, he’s like a very recognizable dude. He’s like Christy 

Craig: Swanson.

Todd: Fair 

Craig: enough, fair enough. We won’t talk about him. But no, yeah, he’s in the, second one 

Todd: and the third one. Have you seen, I, I mean obviously, I haven’t seen this one. No, I’ve never seen it, yeah. Look, the second one and the third one are written by Larry Cohen and directed by William Lustig, just like this one, and Yeah, yeah, yeah, but did you read about the third one?

I did, I heard it’s like 

Craig: bullshit. Well, they wrote a whole different story that was supposed to feature a new character, a black detective. Yeah. But I, I guess that their biggest market The Japanese 

Todd: distributor, 

Craig: yeah. The Japanese distributor didn’t want A black protagonist. They wanted Robert Davy back.

And they, I guess they strong armed it so that they did get him back. But then the script didn’t make any sense. So they had to cut a bunch of scenes. So the initial cut only ran like 52 minutes. Right. And the producers wanted the director to go in and film new scenes, and he said no. So he just walked.

Yeah. So they brought in another director to fill it out. And apparently it’s a mess. I don’t know. I haven’t. Apparently it’s 

Todd: horrible. But the second one, apparently, again, according to what I read online, I haven’t seen it. is widely considered an improvement over the original. It’s got, like, some cool effects, it’s got some quirky characterizations.

It sort of stays true to the original, but it’s, like, widely regarded as much more superior. So, I I I I might actually… Like, you know, if we’re in the mood later on, I might be interested in watching the sequel and seeing if that’s true, because, yeah, maybe. I don’t know, you know, like, again, I was really anxious to see this movie because of its cult status and the fact that it kind of haunted me throughout, you know, my childhood and growing up, but I never actually sat down to watch it.

You know, I like the action, like I said, I thought actually it was well fun. Film for what it was. I mean, it just kind of a shitty movie, but had some cool like stunts in it. Had some cool scenes here and there had a few quippy lines and some people I recognized and enjoyed watching. And that was enough for me.

And so I, usually that’s enough for a film to gain cult status. But as far as like objectively saying like, no, it’s, it’s not a good movie. It’s no, I don’t, I couldn’t recommend it. To anyone besides, like, people like you and me, and maybe our listeners, right? Other than that, no. 

Craig: Yeah, that’s, I, I mean, I feel the same way, like as a completionist, I’m glad to have seen it, but I would never be compelled to see it again, and I, like you said, Yeah those of you who are listening, who are into horror as much as we are, I mean, we’ve seen worse, it’s not, It’s not terrible, but it’s not good either, so you’re really not missing anything.

Todd: But it had its, you know, kind of 80s nostalgic charm. 

Craig: Well, Bruce Campbell’s in it. He’s always fun. I mean, he doesn’t have a whole lot to do, but he’s young and handsome, and if you’re into him, like, that’s kind of cool. Yeah, you’re right. Like, it’s kind of a fun guess who game of, of horror people, so, you know, that’s, that’s kind of cool, but whatever.

That’s the best we can say. That’s it. I 

Todd: don’t know. Thank you friends for listening to this podcast. Also, thank you to our patrons for selecting this for us. It truly was great to finally have an excuse to sit down and review this movie. Once again, we really are grateful to our patrons for donating real money to this show and supporting us.

If you are interested also in becoming a part of our out with the cost that it takes to put this out to you every week as we have for the last what, eight, eight or nine years? Oh my God. God, it’s crazy. It’s been that long. It’s insane. Patreon. com slash chainsaw podcast. Five bucks a month is all you need to gain access to our Patreon channel.

You can get mini sodes, an exclusive interview with us, kind of behind the scenes of this podcast, where Greg puts out regular, like, little mini reviews of things that he’s seen. We have a robust conversations about stuff, a discord channel, as well as access to our unedited and uninterrupted phone calls.

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And I’m Craig. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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