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Maniac Cop (1988) – Episode 163 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Look at the size of those hematomas!”  Do we have to? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr –  as they visit the land of chins in Maniac Cop (1988).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 163 – Maniac Cop (1988)

A killer dressed in a police uniform begins murdering innocent people on the streets of New York City.


Your 1980s Grue-Crew bravely tackles the first film in director William Lustig’s and writer Larry Cohen’s Maniac Cop franchise despite the constant danger from being hit by swinging chins. Robert Z’Dar and Bruce Campbell are the main offenders but William Smith is no slouch in the chin category either. In fact, one of the film’s biggest assets is its cast. Bill keeps trying to figure out what makes the titular character so hard to kill while Crystal digs Laurene Landon’s performance and her 80s hairdo. Tom Atkins is the main attraction for Chad while Jeff gets lost in all the cameos. 

Currently, all three films in the Maniac Cop franchise are available for streaming on Shudder and on Blu-ray: Maniac Cop from Synapse Films, and Maniac Cop 2 and Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence from Blue Underground.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode will be dedicated to Maniac (1980), the Crew’s second William Lustig film in a row.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.