The Most Underrated Horror Film of the 80's : MANIAC COP | Midnight Pulp

The Most Underrated Horror Film of the 80’s : MANIAC COP

Lee Bridges May 16, 2017 May 16th, 2017

1988 marked the end of a ten year boom in horror movies that started in the late seventies. While most people associate horror in the 80’s with the likes of Freddy and Jason. There is another unstoppable killing machine I’d like to talk about. The one and only crazed NYPD officer himself, Matt Cordell the MANIAC COP!

Growing up as a ” Monster Kid ” in a rural area during the eighties you had take what you could get when it came to horror movies . The local video store was several miles away and besides talking your Mom into renting a R rated movie was an ordeal in and of itself.

On one Saturday night while flipping through the channels that the cable service of the time had to offer, I stumbled upon a movie that starred Bruce Campbell of the Evil Dead , Tom Atkins from Night of the Creeps and Robert Z’Dar from Tango and Cash. From then on I’ve been a huge fan of this movie and If you’ve never seen it allow me tell you what you’ve been missing.


The film opens with the attempted mugging of a young woman on her way home from work. As she flees he attackers she sees a uniformed police officer and doing what anyone in her shoes would . she runs toward him looking for help, its only when she sees the cop’s face that she realizes that she’s in more danger now than ever. The Enormous man lifts her off the ground and snaps her neck.

The Murders continue night after night and are Quickly Pinned on Rookie Police officer Jack Forrest ( Bruce Campbell ) and while the Commissioner’s Office is satisfied. Veteran Detective Frank McCrae ( Tom Atkins ) Knows in his gut that jack is innocent.

As Frank keeps digging into the case one name keeps coming up, that of long dead Police officer Matt Cordell. Detective Cordell had been sent to Sing Sing maximum Security prison after his shooting of a suspect was deemed unlawful. Shortly after his sentencing Cordell was attacked in the showers and stabbed to death.

After the killer Viciously attacks a police station and Jack manages to escape, He now has to clear his name while running from the killer and the entire NYPD. This leads to a chase through the New York City St. Patrick day Parade ( the biggest police holiday of the year ) and a confrontation on the decaying docks where jack comes face to face with the seemingly Undead Matt Cordell ( the late great Robert Z’Dar ).

One of the best things about Maniac Cop is it gives you what you want but not what you expect from a movie of this type. It doesn’t take place in a secluded summer camp instead its story unfolds on the streets of New York City. The Victims are all adults and the violence is very quick and very brutal. Even his signature weapon is original.

The knife hidden in the Nightstick is very clever

Unfortunately the films star Robert Z’Dar passed away a couple years ago while at a horror convention in Florida. Even though he’d appeared in over one hundred films there wasn’t enough money to ship his body home and bury him. His brother set up a fundraising page and within days Robert’s fans had donated enough movie to send him home to be buried next to his parents in Illinois.

If you’ve never seen this action packed Horror Classic from the late 80’s then you’re out of excuses. Because you can watch it right here on Midnight Pulp!