I just watched "Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence" last night for the first time in quite a few years and I'm reflecting back on how much I enjoyed all three of the films in the series...but which one is the best? Here's my take on the MC trilogy:
The original (1988) has a nice, sleazy low budget feel to it. It also stars Bruce Campbell, and of course he's always fun to watch, even when he's not in looney-tune "Ash" mode. Killer cop "Matt Cordell" is a suitably mean mo-fo, even if the make up job on him is kinda laughable when it's finally revealed in close up.
"Maniac Cop 2" (1990) benefits from a slightly higher budget so the makeup on "Matt Cordell" is a lot nastier/more realistic this time out. Campbell doesn't even survive the first reel, but Robert D'avi comes in to save the day as two fisted, all guns blazing Detective McKinney in his place. MC2 raises the bar in every way possible over the original. It's one of those rare sequels that improves on its predecessor.
"Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence" (1993) continues with the balls-out action and over the top carnage from "2," but the story is a bit of a mess this time out. Cordell is almost like a background character in his own movie. Apparently director William Lustig bailed on this one sometime in the middle of filming so another guy finished the movie, which may explain its meandering nature and several plot holes. Still a fun watch due to the massive amounts of gratutious violence. It may not be totally coherent, but it's never boring.
My vote is for "Maniac Cop 2," so what's your fave? In the immortal words of Matt Cordell, "FINISH IT!"