You see, there's an ENORMOUS man in a cop uniform randomly killing people. A detective (greatly played by Tom Atkins---you should recognize him) figures out that the killer is actually a cop. In true creative fashion, the press dub him "Maniac Cop". Tah-dah!
Jack Forrest is falsely accused and therefore everything he does in this movie makes him look guilty. However, with help from a friend, Jack learns the true identity of the killer. There's a car chase (yay!--check out the cars spinning out of control for no reason and, of course, the obligatory "airborne vehicle" moment) and the killer is killed.
Or is he?
I used this movie to test out Sam Raimi's rules for a (horror?) movie. (I can't accurately attribute this one. I think I heard Bruce state these in a movie commentary but can't remember where):
- The innocent must suffer: Maniac cop kills many, many innocent people.
- The guilty must be punished: Maniac cop kills the men guilty of setting him up to be killed.
- You must taste blood to be a man: Hmmmm. I think this took place when Jack found the police precinct littered with the dead bodies of police officers killed by the maniac cop. (He doesn't literally taste blood, but he does see it.) He stands up for himself in a more physical way-- up to this point, Jack has been just talking about his innocence. Now, he fights for it by punching one man in the face (his first act of violence in the movie) and threatening others with a gun who try to prevent him from . (No...it's not that he's violent, but rather that he is determined to prove his innocence and save lives.)
I think I've watched Evil Dead and Army of Darkness too much because every time Bruce's eyes got wide, I was expecting a scream.
7 points for spotting Sam Raimi in this one. (Uncredited)
Fans of Evil Dead 2 get 30 points for spotting Dan Hicks. (He's tough to spot.)