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13 Mar 2013

MANIAC COP 3 - BADGE OF SILENCE

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  07:30   MOVIES

Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Cover Being an officer of the law must be a very hard job to do. Day in, day out, this 'Jack of Justice' has to punish the innocent, save the guilty, and basically harm anyone they don't like the look of. HUH! What's that? I'm wrong with my assessment? Oh, sh*t! Then I've been misinformed by the Director: William Lustig; and Actors: Robert Davi, Robert Z'Dar, Jackie Earle Haley, and Caitlin Dulany. But only in 1993, and for about 85 minutes.


Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence


THE STORY:
I'm sure that hard-faced Detective, Sean McKinney (Robert Davi), thought he saw the last of 'The Maniac Cop', Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar), when he buried him in a shallow grave quite some time ago. But no. Sean was wrong. Dead wrong. Thanks to the arcane worshiper known as Houngan (Julius Harris) -- Matt's back -- alive and kicking -- just in the nick of time to see another officer of the law gunned down in the line of duty.

Yeah! No word of a lie. Katie Sullivan (Gretchen Becker) is this poor officer's name. And she's the go-getting girl who gets herself shot into a coma amidst a gunfight with a druggie called Frank Jessup (Jackie Earle Haley).

But don't fret though, dear reader. Doctor Susan Fowler (Caitlin Dulany) is by her side to make sure Kate's safe and sound. Also, Sean does his best to clear her name, when Frank suddenly decides to sue the police-force for Kate's pre-coma gun-totting actions.

However, can you guess who else want to get their claws into Kate as well? No. It isn't the randy, Doctor Peter Myerson (Doug Savant). He'd rather shag a nurse instead. And no. It isn't the wheeler dealer, Hank Cooney (Paul Gleason), either. He's too busy making a pact with Doctor Powell (Robert Forster) to careless.

I tell you what; I give you a couple of clues as to who this person might be. His face looks like a turnip. He's the dead man that eventually kills the aforementioned two doctors. Plus he's why what next transpires all kicks off when Sean goes to pay Houngan a visit. As characters reminisce - a cop gives a doctor a kiss - patients are quick to learn - and the whole thing ends when it's burn, baby, burn.




THE REVIEW:
Do you know what? On a number of different levels I'm somewhat confused by 'Maniac Cop 3 - Badge of Silence'. On the one level, I liked it; because it tried to do something different with the story compared to the previous two films in the series -- slower in build-up, and more personal in prose. Whilst, on another level, I did find the meandering structure unevenly balanced between both plot and action -- not really cementing the movie together until the last half an hour or so. Moreover, one yet another level, the style of this piece was one half eighties inspired, and one half nineties inspired -- with neither stance taking a firm hold within the premise or the overall tone of this tale.

OK, I have to admit, what I have just said does sound a bit 'off putting' to say the least. But I don't want you to get the wrong impressing, dear reader. This film isn't a bad film. Most of the actors do a bang up job with the parts they had -- especially the two main-leads, Roberts and Caitlin. Also, I didn't mind the concept behind this production either. In a strange way it did remind me of an alternate version of 'The Bride of Frankenstein'.


Robert Davi in Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence


However, for me, where 'Maniac Cop 3 -- Badge of Silence' falls flat on its ass, is how it makes you wait and wait and wait to see what's really going on. You see, at the beginning of the film, you witness how Matt Cordell comes back from the dead. After that though, you have to wait for about forty minutes before he does something remotely dynamic. And then another twenty minutes more before he does what he does best. Ka-Pow!

Granted, Robert, Caitlin, and company, do try their best to fill in this void with some sort of a story relating to a 'Kate related' subtext -- inadvertently transforming this action-adventure into a police / medical melodrama. But I'm afraid to say this story in itself isn't that strong to keep your attention -- going from plot, to sub-plot, to diversion, at a drop of a hat.


Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence in Action


Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Film Poster
Hey! Wait up. Before I get carried away with myself. I think it best to present you with some filmic facts. (1) 'Academy Entertainment' sent this film straight to video on the 7th of July, 1993, because it was awarded an 'R' rating from the MPAA. (2) Robert Davi's film debut was with Frank Sinatra in his 1977 crime thriller, 'Contract on Cherry Street'. (3) Just like in 'Maniac Cop 2', Matt Cordell only speaks once in this movie. Unlike its predecessor though, the body count has dropped from 33 to 20. (4) Prior to starring in this film, Paul Gleason appeared in the action comedy 'Loaded Weapon 1', where as Jackie Earle Haley appeared in the sci-fi adventure, 'Nemesis'. (5) Joel Soisson was originally supposed to direct this entire movie. However, due to 'creative differences', he was replaced during production with the original 'Maniac Cop' director, William Lustig, when William threatened to walk off of the set. (6) After this movie was made, Caitlin Dulany appeared in such television shows as 'ER', 'The Drew Carey Show', 'CSI: Miami', 'Law and Order', 'Criminal Minds' and 'Saving Grace'. (7) You can catch a glimpse of this films title sequence of in Elijah Drenner's 2010 documentary, 'American Grindhouse', as well as some footage in John Hurt's 1996 comedy drama, 'Love and Death on Long Island'. (8) Because of his stoic performances in the 'Maniac Cop' series of films, Robert Z'Dar landed the role of 'Face' in the Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell buddy movie 'Tango and Cash'.


The Death of Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence


All in all 'Maniac Cop 3 - Badge of Silence' is a fairly so-so film. The acting was good. The premise was intriguing. And the only thing that let it down was the ying / yang nature of the overall story-line. 

Remake please!!!!!

THE RATING: B

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