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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Maniac Cop [Blu-ray]

 

(William Lustig, 1988)

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

 

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment

Video: Arrow / Synapse

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:24:57.133 / 1:25:00.220

Disc Size: 37,227,308,120 bytes / 34,623,948,935 bytes

Feature Size: 24,484,485,120 bytes / 24,997,711,872 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.95 Mbps / 29532 kbps

Chapters: 12 / 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 31st, 2011 / October 11th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3654 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 3654 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1919 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 1919 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 4.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1687 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1687 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

None

 

Extras:

Introduction to the film from star Tom Atkins (:30 in 1080P)
Doomed Detective: Tom Atkins on Maniac Cop (20:14 in 1080P)
Lady of the Night: Laurene Landon remembers Maniac Cop (13:26 in 1080P)
Scripting a new Slasher Super-Villain: Larry Cohen on Matt Cordell (18:55 in 1080P)
Trailers (1:54, 2;11), TV Spots (:50 in 1080P)
Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
Collector s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by author Troy Howarth and The Original Maniac: An interview with William Lustig, adapted from Calum Waddell's book Taboo Breakers

 

Maniac Cop Memories Interview with Robert D'Zar (12:12 in 1080P)
Out the Window - Interview with Tom Atkins (10:56 in 1080P)
Three Minutes with Danny Hicks Featurette  (3:32 in 1080P)
Animated Promotional Art Gallery (3:07 in 1080P)
Additional Japanese TV Scenes (5:43 in 480i)
3 Theatrical Trailer
2 TV Spots
Spanish Radio Spot

 

Bitrate:

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

Description: Police brutality never felt so good!

Notorious video nasty creator William Lustig and B-Movie legend Larry Cohen return to the dirty streets for a unique high speed collision of the slasher movie and police thriller in Maniac Cop, a blood splattered tale of brutal cop vengeance from beyond the grave.

When reports come in of a man in a police uniform committing gore drenched bloody murder on the city streets, officer Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) stands accused. Now, with few friends, powerful enemies and a psychopathic slayer still at large, it s up to Jack to prove he s not guilty and bring down the killer.

Now, Arrow video brings the Maniac Cop back from the 80s video vault to stalk the night time streets once more, looking for fresh victims...

 

 

The Film:

The premise is quite simple and potentially very effective. A vengeful cop starts murdering seemingly random victims in New York. The public doesn't know his identity and soon can't trust the police. And with this cop murdering his own the force are left in disarray.

Excerpt from BBC located HERE

A maniacal murderer is stalking New York City cops in this urban crime thriller. Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) is suspected... of being the killer until Lieutenant McCrae (Tom Atkins) is found dead. Jack takes over the case after McCrae's death with help from undercover cop and sweetheart Theresa (Laurene Landon). Commissioner Pike (Richard Roundtree) is under fire to solve the case as more men in blue meet their maker much too soon.

~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide.

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Maniac Cop looks decent on Blu-ray from Arrow in the UK. Synapse in the US has released their version in 1080P, HERE, - but I couldn't get my hands on a copy to compare. This image quality shows some grain and appears solid with some minor scratches and inconsequential noise as the only negatives. Most likely, this is how Manic Cop looked theatrically - it was not dynamically crisp or glossy. This Blu-ray has a consistent appearance with steady contrast.  By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This dual-layered Blu-ray probably looks like the film Maniac Cop - which is all we can really ask.

Video quality looks pretty close. Skin tones may be slightly cooler on the Synapse - which has the lower bitrate. I don't know that there is enough of a difference for anyone to make issue. The Synapse may be minutely darker but their 1080P transfer looks about the same in-motion.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

 

Audio :

No boost going on here - Arrow have used a linear PCM stereo track at 1536 kbps. It is fairly unremarkable but a decent replication of the theatrical without notable depth. A few screams are handled easily by the tracks competent high-end. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Synapse gets a little frothy with the audio options offering 3 separate tracks - a bombastic DTS-HD Master 6.1 at a healthy 3654 kbps, a similarly lossless 4.0 channel at 1919 kbps and a less dynamic but also uncompressed 2.0 channel stereo. I sampled each in my viewing and the 6,1 Surround sounded decently mixed. Synapse does not include optional subtitles on their region FREE Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

Arrow have generously supplied some interesting extras - starting with an introduction to the film from star Tom Atkins for less than a minute, but he is also interviewed on his recollections for 20-minutes via the piece entitled Doomed Detective: Tom Atkins on Maniac Cop. Laurene Landon remembers Maniac Cop in a 14-minute piece; Lady of the Night. A third, self-explanatory, featurette is Scripting a new Slasher Super-Villain: Larry Cohen on Matt Cordell running shy of 20-minutes. There are two very rough trailers, a TV Spot and the package is housed in a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork that includes a double-sided fold-out artwork poster and a collector's booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by author Troy Howarth and The Original Maniac: An interview with William Lustig, adapted from Calum Waddell's book Taboo Breakers.

 

Synapse doesn't scrimp on the extras with their own Red Shirt productions in 1080P which include Maniac Cop Memories - a 12-minute interview with Robert D'Zar, Out the Window an 11-minute interview with Tom Atkins, and Three Minutes with Danny Hicks. These are decent - repeating much of the information in the Arrow. There is a kinda cool Animated Promotional Art Gallery that runs for 3:07 in 1080P and almost 6-minutes of Additional Japanese TV Scenes. There is also the tack-on 3 Theatrical Trailers (including one French one), 2 TV Spots and a Spanish Radio Spot. Quite strong supplements.

 

(Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Synapse - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This film is fairly weak - even for its limited genre appeal. Admittedly it did keep my attention but the production limitations are not as charismatic as we have seen from similar releases. The acting is stilted at times - and that would be considered one of the film's positives. This Blu-ray supplied an authentic presentation and the included interviews had some appeal but it may not be the first disc you go to in the digital library for a repeat viewing.

Okay, I finally received the Synapse and the film grew on me a little after my repeat viewing. However, I won't credit one transfer over the other for this change of heart. Both editions are quite solid - I'll give a slight edge to Arrow for the video and supplements (going the extra mile with the packaging) and Synapse for the audio. Go for the one least expensive in the geographic region you live.  

Gary Tooze

December 5th, 2011

January 9th, 2012

 

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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