Maniac Cop 2.

Another Lustig movie about a vigilante… I definitely know that Lovelock and Starkwell head into this one with the expectation bar at least somewhat raised.  They enjoyed the first installment, and they definitely like some of writer Larry Cohen’s other endeavors, such as “The Stuff”.  While they found “Uncle Sam” to be a bit of a stinker (I mean, how many times can you re-brand the same movie), this one came in well before that, so maybe it won't feel quite so tired.  Also, I mean, come on, Bruce Campbell is in it.  So, yeah.


[Bruce Campbell fights Maniac Cop.]

Starkwell: I always thought Campbell was kind of a Streisand, but he’s rocking the shit in this one.

Lovelock: Wait what?

[Maniac Cop drives a truck off a pier with Campbell hanging onto the side of the truck.]

Lovelock: WOAH!  STUNTS!

Starkwell: I miss watching movies where you get to spot the stunt doubles.  Nice wig!


If you haven’t seen the first one, all you really need to know is that Maniac Cop is a vigilante zombie cop who just don’t know when to quit.  Something tells me that, although he just took a huge pipe through the chest, he’s coming back.  The something telling me that, is that this is called “Maniac Cop 2” and we are only two minutes into the film.


[Maniac Cop stops an armed robbery, but kills the clerk and gives the gun back to the perp.]

Lovelock:  I don’t get it.

Starkwell: What’s with all the smoke?

Lovelock: Will there be a story in this movie, or… ?


Bruce Campbell and Blondie are arguing with the police commissioner about whether or not the Maniac Cop really is the undead dude they think it is.  Blondie starts FREAKING OUT.  Then five minutes later they kill Campbell and the guys are all “DA FUCK”.


Starkwell: Is it really necessary to focus on the dead naked girl’s boobs for so long at the morgue?  They’re there to identify Bruce Campbell’s body…

Lovelock: I’ll allow it.

Starkwell: Dude, weak.


There doesn’t seem to be any real method to Maniac Cop’s madness.  I mean I get that he killed Bruce Campbell, but the guy in the corner store?  Now a cop towing away some douchebag’s car?  What the shit?


[Maniac Cop throws Blondie through a window and then she goes after him with a chainsaw.]

Starkwell: What does she expect to do with that?

Lovleock: I don’t know but she has some seriously crimped hair.

[Maniac Cop immediately breaks her neck.]

Lovelock: Hashtag chainsaw fail.

Starkwell: Never again, please.


Then the Police Psychologist Woman, handcuffed to a car’s steering wheel goes flying down the highway… on the outside of the car.  Say what you will about the movie, but there are some pretty righteous car stunts littered throughout.


[Strip club scene.]

Starkwell: Why is this scene so long?  Why are the strip club scenes always so long?

Lovelock: Like you don't know.  More important is, who is this fucking guy they are focusing on?

[This movie is developing a side story now, even though the main story is barely developed.]


So the guy at the strip club is a Serial Killer who’s been killing strippers.  As he is about to kill another stripper in her apartment, Maniac Cop show up, throws the girl into a wall and saves the Serial Killer from the police.  Seriously, what the fuck, they become buddies and plan to kill together?


Lovelock: I feel like the theme from “Perfect Strangers” should start playing, at this point.


Then there is a flashback to how Maniac Cop died in prison, and for whatever reason, it just had to be in “stabbed while naked in the showers by some shirtless inmates”.  So we get plenty of Robert Z’Dar ass shots and some almost side peen.  Why did it have to be in the shower?  And why were the prison showers so dark, open and cavernous?


[The cops go around to some neighboring strip clubs to look for the guy.  They find him at the first strip club they go to.]

Starkwell: How convenient.

Lovelock: How did this guy manage to kill so many strippers and get away with it if he is so dumb?  FUuuUUCK the cops in this movie’s universe are inept.


Then Maniac Cop goes to the police station and kills basically everybody and frees his Serial Killer Buddy.  It’s a fair amount of bullet action and gore, but I still don’t really see what his end game is, other than killing everyone that potentially put him behind bars in the first place.  Also random people.


[Maniac Cop and Serial Killer steal a prison bus and break into prison… ?]

Starkwell: So, no one reported that the prison bus was stolen and that MAYBE the prison souldn’t let the bus in?

Lovelock: Remember what I said about the cops in this universe?

[So I guess he is going after the people that shower-shanked him in prison.]


After a pretty sweet fire stunt, Maniac Cop kills his killers and flies out the window down a bunch of flights into a bus, which then explodes.  It’s THE DEFINITION OF BLAZE OF GLORY.  The story may have lacked some imagination, and had a whole slew of useless bits, like the Serial Killer Guy (why was he even in this?), but man, the action and stunts were tight. Can’t wait to show them part 3.


Diary Of The Dead.

People like to crap all over the second Romero dead trilogy, but I honestly thought “Land of the Dead” was good.  There’s something comforting about a zombie film made by Romero.  It’s like listening to an old favorite band that is sort of phoning it in, but I mean, come on, they’re still fun.  Unfortunately, this usually is the beginning of the end for a band/director, and eventually they start sounding/looking like the people originally imitating them.  Like when Weezer starts sounding like a Weezer cover band.  Or when Romero makes “Diary of the Dead”, basically.  But at least at that point they haven’t totally gone off the fucking deep end, hit rock bottom, and made “Survival of the Dead”.  I'll save that complete fucking turd for another day… of the dead.


[Intro, FOUND FOOTAGE style.]

Starkwell: Proof that even the greats succumb to shitty fads.

Lovelock: So Romero saw "REC" and was like, hey didn’t I kind of make that?  No?  Okay, maybe I should?

[The acting looks like, well, it won’t be very good.]

Starkwell: “Land” had a decent cast, I guess this one… doesn’t?


Now we get the intro of the “FILM WITHIN A FILM” called “The Death of a Dream”…  Basically people were making horror film, and eventually zombies rolled in, and so they kept rolling.  AND THEN some annoying girl took all of this footage and edited together this “Death of a Dream” movie… about the outbreak.  So I guess the zombie outbreak ended and she had time to edit this, narrate it, add music and… show it to all of us?  I don’t get it.


[FIRST PERSON VIEW going through dark and scary empty dorms.]

Starkwell: Definitely has a video game kind of feel.

Lovelock: Complete with “First Resident Evil's live action scenes” level of acting and dialogue.

Starkwell: So who's the master of unlocking?



Then the main girl Deb says she wants to go home to Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Then, rather than listening to the shit dialogue, Starkwell and Lovelock started talking about “The Office”.   The ‘gang’ are driving in some sort of RV.  They see their first zombies and run them over, pretty nonchalantly.  Then, after, they all freak out?


[They pull over, and the girl that was driving blows her own brains out.]

Starkwell: That seemed a bit… sudden.  Kind of an overreaction...

Lovelock: I don’t think ANYONE would react that severely, even if they were real people.

[They go to a hospital, because she still has a pulse.]

Lovelock: She can't drive, OR blow her own brains out?

Starkwell: So what they were driving along the highway and they just happened to be right next to a hospital, right as the driver shot herself in the face?



Starkwell and Lovelock are really having problems with this one.  On the bright side, the zombies look great (one thing Romero always gets right), and there are some decent scares her in the hospital.  There are some CG effects in the mix and they aren’t great, though.




Romero is clearly trying to make a point that in this age of information, too many people are filming, there are eyes everywhere, no one is living, people want to see life filtered through a camera, through TV, and through BLABLABLA… to be honest he is FULLY beating his point to DEATH, unnecessarily so, and on top of that, it feels like he is trying to say more than one thing (?).  He could have focused more on action and building characters and been more subtle about his point(s).  We are the walking dead, yeah I get it.


[They meet a deaf Amish farmer and use his barn to fix their RV.]

Lovelock: Good thing the Dumb Blonde knows how to fix the… fuel line?

Starkwell: This is some gang they’ve put together.

[Zombies close in on them.]

Lovelock: He’s not doing a very good job at building tension.  I honestly don’t feel worried at all.

Starkwell: To be fair, that’s mostly because you don’t give a shit about the characters.


Then the Amish guy dies almost immediately, making him as pointless as all of the rest of the characters in this movie.  Then they meet some black dudes… ‘gangstas’ I guess.  THEN THEY SHOW MAIN CHARACTER JASON and THE NERD GUY EDITING THE MOVIE.  Scenes we’ve already seen.  The movie within the movie within the movie within the movie?  I don’t know how many levels down we’re diving.  But I’m pretty sure we’re swimming in the deep end.  Of a pool of shit.


[Zombie takes a bottle of hydrochloric acid to the head and it slowly melts.]

Lovelock: Probably sounded better on paper.  Because fucknuts that looked bad.


Really just feels like a movie written by an old out of touch guy.  I guess it was.  And by the way, the old professor in the gang has a fucking bow and arrow now.  The gang now goes to their rich friend’s house, but he’s gone crazy after killing his whole family after they done gone zombie.  It’s a super long and dragged out scene that doesn’t really go anywhere until he goes zombie too.


[Main character films zombie running after Blondie, and, doesn’t help her.]

Starkwell: This movie is dumb.

Lovelock: At least we got to see dem boobies.


Anyways, the main character dies and the movie ends, after some more cheesy dialog asking whether we, as a species, are worth saving. Ugh.  I'm surprised that Lovelock didn't say "diarrhea the dead' at some point... Seems like a missed opportunity.