Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992) — Voodoo and zombie cops don’t mix

“She’s at peace. Let her go, Matt. Let her go.”

Justin’s rating: Dishonorable discharge of all weapons

Justin’s review: Horror trilogies rarely stick the landing. I mean, trilogies in general tend to fall apart in the third installment, but it’s pretty egregious in this genre. And boy oh boy, did Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence emerge into this world as a hot, weird, confusing mess.

This project started out promising, with the original writer, director, and stars returning. But it started to fall apart when Japanese investors balked at the idea of a black actor assuming the new hero role, forcing the team to abruptly shift gears and bring back Robert Davi. This sent director William Lustig into the mother of all snit fits, and he kind of quit the film after delivering a 51-minute cut. This left co-producer Joel Soisson to step in and film another half-hour of semi-unrelated scenes, splicing those with outtakes from Maniac Cop 2 to create a final cut. Disgusted with it all, Lustig took his name off the project and slapped the Alan Smithee name onto the movie as the director.

Long backstory short, Maniac Cop 3 doesn’t put coherence and logic at the top of its resume. The loose story involves a priest who uses a voodoo ritual to Weekend at Bernie’s 2 Matt Cordell (Robert Z’Dar) back from the dead. Once back on the streets, Cordell seems taken with the plight of Katie Sullivan (Gretchen Becker), a cop who was wrongly accused — like him! So Cordell starts killing everyone associated with her situation and positions himself as her future groom if and when she wakes up from a coma.

Understand that the above synopsis is me meeting the film more than halfway. I think the idea of Cordell actually redeeming himself by taking down the genuine bad guys is a good idea — as is getting a partner in un-crime — but boy is it mismanaged. And boring. “Boring” is the real crime, here. I hate it when movies waste my time with padding and meandering. I can do that well enough on my own; I don’t need a 30-year-old movie to vaporize an hour-and-a-half of my life.

Without a narrative reason to exist, as everything was tied up in Maniac Cop 2, the third installment overstays what little welcome this series had.

Didja notice?

  • That’s some fancy baton spinning, there
  • Cool cops smoke and don’t wear ear protection on the firing range
  • Cops and robbers don’t seem to mind when news reporters are in the middle of a crime scene

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