MANIAC COP 3: BADGE OF SILENCE
Director: Wiliam Lustig
Year of release: 1993
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 85 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "The wrong arm of the law is back" and "You can't keep a good corpse down".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: The Maniac Cop Matt Coredell finds himself reanimated by means of voodoo in this final entry in the trilogy. Upon his resurrection Cordell takes an interest in Katie Sullivan, a woman whom he seems to see as a kind of kindred spirit. Katie is currently incapacitated in a coma after being left badly injured during the attempted burglary of a pharmacy. Due to some trickery from the thief and his purported hostage Katie has wrongly been left looking like the bad guy in the incident and should she regain consciousness will as a result be in trouble with the Law herself. Seeing the poor woman being made out to be something of a scapegoat and feeling he himself was harshly treated back in the day, Cordell goes about trying to find justice for Katie in his usual brutal manner. Detective Sean McKinney, still haunted by his previous ordeal with Cordell finds himself back on the hunt for the rogue cop once again while at the same time trying to clear Katie’s name himself.
Good points: As with the previous film there is some good continuity shown with Detective McKinney returning and an explanation provided as to how Cordell was reanimated which we saw at the end of part two with him bursting out of the coffin. Cordell’s face also shows suitable burn damage.
An attempt is made to show a more complex layered side to Cordell. To an extent we saw this last time out with Cordell sort of befriending Turkell but it is taken a step further here with him feeling empathy for Katie and wanting to bring her justice. On top of this some of his human tendencies appear to remain as he shows signs of romantic feelings towards the stricken police woman to the point that he wants to marry her and have her as a partner of sorts. Sounds silly but it’s an attempt to give us something a bit different at least.
This follows on from what we’ve come to expect from the two previous films in keeping up the slick glossy look and production values and it is quite atmospheric and moody in places as well. There are some solid action sequences on offer as well towards in the form of car chases involving Cordell, McKinney and Susan. From a technical standpoint everything looks very well put together.
Spoilers: A couple of really good short scenes stood out for me both involving McKinney. First when he is covered by the sheet on the gurney and rolling towards the criminals and we aren’t sure if perhaps it is Cordell underneath. I found this bit quite creepy and surreal. Later on there is another good bit where he uses Corrdell’s burning severed limb to light his cigarette.
To me it felt as if there was slightly more of a story to this one when compared to number two where in that case I didn’t like the whole thing with Turkell. The Katie case here I think is more interesting and showcases improved writing.
Bad Points: It could be said that it is unrealistic at the start of this/end of the last one with Cordell’s hand bursting out of the coffin. It hadn’t even been covered with earth at this point so when the groundskeeper came to do that it would be noticed that the coffin was damaged and Cordell no longer inside. No one seems aware however besides McKinney that Cordell is still at large.
The deaths are a bit more bland in this one than in the previous films with there not really being any that stuck in my memory. The ones with the defibrillator and the X-Ray machine are the pick of the bunch but even these aren’t very graphic and don’t feel particularly satisfying. Fore gore fans this doesn’t deliver much.
I think the film could have gone into a little bit more detail with Katie’s backstory. She mentions at the start how she is being referred to by some as a kind of female version of the Maniac Cop but we don’t see or hear much evidence of this other than her having an unauthorised weapon. More examples should have been brought up as part of Frank’s legal case which could have gone into more detail showing she had a history of strong arm tactics. This would have helped justify Cordell’s interest in her as well.
Similarly not much (if any) effort was made to give us background on the Houngan character. They surely should have explained why he had such an interest in resurrecting Cordell in the first place?
Verdict: I was expecting this to be a poor film as I’d read that it was easily the worst in the series but I found it to be better than I was expecting. I suppose the voodoo aspects and the Cordell being obsessed with Katie business is all a bit hokey and this turns a lot of people off but I found all of this entertaining enough and it was superior to the second film in my view if not as good as the first. The deaths were lacklustre this time around so that did hurt things a bit but on the other hand it was nice to see McKinney return and he provided some positive moments. If you enjoyed the first two films I’d say this is well worth a look despite its bad reputation.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Policeman: Shot by Frank at the pharmacy.
2)2nd Policeman: Also shot by Frank at the pharmacy.
3)3rd Policeman: Shot by Frank at pharmacy, knocked into car windshield by force of the blast.
4)Clerk/Frank’s accomplice: Shot in the head by Katie.
5)Man badmouthing the police: Shot and thrown into a car by Cordell.
6)Dr Peter Myerson: Repeatedly zapped with a defibrillator by Cordell.
7)Dr Powell: Burned with an X-Ray machine by Cordell.
8)Reporter #1: Throat cut (off camera) by Cordell.
9)Paramedic #1: His stabbed corpse is discovered in an ambulance.
10)Paramedic #2: Corpse found in ambulance.
11)Reporter #2: Stabbed in the back by Cordell as he discovered the bodies listed 8-10.
12)Police security guard #1: Shot and knocked down flight of stairs by Cordell.
13)Police security guard #2: Shot and knocked down stairs.
14)Gina Lindsey: Shot by Frank.
15)Hank Cooney: Shot by Frank.
16)Police security guard#3: Hit with nightstick and then shot in the back by Frank’s friend.
17)Katie: Taken out of the hospital off life support by Cordell.
18)Frank’s friend #1: Shot by McKinney during gurney scene.
19)Frank’s friend #2: Shot by McKinney during gurney scene.
20)Frank: Also shot by McKinney during gurney scene.
21)Hougnan: Shot in the back by Cordell after he fails to resurrect Katie. Later catches on fire.