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Blue Underground unearths Jay Chattaway's score to 'Maniac Cop 2'

Maniac Cop 2 soundtrack

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This rare audio treat from famed cult film company Blue Underground coincides nicely with their release of both Maniac Cop sequels on DVD and Blu-Ray combo packs, presenting for the first time composer Jay Chattaway's score for director William Lustig's Maniac Cop 2.

CD cover art for Jay Chattaway's soundtrack to "Maniac Cop 2"
Blue Underground/Amazon

Lustig served as a driving force for exploitation cinema in the 70s and 80s before founding Blue Underground in 2002, directing a number of formative grindhouse horror and action flicks, including Vigilante, Uncle Sam and the legendary sleaze-slasher opus, Maniac in 1980. Lustig's Maniac Cop arrived in '88, and quickly earned a cult following for its depiction of fallen officer Matt Cordell-played with a convincing presence by the hulking actor Robert Z'Dar-a rough 'n ruthless officer murdered in prison after taking the rap for a crime he didn't commit.

Cordell's angry, unfinished business resurrected itself-along with the officer's zombified corpse-in Lustig's sequel two years later, arguably serving as a superior film to the original among some fans who appreciated Lustig's attention to action, pacing and atmosphere. Chattaway's score plays it relatively straight here, delivering a moody and dark orchestral atmosphere which capitalizes on the film's urban atmosphere while at the same time subjecting it to a bit of class.

Indeed, Chattaway's resistance to devolving his approach to something reflecting the film's decidedly B-movie premise serves as a breath of fresh air, as soaring strings and driving percussion accentuate the action nicely, almost bringing to mind television cop show music of the 1970s, only without the funky beats and high-hat abuse. Instead, tense brass notes and even a bit of Morricone-style whistling lend the Maniac Cop 2 score a nice, classic soundtrack styled grace.

...that is, until the glorious "Maniac Cop Rap" rears its head. This awesome slice of 80s B-Boy cheese serves to undercut the score's prior level of sophistication in the best possible way, offering the perfect amount of levity, while also reminding listeners of those glorious early nineties beats and rhymes, this time courtesy of Josh Barnes and Brian "B Dub" Woods.

All in all, the Maniac Cop 2 soundtrack is a great bit of fun, offering a balanced array of traditional soundtrack tones and drive in dynamite.

BOSTON'S COOLIDGE CORNER WILL BE SCREENING 'MANIAC COP 2' THIS WEEKEND, WITH FRIDAY'S SCREENING FEATURING A Q&A WITH DIRECTOR WILLIAM LUSTIG! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

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