Argh, Maniac Cop is so much better! For one, Robert Z’Dar plays a much more intimidating killer than Robert Shafer does here. It looks like Shafer didn’t care and just goofs off the entire time. He’s laughing, with maniacally wild eyes, spouting awful dialog and one-liners that make the audience groan in a forced deep voice that wants to be intimidating and instead just falls flat on its face. Plus the whole reasoning behind this is that he’s a Satanist…or maybe a serial killer who escaped from prison and somehow managed to change his identity and become a police officer in the last three months. The movie wavers in the last ten minutes as to its explanation why and gives what sounds like two different character backgrounds. It doesn’t matter though, because by this point I just don’t care.
But on to the basic plot. A bunch of yuppies in their early twenties use their impressive stock portfolios to rent a mansion in the middle of nowhere that is guarded by a Fabio wannabe for a short vacation. In the first few minutes they assert that they are assholes, and they continue to be assholes to each other throughout the film. And then they don’t have the good decency to start dying until halfway through. Damn it, Psycho Cop, kill them faster, I’m tired of listening to their damned yuppie asshole voices! But no, instead Psycho Cop kills off the Fabio wannabe groundskeeper.
This is important, because the next 45 minutes are spent with the cast wondering where the Fabio wannabe has gone. I’ve never seen a character get mentioned so much in a film. The guy is brought up over 30 times in the film after his death. He’s in it for five minutes, and he’s the most discussed character. He’s also like the only guy who isn’t an asshole, save for the murder fodder cops who show up at the end only to die. You know, Cop #1 and Cop #2. You know they’ll die with names like that. And they’re dumb asses anyway, so…not much better than assholes.
The bottom line is that if you want to see a movie about a killer police officer, stick with the Maniac Cop series. Avoid Psycho Cop. It’s bad. Like really bad. Not as bad as R.O.T.O.R. or 1981 Scream, mind you, but it’s trying. No, Maniac Cop is the way to go.