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- Composed By: Jay Chattaway
- Distributor: Blue Underground
- Format: CD
Maniac Cop 2 Limited Edition Soundtrack Review
A rousing soundscape full of synth drumbeats
By Chuck Francisco
December 04, 2013
Maniac Cop 2 Limited Edition Soundtrack
© Blue Underground
Genre fans formed a crush of demand for Blue Underground's fresh release of Maniac Cop 2 on Blu-ray last month, which was not wholly dissimilar from cinematic World War Z zombies or Walmart Black Friday zombies. According to DiabolikDVD it placed third in units sold last month from among all of their various cult and horror wares, with only the steel book versions of Demons and Demons 2 from Synapse performing better. Mania's official review of the recent Maniac Cop 2 release can be found HERE, but in truth I'm writing today about the side car to that aperitif, the chaser to that splatter sundae.
This week Blue Underground dropped an aural bomb of synthesizer mayhem on the horror crowd, and the execution couldn't have been more pitch perfect. The Maniac Cop 2 original motion picture soundtrack is every bit the odd duck that its big brother is, forming a gleefully reckless mashup of horror, slasher, and action, then slathering it with the whipped topping of late 80's early 90's delight. The cherry adorning this crashing mountain of sugary schlock? The "Maniac Cop Rap" is included, for everyone's personal edification. We'll swing back around and time travel with the lyrical aerobics of early hip-hop in a moment. We need to limber up on the film score proper first so as not to pull a hammy
The man behind the music is underrated composer Jay Chattaway, who also spent time scoring episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Enterprise. Far removed from the regality of a Star Trek horn section, Chattaway peoples the musical landscape of Maniac Cop 2 with rhythmic pulsing of synthetic drums, using them as a solid foundation on which to build a diverse score. Anything less would fail in living up to the eclectic nature of the film it accompanies. Chattaway weaves the screaming scintillation of horror string as they shriek along our nerve endings, in opposition against the uptempo given of action movie music from the hindsight of its muscle bound heyday. And with the proper and sparing application of gregorian chanting, a rousing soundscape will wind listeners up like mechanical springs, only to then set them off on a course for bombastic action. The only sin which I could possibly lay at the Maniac Cop 2 original soundtrack's imaginary feet is that it doesn't also come on vinyl. Then it could stand proudly beside Goblin's score for Suspiria and Carpenter's score for Halloween on the shelves of horror fanatics.
And now we return to the fabled "Maniac Cop Rap", so called because it lays bare the entirety of the film's plot with the campy pomp and circumstance which only early rap could claim to possess. Performed by Yeshwua (Josh) Barnes and Brian "B.Dub" Woods, the Maniac Cop Rap drops absolute lyrical gems such as "Set him on fire, I shoot him with a Uzi, but he'll show up in your Jacuzzi!" and "He's an anti-vigilante and they can't convict him, so watch it jack cause you're the next victim!". Casting aside all questions of mystical jacuzzi teleportation and how someone becomes anti-vigilante, there's a wonderful mess of fun at play here. It should surprise no one at all that Jay Chattaway baked up this cheesecake delux, and it certainly won't diminish the enjoyment of it.
The Maniac Cop 2 Original Soundtrack is available this week from Blue Underground on CD for $19.98. They're individually numbered and limited to a run of only 1,000. Order it Here.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.