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Peggy Christie's Drunken Monkey Review - Maniac Cop 3

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence – Another Drunken Monkey Review

2.5/5

 

We’ve done it, folks. We’ve reached the end of the Maniac Cop series with the third and final installment, 1992’s Maniac Cop 3 – Badge of Silence. And let me tell you, it certainly pays to be drunk for this flick. I’ll explain below. But in the meantime, let’s go over the ins and outs of Matt Cordell’s continuing story.

SPOILERS: My editor is currently knee deep in a quagmire of quicksand and I just can’t be bothered to get him out, so I WILL be spoiling plot points.

MANIAC COP 3 – THE BEGINNING OF THE END STARTS WITH THE END OF THE MIDDLE

If you remember where we left off in Part 2, Cordell was finally being laid to rest with a proper funeral, something Detective McKinney believes will put Cordell’s soul to rest. WRONG! Because at that exact moment, a voodoo priest is performing a ritual to raise Cordell from the dead! Or keep him undead or not let him rest…I don’t fucking know.

We’ll get into that later.

So while McKinney is trying to move on with his life and work, his good cop friend, Kate Sullivan, is framed for murdering innocent people while on duty, thanks to the clever editing of a local news duo who just want to make some big bucks. She’s shot by the criminal during his pharmacy plundering job, ending up on life support but basically brain dead.

Now that Matt Cordell is back on the streets, he makes his way to the priest. And then suddenly he’s in Kate’s hospital room like he’s visiting relatives or some shit. She does wake up for a moment while McKinney is sitting with her, as Cordell hovers in the dark corner like a creep (which honestly scared the shit out of me) before nearly grabbing the detective. But she’s back to her comatose self when McKinney returns with Doctor Fowler.

I’m very confused as to why Cordell has imprinted on her – maybe it’s the story about her being a hard ass and always quick to deliver overkill justice, earning her the nickname Maniac Kate. MANIAC KATE?? Hmm…who does that sound like? But now Cordell has made it his mission to jack up any one who is mean to Kate, talks shit about her, anyone responsible for putting Kate in the hospital to begin with, those who plan to pull the plug on her to save the city money, etc.

You know, the usual.

McKinney and Doctor Fowler are now hunting down Cordell’s whereabouts after he steals Kate from the hospital. Apparently Matt has taken her to the voodoo priest to raise her from the dead, too. But she ain’t having it. He can only raise the souls of those who want to come back.

Better luck next time, Matt.

Maniac Cop 3 2
Well, THIS doesn’t look right.

Naturally, Matt’s upset so he kills the voodoo priest, which inadvertently sets Kate’s body on fire. Matt picks her up, he catches fire (again), everything catches fire. IT’S ALL ON FIRE!

And this is where it goes off the rails, folks.

(You mean it already hasn’t? No, it hasn’t.)

McKinney and the doc escape the flames in one of those station wagon kind of ambulance vehicles. And Cordell, STILL ON FIRE, pulls up alongside them in a cop car. An extensive car chase ensues, McKinney unloading not one, not two, but THREE gun clips into Cordell’s undead body. The only way he can get Cordell to let go of their vehicle is to drive up to a railroad crossing sign that passes between the cars and severs Matt’s arm.

AND THEN he gets the brilliant idea to throw an oxygen tank into the back of Cordell’s cop car where it explodes and puts an end to our undead Maniac Cop.

Or does it…?

JUST MAKE UP YOUR MIND, DAMMIT

The fact that I saw two different story descriptions for this movie just proves it can’t figure out what it wants to be. Is it horror? Action? Vengeance? Supernatural? Love? Social commentary? One description says that Kate falls in love with Matt and he’ll do anything to protect her. Another says the voodoo priest raises Matt to force him to mete out justice. No where in the film do either of those story lines pan out.

If one does just the bare minimum of snooping on ye olde interwebs (or you’re just a nut for behind the scenes stuff), one will find that William Lustig left the production halfway through; Larry Cohen refused to do any NECESSARY rewrites unless he got more moolah; co-producer-thrust-into-the-director’s-chair, Joel Soisson, had to make up a bunch a shit on the fly and stuff in outtakes from the 2nd film to bulk up an extra thirty minutes needed to make this an actual full length film; etc. etc. etc.

Explains a lot of the flaws in Maniac Cop 3, to be honest.

Dean mistakes

There is a lot of filler, or even what just feels like filler, in this movie. Flashbacks take up a lot of it. There’s also a lot of Matt Cordell just walking around, twirling his baton – and I WISH that was a euphemism. The reporters drive around quite a bit looking for a juicy story. Even some of the hospital stuff feels padded from time to time. Just really annoying and bogged the pacing down a bit.

Also the story just has a lot of holes that are never addressed, or it simply makes no sense. The priest never explains why he brought Matt back. In fact, he even says resurrection is more painful than the original death. So why did he do it? If he did tell McKinney and I missed it (damn you, hearing aids that I took out before turning on the movie) we never see him ordering Matt around. And why does the priest have a giant scar across his neck from ear to ear? Did he want justice for that and called on Matt?

Why did Cordell suddenly “fall in love” with Kate? Did he see himself in her – with the shoot first ask questions later reputation and being framed? Did she look like his old girlfriend? Is that why Kate has a weird in-limbo dream about walking down the aisle in a wedding dress with bunch a cops in the pews, and a large-shouldered man waiting for her at the altar whom we never see but

Maniac Cop 3
Defibrillator paddles to the face

we know it’s Robert Z’Dar, aka Matt Cordell? Or was it the result of an undead cop feeling up her boobies while she’s comatose?

I mean, what’s up with that??

And I’m sorry to cast aspersions on the writing of the late, great Larry Cohen but it was pretty obvious 95% of the characters in this flick were deliberately dipped in Eau de Dickbag so we’d be happy to see them die. Which shows a generous lack of trying, IMHO. Though we do get some epic kills in this installment.

The surgeon who worked on Kate tells McKinney to “stick her in a rock garden” because she ain’t waking up. Matt takes offense to that and interrupts the doctor’s… muffin snack with some hapless nurse. Matt zaps him a few times on his body with some defibrillator paddles, driving him outside to the roof, where he eventually finishes on his face (which the nurse could have done if they weren’t so rudely interrupted but that’s a different movie.)

The head doctor of the emergency department and the city lawyer basically plot to trick Kate’s mom into signing an order to pull the plug on her daughter to “save her pain” also while saving the city a bunch of cash. WTH? So Matt x-rays the doctor to death (EPIC) and sets up the lawyer to get gunned down by the criminal who robbed the pharmacy where Kate was set up as a killer cop.

McKinney takes down a handful of escaped criminals running amok in the hospital by hiding under a sheet on a rolling gurney then blasts through it and guns the shit out of that same robber of the pharmacy. EPIC.

And did I mention the phenomenal ending fire scene? The last 10-15 minutes make the previous one hour and twenty minutes worth your time and effort. Once Kate catches on fire, then Cordell catches on fire, and everyone’s out of the building, the fire is the only thing that must not have gotten the memo that the movie was winding down. It just does not quit until the last thirty seconds, once the charred corpses of Kate and Matt are both in the morgue.

It’s just the epic cherry on top of the epic kill cake covered in epically over the top frosting with epic rainbow sprinkles. And it’s ALL ON FIRE.

Beaker fire

Aside from that, Robert Davi as Detective McKinney is the best thing going for this Maniac Cop 3. He’s a well-rounded character with clear motivations, righteous sense of justice, and a good head on his shoulders. And him lighting his cigarette off the still burning detached arm of Matt Cordell is just…*chef’s kiss* And despite Doctor Fowler being more useless than a fainting goat when she gets scared, it is kind of nice to see a little romance brewing between them.

PLEASE JUST LET CORDELL REST IN PEACE ALREADY

Was this Maniac Cop 3 any good? Yes and no. I think the writing and plot are weaker than the first two films. However, it’s far and away more entertaining than the second one. I honestly think Robert Davi makes the movie so we should really be thanking the Japanese money men who wouldn’t invest in the flick unless he was brought back on board (much to William Lustig’s chagrin, apparently.)

But it’s abundantly clear that Matt Cordell’s story has run it’s course. Even though the final shot is of his corpse reaching out to Kate’s so they can hold charred hands, I don’t think anyone cares what the hell else he wants to do. At this point, he barely has a body to set on fire anymore so why bother?

2.5 Margaritas (out of 5)

2.5 margaritas

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