Plot: What’s it about?
The maniac cop refuses to remain dead, so once again Matt Cordell (Robert Z’Dar) rises from the grave and begins a reign of blood and terror. At the same time, Officer Kate Sullivan (Gretchen Becker) winds up a in a coma after her involvement in a deadly hostage situation. Sullivan handled the situation as it should have been, protecting the hostages and gunning down the criminal, but that isn’t what the public thinks. A corrupt news crew has edited the footage and made Sullivan look like a cold blooded killer, even as she lies in a coma. In the meanwhile, Detective Sean McKinney (Robert Davi) works tirelessly to clear Sullivan’s name, not knowing that Cordell is himself on the warpath against those involved. As McKinney tries to bring those responsible to justice, Cordell is set on carrying out his own sentences. As both sides close in on the truth, will McKinney be able to keep Cordell from creating a slaughter, or will the maniac cop have his bloodthirst sated?
As you should be able to deduce with Alan Smithee as the credited director, Maniac Cop 3’s production endured some creative conflicts. William Lustig, director of the previous Maniac Cop films, was said to have clashed with producer Joel Soisson, sometimes in very public fashion. But all that drama aside, we’re left with the third volume of Maniac Cop mayhem, so does this third installment live up to the first two? In truth, Maniac Cop 3 is by far the weakest of the trilogy and the first half or so is riddled with not so great moments. The creative divide even seems to manifest on screen, as the first half seems patched together and out of place in the series at times, while the last half is more Maniac Cop like we’d expect. The final half delivers all the goods the series is known for, with action, sleaze, and black humor all on showcase. So if you can limp past the lackluster first half, Maniac Cop 3 rallies toward the end in major fashion. Even though it starts off inconsistent, Maniac Cop 3 manages to come through in the clutch, so series and genre fans will want to give it a look.
Video: How’s it look?
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. I’ve never watched a decent looking version of Maniac Cop 3, until now. The film’s dark visual design presents some issues, but this transfer is quite good. The dark visuals still obscure some detail, but this is a much more refined and detailed treatment than ever before. What was once murky and hard to watch is now opened up and more than passable. The visual design is simply a sign of the production era and while it still suffers a little, this is a world of improvement over other editions.
Audio: How’s it sound?
A DTS HD 5.1 option is present and it more than handles the needs of the material. The track sounds clean and effective, with no problems to report. The music sounds fine and the action scenes pack a nice punch, though overall atmosphere is thin. This is the sound design’s flaw however, so you can’t blame this treatment. No dialogue related woes surface either, as all the vocals come across well here. This release also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The supplements include a retrospective featurette, deleted & extended scenes, posters & still photos, and the film’s theatrical trailer.