[[caption-width-right:300:[[JustForPun The wrong arm of the law.]]]]

->''"You have the right to remain silent... FOREVER!"''
-->-- A '''{{tagline}}''' so nice they ended up using it thrice.

A 1988 horror movie, directed by William Lustig and produced by Creator/LarryCohen.

The film tells a story of Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar), a former NYPD officer who was sentenced to prison for his excessive PoliceBrutality. He suffered heavy abuse in jail from the scum whom he had arrested himself and was left heavily scarred and brain-damaged from their attacks. He is now presumed by most people to be long dead. Cordell starts wreaking havok in New York by dressing as a cop and murdering innocent civilians, which leads to city-wide panic. Detective [=McRae=] (Tom Atkins) is set to work on the case and is later joined by Officer Forrest (Creator/BruceCampbell) who is framed for the killings and must clear his name.

The film was followed by two sequels: ''Film/ManiacCop2'' in 1990 and ''Film/ManiacCop3BadgeOfSilence'' in 1993.

!!These films contain examples of:

* AxeBeforeEntering: Cordell mashes his way through an office door as he chases after Mallory in the police station.
* BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil: Cordell's [[PariahPrisoner prison stay]] at Sing Sing was pretty much this. Justified through the brain damage that he received from it.
* BigApplesauce
* BungledSuicide: [[spoiler:Cordell's girlfriend attempted to kill herself when he was sent to prison. She failed, and now she wears legbraces because of it.]]
* TheCameo:
** Creator/SamRaimi appears as a reporter.
** [[CreatorCameo William Lustig]] appears as the motel manager.
* CarCushion: Cordell throws [[spoiler:Detective [=McRae=]]] [[DestinationDefenestration through a window]] into a taxi cab.
* ClearMyName: Jack Forrest is framed for Cordell's killings, and has to find evidence to prove himself innocent.
* CowboyCop: Cordell before he was sent to prison. Officer Sullivan in the third film.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Cordell drowns one unfortunate guy in wet cement.
* CutHimselfShaving: [=McRae=] says this when he is questioned about his injured hand.
* DetectiveMole: [[spoiler:Sally Noland, who was Cordell's girlfriend before he was arrested, feeds him information from the inside.]]
* DecoyProtagonist: Frank [=McRae=] is the protagonist for most of the film before being murdered by Cordell towards the end of the movie.
* DirtyHarriet: Theresa Mallory, Officer Forrest's girlfriend, works for Vice Squad, and she is seen working undercover as a prostitute before Cordell attacks her.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Mallory describes Cordell's hands to be as cold as a corpse's after she is almost strangled by them.
* TheFaceless: Cordell's current face is usually obstructed by shadows and is not shown fully until the end.
* FamedInStory: We only get secondhand information from Cordell's hero cop days.
* {{Frameup}}: Officer Forrest is framed for the killings [[spoiler:by Cordell's ex-girlfriend]].
* FullFrontalAssault: Cordell's flashback shows him being shanked by Sing Sing inmates in the shower.
* GlasgowGrin: One of the many scars that Cordell received from his prison stay was a slash on the right corner of his mouth.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: As mentioned above, [[CaptainObvious Cordell was left horribly scarred from his prison stay]].
* HeKnowsTooMuch: Cordell was a hero on all accounts, but his arrest was arranged by corrupt politicians for accidentally getting too close to certain organized criminal members, who had dealings with them.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: The climax of the film takes place during St Patrick's Day.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: For being a brain damaged walking corpse, Cordell is a crack shot on the few occasions he uses his revolver, getting six for six headshots at the start of his police station massacre (before he switches to a bigger gun and [[MoreDakka another trope]] kicks in) and throwing his first victim in the third film high into the air and plugging him repeatedly before he hits the ground.
* ImmuneToBullets; Cordell is unfazed by [=McRae=] and Mallory shooting him repeatedly in the chest. The first film tried to explain this by claiming that Cordell was [[ArtisticLicenseBiology effectively bulletproof after getting attacked in prison, which left him impervious to pain]]. In the later movies, he's explicitly [[TheUndead undead]], doing away with the need for any other type of HandWave.
** In the original script, Cordell was explicitly undead in the first film as well (it was noted that his wounds didn't bleed). This was altered in the finished product, but remnants of it, such as his unnaturally cold hands and his MadeOfIron status, clearly remain.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Cordell accidentally impales himself whilst escaping in the first film's climax.
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: Cordell is a former police officer who was framed for PoliceBrutality and still dresses in his old uniform while he carries out his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* KillerCop: Guess who.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Cordell has a distinctive two-note whistling song, which expands into a full theme when we get to learn his backstory.
* LockAndLoadMontage: The opening credits shows Cordell suiting himself up for his twisted duty.
* MurderIntoMalevolence: Subverted. The eponymous character was LawfulGood before being framed, sent to jail, and subsequently attacked in prison. In this case, it's implied that he's a RevenantZombie (which the sequel confirms and runs with), but his more brutal behavior is down to brain damage changing his personality rather than being undead.
* NamesTheSame: The character of Frank [=McRae=] shares his name with the actor of the same name.
* NeckLift: Cordell does this to his first victim, followed by a NeckSnap.
* NoPeripheralVision: Detective Mallory leaves an interrogation room and talks to the man overseeing it, only to find him to be a corpse. Then Forrest exits the room and the camera pans to the left, revealing another corpse that should have been in the field of her vision.
* NoTellMotel: Forrest's wife follows him into a motel after he leaves their home, and finds him there in the embrace of another woman.
* OffscreenTeleportation: After Cordell unsuccesfully tries to kill Officer Mallory, she and [=McRae=] empty their revolvers at him. He disappears between cuts after this happens.
* OminousMusicBoxTune: The basis of Cordell's flashback theme.
* OrphanedPunchline
* ReCut: Some releases of the film include additional scenes involving the corrupt mayor, [[spoiler:including a scene at the very end where Cordell gets him]] which were added to beef up the running time for television airings.
* SelectiveSqueamishnessSuppression: Along with the coroner, Detective [=McRae=] isn't bothered about the corpses in the morgue. The fellow detective with him, not so much.
* ShoutOut: The concept of a uniformed KillerCop committing serial killings harkens back to the ''Film/DirtyHarry'' installment ''Film/MagnumForce''. Furthermore, the character of Jack Forrest during the first half is basically fulfilling the role of Charlie [=McCoy=] (who was played by Mitch Ryan, who co-starred with Tom Atkins, who plays DecoyProtagonist Frank [=McRae=], in ''Film/LethalWeapon'' a year earlier before this movie's release) as a troubled cop with marriage problems who is initially suspected for the killings.
* SwordCane: Cordell's weapon of choice is a blade hidden in a billy club.
* TitleDrop: After hearing from [=McRae=] that innocent people are being killed by an assailant dressed as a police officer, Ginny proclaims "Jesus, maniac cop?"
* TheVoiceless: Cordell for most of the time, but he opens his mouth once during the second and third movie.
** He also [[spoiler: screams at the very end of the first film when he's impaled by a suspended pipe]]. Though considering how much this clashes with the rest of the film, it might count as {{Discontinuity}}.
* YourCheatingHeart: Forrest's wife thinks that his long night shifts are cover for the fact that he is the Maniac cop, but following him one night reveals that he is instead cheating on her with Officer Mallory. She dies soon after making this discovery.