The films of William Lustig are crude exploitation, but they’re strange and entertaining enough to find new groups of fans every few years. Maniac, for example is a chilly ride, and a film that is currently being remade with Elijah Wood as the unlikely but compelling choice for the title character. Vigilante is a Death Wish- and poliziotteschi-influenced urban crime movie with a cartoonish tone balanced by Robert Forster.

Then there are the Maniac Cop films: a bizarro trilogy of increasingly silly tales centered on killings perpetrated by a vengeful/evil/supernatural police officer.

The original film starred genre stalwarts Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Richard Roundtree, and the massive-jawed Robert Z’Dar as the title character. Writer Larry Cohen (also a schlock master, thanks to films like Q, God Told Me To, and It’s Alive!) and Lustig have been working to produce a new Maniac Cop film.

And now they’ve got company. Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive, Pusher, Bronson) is on board to produce the movie that will be a prequel of sorts to Lustig’s original 1988 picture. Read More »

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