Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992)

Maniac Cop 3 (1992)

The Wrong Arm Of The Law Is Back.

Kate Sullivan is a female cop who was gunned down during a shoot-out is wrongfully accused of using excessive violence. The robber who survived wants to prosecute the city for $30 million unless she never awakens from her coma, which means turning off Kate’s life-support. Not wanting to pay out this obscene amount, the mayor’s office decides to go along with the idea and gives the all clear for her to die. But killer cop Matt Cordell has other plans and, after being resurrected by a voodoo priest, seeks to kill those who set her up.


I was always a bit surprised with the original Maniac Cop, an excellent cross between a slasher film and cop thriller which featured a strong cast, a memorable antagonist and some rousing set pieces. Fast forward a bit to the first sequel and this surprised me by not just being able to match the original for overall quality but better it. I stated that it was one of the best sequels that I could remember with more of the same mixture of action and horror that the original had in droves. It was helped by another strong cast with returning stars from the original as well as excellent support from the likes of Robert Davi. Unfortunately the thrilling low budget Maniac Cop series screeches to a halt in this final entry, ruined by a confusing plot and lack of general direction.

Maybe it’s the appeal of the series finally wearing out or maybe it’s just because the script simply rehashes more-or-less the same story. Whatever the reason, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence ends up being more routine and simply goes through the motions with little spark or energy. The rushed script doesn’t help proceedings and we’re left with so many unanswered questions. Why does the voodoo priest raise Cordell from the grave if he’s not going to be able to control him? Why is Cordell so insistent on saving Sullivan when he was happy killing cops in the previous films? Cordell returned from the grave in the previous two films to get justice for himself. Now that has been sorted out, why does he need to return? He was always a reasonably sympathetic character to begin with, helped by a tragic back story and some slimy characters out to keep his name besmirched. This second sequel seems like a poor excuse to bring back a popular cult character for no other reason than to milk the fans of the series.

As further proof, the film contains way too much flashback footage from the previous films. The film doesn’t use the back alleys and side streets locations of the previous films either, opting to keep the film grounded in the hospital for the majority. This means it runs more like a traditional slasher film as Cordell stalks his victims throughout the hospital, using whatever implements and devices he can to kill those who deems fit for punishment. Like Halloween II or Hospital Massacre, the emphasis is on how many medical-related death scenes can be thought of.

The killer cop has knocked off Bruce Campbell and Richard Roundtree in the series so I pity the task facing Robert Davi. He reprises his role as gritty Detective Lieutenant Sean McKinney and he is arguably the best part of the film. He manages to hold everything together despite the confusing and convoluted story. As limited as the character is on paper, Davi at least manages to inject some life into it culminating in his kick ass moment of glory during a hospital shoot-out. He’s also present for the film’s standout scene in which McKinney and Sullivan attempt to escape in ambulance whilst fighting off Cordell who is coming at them in a police car – and he’s on fire no less! It’s an amazing sequence, much more deserving of a better all-round film to be included in.

Robert Z’Dar continues to portray Cordell and uses his impressive physical attributes to keep the threat levels high. This is one cop you don’t want to mess with. However Cordell loses some of his mystique when he’s hiding in hospitals. He seems much more dangerous when he’s lurking on street corners or down back alleys, waiting for people to commit crimes.


Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence seems to have been made for the sake of it and lacks the energy and freshness that made the other two films so entertaining. As a result, this just turns into a routine by-the-numbers slasher flick, something which the other two films tried to avoid.





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