• Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence (Blue Underground) UHD/Blu-ray Review

    Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence (Blue Underground) UHD Review
    Released by: Blue Underground
    Released on: November 16th, 2021.
    Director: Alan Smithee
    Cast: Robert Davi, Robert Z’Dar, Caitlin Dulany, Gretchen Becker, Robert Forster
    Year: 1992
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    Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence – Movie Review:

    The final installment (to date at least) of the Maniac Cop series, Badge Of Silence finds a practitioner of the occult (Julius Harris) responsible for resurrecting Officer Matt Cordell, the same Maniac Cop that knocked off Bruce Campbell and Richard Roundtree in the first two films. No small task, if you ask me. I don’t think many of us could beat Ash or Shaft in a fight, so you’ve gotta hand it to ol’ Matt. He’s tough. And at this point in the franchise, he’s basically an unstoppable killing machine.

    At any rate, with it established that Cordell is from the dead, he does what any self-respecting re-animated psychopath would do and that’s to start stalking the corrupt doctors and politicians who are getting in the way of real police justice. Meanwhile, there are issues in the NYPD. It turns out that a lovely officer named Kate Sullivan (Gretchen Becker) lies in a coma and has been wrongly accused of botching up a hostage situation (watch for Jackie Earle Haley in this scene!) and it’s these very same corrupt officials and doctors that are setting her up for a fall. Sound familiar? Like maybe they’re doing to her what they did to Cordell years back?

    The only one who can help Gretchen is Lt. Sean McKinney (played once more by the stern faced Robert Davi) and once he’s up to date on the situation and the conspiracy surrounding it, he’s off and running to clear her name. With some help from Dr. Susan Fowler (Caitlyn Delany), McKinney has also got to do whatever he can to stop the Maniac Cop from killing more people, both innocent and guilty.

    Though very obviously the lesser of the three Maniac Cop pictures by a pretty wide margin, Badge Of Silence, like the earlier two films, is still grossly entertaining. While neither this entry nor the second film is as good as the original film, they’re still a lot of fun and this installment is no exception. Co-directed by William Lustig (Maniac, Vigilante) and Joel Soisson (more on that in the extras…), the film is a fun action/horror hybrid that delivers lots of low budget fun. It starts off more or less like a slasher picture, the way that the first movie did, and then switches gears in the last half to ramp up the action the way that the second movie did. Once again we get some great stunt work, some excellent carnage with loads of great old fashioned squib effects, and the hulking presence of Robert Z’dar to keep things interesting.

    It’s choppy, edited in strange ways and nonsensical even by the fairly ridiculous standards of the series but go into this one with your expectations in check and there are plenty of cheap thrills on hand. Sure, the voodoo priest only exists in the movie to get Cordell out of his grave and yeah, you can tell which scenes Lustig directed because they work a whole lot better than those that were handled by producer Joel Soisson but Davi is once again a lot of fun in the role and hey, we even get a gratuitous Robert Forster cameo too. Violent, quirky and enjoyable enough this is far from a classic but if you dug the first two movies you can have fun with this final shot.

    The movie was previously released on DVD from Platinum in its the R-rated cut, which was trimmed of some of the violence that earned the film an NC-17 rating when initially submitted for classification. This presentation from Blue Underground, like their previous Blu-ray release, is the uncut version.

    Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence – UHD Review:

    This UHD 4k upgrade of Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence, from Blue Underground, arrives in an HEVC encoded 2160p high definition transfer with HDR framed at 2.35.1 widescreen and it fantastic. Once again, detail on the last Blu-ray was really strong but the 4k presentation really does offer a pretty solid boost in picture quality. We get superior color reproduction and noticeably reference quality levels. Depth is excellent and increase in resolution provides quite a bit more detail, depth and texture. The picture retains the natural film grain you’d want it to but is almost entirely devoid of actual print damage. Skin tones look perfectly natural and the image is free of any noise reduction, edge enhancement or noise reduction issues. It’s honestly hard to imagine the picture quality looking any better than it does here, this is a very strong transfer.

    New to this UHD release is a fantastic Dolby Atmos track that really sounds great. The mix is very immersive and enveloping, using the front and rear channels alike to use the score and sound effects to bring you into the film. Dialogue is always crystal clear and the mix is free of any hiss or distortion. Bass response is strong and powerful without burying the performers. Additionally, a 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track is also included.

    Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH, Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, Portuguese, Castilian Spanish, Parisian French, German, Italian, traditional and simplified Mandarin, Korean, Japanese and Russian.

    Extras on the UHD include a commentary with ‘director Alan Smithee’ (who is, of course, William Lustig with Joel Soisson). Lustig starts by talking about coming off of True Romance, where he was replaced by Tony Scott, and how this was a pretty bad period in his career. They're very upfront about how tense the shoot was, how it was very under-budgeted, how the movie is a big step down from Maniac Cop 2 on pretty much every level, Larry Cohen's script and how 'his head wasn't in it,' the film's connections to Bride Of Frankenstein and how Cohen tried to get his girlfriend a part in the movie, hoping to use an abandoned hospital to shoot portions of the film, how Lustig gave Soisson 'the most charming fuck you ever' when he decided to quit, how Soisson stepped up to direct the picture when Lustig split, which scenes were directed by Lustig and which ones were directed by Soisson, the few moments in the movie that Lustig actually likes, having to put scenes in just to pad the running time, using KNB for the makeup effects without the proper budget to have them done right, how Robert David clearly had a crush on Caitlin Dulany, the importance of seeing the movie in its proper 2.35.1 aspect ratio, the influence of the Lon Chaney movie The Indestructible Man and The Twilight Zone, memories of interactions with specific cast, crew and producers and lots, lots more. This track is a lot of fun, these guys don't really hold back and are pretty blunt about what works and what doesn't in the movie.

    The UHD disc also includes a trailer for the film, menus and chapter selection options.

    Extras on the included Blu-ray disc also feature that same commentary. Also found on the disc is the excellent featurette entitled Wrong Arm Of The Law, which clocks in at about twenty-five minutes. Here director William Lustig talks in no uncertain terms about what went wrong on this picture and why he walked off the set during production. Soisson pops up here too and offers up his side of the story and we also get input from writer Larry Cohen and actors Robert Davi, Robert Z’dar, Gretchen Becker and Caitlyn Delany too as well as Jacques Haitkin, who worked on the movie as director of photography. This is the best extra on the disc, it’s well edited and pretty comprehensive and it lies to rest the rumors that have long surrounded the movie and the issues that plagued it during production. Spiro Razatos, the stunt coordinator from Maniac Cop 2, also pops up here and once again offers some great ‘how’d they do that’ stories about the more dangerous scenes in the movie.

    Rounding out the extras is a collection of seven deleted scenes, a trailer for the feature, a still gallery of promotional stills, behind the scenes material and home video art, and the original 1991 screenplay synopsis. The Blu-ray disc is enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems. All of this fits into a black keepcase but that case fits nicely inside an embossed slipcase.

    Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence - The Final Word:

    Some might say that Blue Underground has given Maniac Cop 3 better treatment than it deserves but to this reviewer’s tastes, as goofy as all of this is, it’s still a pretty entertaining movie, warts and all. The audio and video quality on this UHD show significant upgrades over the previous Blu-ray release and the new commentary along with all of the existing featurettes do a great job of explaining the film’s convoluted history.

    Click on the images below for full sized Maniac Cop 3: Badge Of Silence Blu-ray screen caps that don’t look as good as the UHD reviewed above (but reviews without screen caps are boring)!