It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born. For the curious, here are links to 2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Well, they can’t all be gold. Day four of our Easter Zombie Movie Marathon brings us the final (for now) chapter in the Maniac Cop saga, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence – I have no idea what that title is supposed to mean – and an animated revisiting of the original 1968 classic that started it all: Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated. Sadly, despite some high points, neither film is really up to snuff. Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence was plagued by problems behind-the-scenes from the very beginning. Larry Cohen had returned to write the script, but when it came time to start shooting, it was still unfinished. They started filming anyway, with producer Joel Soisson scripting scenes based on Cohen’s outlines. Despite Maniac Cop 2 being an underground hit, the budget was cut by half. The original idea was to feature a new protagonist, a black officer with a history involving voodoo, but the Japanese marketers said no thanks, which meant bringing back Robert Davi as Detective Sean McKinney, but none of the rest of the previous cast (except for Robert Z’Dar, of course). Director William Lustig eventually left the production and had his name removed from the final release. Soisson also stepped in to complete the film as an uncredited director. When you see “Directed by Alan Smithee” come up, you know there’s gonna be trouble. Perhaps the brightest spot in all of this is that Spiro Razatos is back as the stunt coordinator, but with the budget slashed far more than the expectations of the script, everything just comes up short – although the final extended car chase sequence has its moments as Maniac Cop is on fire the entire time. According to rumors, the original cut of this film only clocked in at around 51 minutes, which might explain why the final cut’s first twenty minutes could have been retitled, Maniac Cop: Walking Around New York at Night NOT KILLING ANYBODY. This is despite the fact that the film starts by replaying the funeral ending of Maniac Cop 2, only this time an old black man in a dark, candle-lit room chants menacingly before plunging a knife into the severed head of some random dude. This is why Maniac Cop punched through his coffin and grabbed his badge at the end of the previous film. He’s being reanimated (again) for some obscure voodoo reason… something about anti-justice… or something? Meanwhile, as Maniac Cop walks threateningly around New York flipping his billy club, a woman cop, Katie Sullivan (Gretchen Becker), called Maniac Kate by other cops thanks to her embrace of excessive force, gets into a shoot-out with a very young and fresh-faced Jackie Earle Haley as psycho killer Frank Jessup. In the end, Frank is shot but alive and ready to sue the city, while Maniac Kate is shot and in a coma, where for some reason she is psychically chosen as a bride for Maniac Cop? There’s a weird dream wedding and everything. Then, instead of killing people and being the menace we all know and love, Maniac Cop becomes her protector, killing a couple of asshole doctors (Doug Savant and the charmingly overacting Robert Forster) and the news team who recorded the shooting of Maniac Kate, but edited the footage to make it seem like she’s a loose cannon. So not only is Maniac Cop protecting her while she’s comatose, he’s also on a mission to clear her name. I just don’t know about any of this. The kills are boring, the dialogue is forgettable, there’s not a serious threat, and up until the final fifteen minutes or so, it may as well not even be a Maniac Cop movie. On the plus side, Davi is solid, although the romantic angle the film takes is shoehorned in and wasn’t necessary. And Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence does have one of the best closing moments in cinema history (and many thanks to friend of the Drive-In, Raf Gaitan for giving me the head’s up about this!) as Davi finds a unique way to light his “I’ve survived this bullshit” cigarette. That alone may be worth sitting through the rest of the film. The second feature on Day four, Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated (not to be confused with Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation from 2012) is an artistic experiment orchestrated by Mike Schneider that ultimately doesn’t really live up to expectations. Over a hundred artists and animators from around the world have re-interpreted George A. Romero’s 1968 classic, scene-by-scene, shot-by-shot. Essentially, it’s the audio track of the original film with new artwork overlaid. There’s just about every different type of illustration on display here, from still pen and ink line drawings to traditional cell animation to comic book pages to Claymation to sock puppets to paper cut-outs to Legos to simply putting “artistic” filters over the original film footage. Oh, and some truly awful video game graphics. Some of it is a bit abstract. Some of it is silly. Some of it is so gorgeous I’d love to have a series of prints framed and mounted. Almost all of it is boring as hell, though. Since there’s really not a whole lot to say about the project, here are some images, in lieu of an actual review. See larger image Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence [Blu-ray] The Wrong Arm Of The Law Is Back! When Officer Kate Sullivan storms a hostage situation, the whole incident is captured on tape by an unscrupulous media crew who edit the footage to show Kate killing a helpless victim. Now in a coma, Kate’s only hope is Detective Sean McKinney, who desperately tries to clear her name. But unbeknownst to him, “Maniac Cop” Matt Cordell takes it upon himself to exact revenge upon those responsible for smearing her name. Returning stars Robert Davi (PROFILER) and Robert Z’Dar (BEASTMASTER 2) are joined by Paul Gleason (DIE HARD), Jackie Earle Haley (WATCHMEN), Julius Harris (SUPER FLY), Doug Savant (MELROSE PLACE), and Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) in this thrilling third entry from MANIAC COP creator Larry Cohen (GOD TOLD ME TO). Featuring a brand-new 4K High Definition transfer from the original uncensored negative, this definitive presentation of MANIAC COP 3: BADGE OF SILENCE comes packed with exclusive Extras! EXTRAS:Wrong Arm Of The Law – The Making Of MANIAC COP 3 Deleted and Extended Scenes Theatrical Trailer Poster & Still Gallery Original Synopsis Enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems New From: $17.97 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.