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Violent criminals who can?t be killed are shooting up Los Angeles, and the investigation leads LAPD detectives Roger Mortis (Treat Williams) and Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo) to a mysterious pharmaceutical firm. But when Mortis is suddenly murdered, his coroner girlfriend and loose cannon partner discover the company?s ?resurrection machine? that turns Roger into the walking dead. Now the department?s most unstoppable cops must battle zombie hit men, a butcher shop gone berserk and the deceased industrialist (the legendary Vincent Price in one of his final film roles) who may hold the key to it all. But can Mortis solve his own homicide case before he completely decomposes? Darren McGavin, Lindsay Frost and Keye Luke co-star in this wild combination of explosive action thriller and gory zombie comedy directed by Mark Goldblatt and featuring grisly make-up effects and monsters by Steve Johnson.
Top customer reviews
It shouldn't work but, it was made in 1988
It's a dirty indie film done way before the term "Indie" was even a sub genre in films!
I watched this film very early when it hit VHS in 1989
It holds a very special place in my heart
The film is a strange horror-black comedy hybrid
That has plenty of over-the top 1980's action sequences mixed with pretty good low budget practical f/x
To break it down easy it's a buddy cop film with zombies!
Keep in mind by 1988 zombies were dead and buried short of speak (mostly due to the desecration of zombies in all pop culture selling Pepsi and dancing with Michael Jackson!
You'd think that would never happen again, oh wait it has gee thanks Walking Dead!!!!
The movie works mostly because of the great f/x and the actors
Treat Williams (Roger Mortis)
Joe Piscopo (Doug Bigelow) looking jacked and a little to big for a comedian (this is pre Carrot Top bulking up to look bad!)
the two have great chemistry between them they play LA Cops
Darren McGavin as Dr. Ernest McNab (who's done everything from Kolchak The Night Stalker to A Christmas Story) his performance alone is worth watching this film at least once he's so fun to watch!
Lindsay Frost as Randi James (she's very good in this and plays everything straight her death is something i always disliked mostly due to her character being used by her-so called father and paying the price)
Clare Kirkconnell as Rebecca Smythers (always liked her in this film her work was very short)
Vincent Price as Arthur P. Loudermilk (Price has a small role in this but, when he's in it he steals every scene he is in
he's character is very much build in the 1980's but, you can see lots of 1990's and beyond in the chemical make-up of Arthur P. Loudermilk reflects on lots of businessmen and there need to consume and take from everyone
There's a lot of very deep social commentary in this film you can easily miss if you put your brain outside the door
Martha Quinn plays a Newscaster (Quinn best known for being one of the original MTV VJ's)
Professor Toru Tanaka as the Butcher (Best known for Subzero in The Running Man and Francis's Butler in Pee-wee's Big Adventure)
The one thing you should know if you never seen Dead Heat and expect zombies like in Romero or Fulci films
This ain't that type of zombie film
It's smarter in the sense if someone found out how to cheat death they would capitalize on it
This is sleazy 1980's business men doing bad things to outlive everyone else
These zombies don't eat other people they are hidden in plain sight
Some are only brought back to life to do jewelry hist
and the big bad "Z" word is used since they are undead nobody is calling them whatever hipster word is used to call zombies (Post TWD)
The Blu ray is by no means the special edition fans got with Anchor Bay's Divmax dvd years ago
Anchorbay/Starz couldn't do the right thing and give the extras to port onto a blu ray so we get a passable HD print
with no extras it's the best HD version to date and only....
The PCM 2.0 soundtrack is so/so a film like this with so much action deserves more of a boast in audio quality
If you already have the special edition dvd hold onto it for the extras (if you're a fan at least you'll want the dvd)
Maybe one day Scream Factory will get the rights and give horror fans the proper Collector's Edition of Dead Heat until then this will have to do
10x's better in PQ then Midnight Madness blu ray of Vamp that's for sure
A under rated action, comedy, horror hybrid that doesn't get nearly enough respect for being different 8.5/10
Even though this carries an impressive 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is lower than the much lauded "The Room", it is an absolute masterpiece. It has the physical and satirical humor (probably unintentionally) that make the movie fun and a riot to watch.
My mouth was agape for near the entire movie because I could not believe what I was watching.
Movie Review: I b!+(#ed about this before so here's the short version: Zombie movies SUCK D***! 100's of zombie movies and only 1% of them try something different with them while the rest is the whole survival bulls#!+!!! So naturally with this movie I struck gold. Dead Heat is a fast-paced, action/comedy/horror movie filled with action and satire. The comedy is more so charming than funny although I think some people will hate Joe Pisapoop's performance. I wasn't but, eh! The action is innovative and fun and story was good. La-de-da. I loved this movie because it is left-field and has a spontaneous feel to it and so forth. The end.
Conclusion: 3 stars for the DVD (NO EXTRAS) and 4 stars for DEAD HEAT.
I must warn you it isn't a comedy though it is funny, to take the edge off the horror you do see. I liked the various characters we see but it does get solemn at times which is needed to put the edge back in the story and make it more real, as it goes from harsh to funny to horrible in the telling. At least one bit of footage cut out of the theatrical release and shown in the tv version has been put back in. Takes place at the Loudermilk (Vincent Price) tomb where Roger and Randi () meet a laconic security guard (the always excellent ) Roger discovers a cryptic message left by the late billionaire Arthur P. Loudermilk that leads to the solving of the case. [Yes it is a who done it with echoes of "D.O.A." and an obscure film from 1932 called "Six Hours To Live."] Also nice to see Keye Luke in one of his last roles and the great Darrin McGavin as the "Body Doc."
The main thing was the idea that these "zombies" didn't shamble, didn't eat people and were well done with the makeup showing how far they have progressed in their time to be "alive" again. Other cut out scenes that enhance the narrative. Worth it if you like something different in your film library. Be sure to listen to the commentary track. A minor film but it does its job. Recommended.
Nice quality of the DVD both in picture an sound. Download of the script e-version of the advertising packet too is nice and original trailor.
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