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I saw this movie back in 1988 when it came out, and recently we bought the
DVD on a whim.
Neither Chandra or I remembered much about it, but we both enjoyed it more
expected. The FX hold up well, even 16 years later, and it's just an
There are some gross bits (which makes it better!), but there were some good scenes deleted - make sure you check the DVD for the extra scenes, The "death day dream" really ties in some of the disjointed bits in the movie.
True, some of the film is very dated 80's, but it still makes me grin. Take a chance and you might enjoy it too.
OK! Lets get one thing straight right now. If you're looking for a serious
movie about cops v robbers a la Robert de Niro, Al Pacino or something
similar this is not the place to come.
If on the other hand you want an action packed, leave your brain in the lobby, tongue in cheek zombie flick, with a side order of buddy-cops take on dastardly criminals thrown in then you aren't going to get much better than this.
Cops Mortis (Treat Williams) and Bigelow (Joe Piscopo) are on the trail of nutty old Vincent Price (unfortunately not given much screen time) bringing dead criminals back to life so they can carry out jewellery store robberies. Of course being dead already makes it a tad difficult for the police to kill them.
Mortis comes a cropper fairly early on, but worry not as he is soon resurrected with the regeneration machine found at the dodgy research company that they think might be connected with the crimes.
The only problem is Mortis now has only twelve hours to solve the case before he decomposes, so things move on at a fair old pace after this as the lads do battle with various zombies, and a Chinese butchers shop full of meat that comes back to life!
Great fun for fans of 'Braindead' or 'The Evil Dead' style horrors, and anyone else who wants a film that they don't have to take to seriously. Also stands up well to repeated viewing.
8/10 I say, but judging by some of the other IMBD reviews others wouldn't (boring gits!)
One of Joe Piscopo better movies, Dead Heat is a fun ride that is filled with action and wild comedy. Treat Williams stars in this interesting story about the walking dead. Not a horror movie about zombies, but the living dead committing crimes. Williams and Piscopo do justice to this low budget movie. The story itself holds its own as the limited special effects can only take the audience too far. The comic relief of Piscopo fills in the gaps where the gun fights and walking dead miss. Treat Williams shows his leading man qualities in Dead Heat while he has failed to do so in other movies. In the end, the movie produces an enjoyable ride for action fans. One of Vincent Prices' last movies, he is the icing on the cake of the b-movie that Dead Heat is.
Perhaps the only time zombies, cops, and a generous dose of humour have been infused together on film. Dead Heat is a fun, drive-in type feature with Treat William and Joe Piscapo starring as two cops in the style of something seen in Lethal Weapon. These cops have not done everything by the book and are in the middle of a crime wave where a different pair of armed thugs have been robbing jewelry stores and banks in broad daylight with no fear of being shot down(or having the weakness of being killed with any ease at all). Well, through some investigation, our two protagonists discover that a machine exists that can bring back the dead for twelve hours - and one of the cops gets his and is placed on the machine. Now, we have zombie cop against zombie criminals and one silly, fun, action-packed film on hand. Director Mark Goldblatt never tries to make this film anything more than what it is supposed to be. The actors don't try either, which is good when you have a script that only has so much elasticity. Williams is good in his role, and Piscapo definitely has limited range, but I really thought he did a much better job than his lack of acting gigs since would suggest. One major plus is the core of veteran screen actors with Darren Mcgavin, venerable Keye Luke, and the elder statesman of horror Vincent Price in attendance. Price has a small role but is still able to keep your attention. This was one of his last films. The same for Luke who I always felt was very underrated. Lindsay Frost is aboard as major eye candy. The special effects are interesting to say the least. The make-up used on the criminal zombies has a fake feel like big puppets at some points and at others is pretty good. The scene in a Chinese restaurant is a hoot - a very ridiculous hoot. Dead Heat again is nothing grand or thought-provoking or even scary, but it is a very fun film and should illicit a few laughs.
Dead Heat is one of my favourite movies. I remember seeing it opening
weekend way back in 1988! I was only 12, but me & my younger brother
dragged my dad to the Granville multiplex after seeing an ad on t.v. We
were just expecting a good action movie with some yucks(both kinds).
Now, keep in mind, this was 1988. The whole concept of a horror movie also being funny wasn't as commonplace(or as stale) as it is now. I remember everyone in the nearly filled theater having a surprisingly fun time with this movie. We knew it was not on the same playing field as most of the major Hollywood action movies(Lethal Weapon, Die Hard)but Dead Heat managed to win over its audience with its combo of cheesy one-liners, insane(for 1988) action sequences, & truly remarkable f/x work by Steve Johnson.
A lot of people would watch Dead Heat & just shrug it off as a low-budget time waster(hey, that's part of it's charm for me) but I don't think I'm going too far to say that it deserves a 10/10 rating.
So why does it deserve a 10 out of 10 rating? Quite simply it's the only Zombie/Cop movie that I've ever seen & that means it's the best of it's kind...I think. Plus it has a kind of weird cinematic irony going for it because screenwriter Terry Black is the brother of Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black(who also makes a cameo as a cop). This film is very much a tongue-in-cheek counterpart that huge hit of a film.
I think this was one of Vincent Price's last films too, so that right there gives it a little more allure as well(even if he's only in it for about 15 minutes). I'm really surprised no one's tried to remake this material, because with today's f/x & a committed cast/crew, this is the kind of oddity that could really make a lot of money(ie,Shaun of the Dead or Freddy vs. Jason). But who wants to remake a movie that bombed at the box office first time out? IF that EVER happens I'll be first in line with my popcorn.
If you've never seen it and decide to check it out there's a chance you'll just shake your head in disbelief at how "bad" it is, but that's the whole point. It's the very definition of the term "so bad, it's good", which is a fine line to walk for any film. So don't say you weren't warned...but I mean, come on, when was the last time you saw a GOOD Zombie/Cop movie?
Ahhhhhhhhh, the mighty Treat Williams. He never really hit the big time
but he's always someone I have just enjoyed seeing in movies and when
he gets a starring role (as he does here) that usually means I'm going
to enjoy it. Okay, he may never get anything better than the daft
entertainment of Deep Rising but he always seems to pick projects that
have at least some fun factor in them.
And so it remains the case with Dead Heat, a movie that takes the buddy-cop flick and mixes in some zombie action, resulting in an amusing, bullet-riddled romp with a few people battling decay just as much as battling criminals.
Treat Williams is Detective Roger Mortis (see what they did there? See?) and Joe Piscopo plays his partner, Detective Doug Bigelow. The two are mavericks who leave destruction and massive repair bills in their wake but who also get results. The biggest puzzle, however, is a series of recent crimes featuring criminals who seem a lot harder to kill than your usual flesh and blood baddies. What's going on? Can our two detectives find out before they end up in body bags themselves?
Dead Heat is lacking in a lot of ways but in oh so many other ways it's just completely awesome, which is why I even things out to rate the thing at 7/10. Treat Williams is good, though he's no De Niro, and he looks better in every scene that he shares with Joe Piscopo (a man so unfunny that hyenas turn mute whenever he's nearby), but the real treat for horror fans is the limited screen time given to the great Vincent Price. Robert Picardo has a small role too and Darren McGavin has a lot of fun with his character. Lindsay Frost and Clare Kirkconnell play two women caught up in events and do well enough with what they have to work with.
Mark Goldblatt's direction is okay and Terry (brother of Shane) Black's script is so-so when not having to give dialogue to Piscopo but this is one of those movies that overcomes the different pieces to become so much better as one whole experience. Because Dead Heat is about crazy shoot outs between people who can't be easily killed, it's about a sequence of sustained insanity in a Chinese butcher shop that has to be seen to be believed and it's about a finale full of so much fun that it makes up for every witticism that we've had to endure from Piscopo.
I have to also say how impressed I was by the movie's attitude towards it's characters, nobody is too safe and deaths are quite sudden and without any fanfare. It's very 80s and it's never going to be the leader of the pack in any subgenre it can be classed in but it's also a hugely entertaining riot and one that I've finally seen after 20+ years of wanting to get my hands on it without ending up hugely disappointed.
Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are two, now get his, mismatched cops.
Joe Piscopo is Bigelow, a macho, insensitive lug who only cares about
himself...maybe. Treat Williams is Mortis, a kind, intuitive detective
with a promising career ahead of him...until his latest case lands him
on a slab. Fortunately, the case provides them with a means to bring
Mortis back. Now, Bigelow and an undead Mortis race to find Mortis'
killer before it's too late...(or perhaps it already is) The film tries
hard to be funny, and it is, in certain moments. The two lead actors
have a kind of chemistry and the cast of character actors are dynamite
(including Darren McGavin, Vincent Price, Robert Picardo, and Key Luke)
but it is the genre-mixing which steals the show. The butcher shop
scene is hilarious and sick, a good indication of where the movie would
have went if more freedom had been extended toward the filmmakers. But
it remains a neat little flick for the horror lovers and the action
Hopefully more and more people will discover this title, but until then, it has a small cult audience. Don't let that stop ya, seek it out. It won't change your life, but it ought to give you a diverting way to spend an hour and a half.
I'll warn you, this is a very cheesy film. It's full of bad jokes and bad acting, but it's a guilty pleasure of mine. It's hailed, primarily by me, as the single greatest zombie-cop, buddy movie ever made. It is hailed by a fair number of those I have subjected to it as the worst movie they've ever seen. I can admit it, it's not Shakespeare, but if you like cheesy 80's horror and watered down pseudo-Lovecraft or even, *shudder* Joe Piscopo, then I encourage you to give it a try.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seems like only in the 80's did they make such seriously strange
hybrid films. Films like DEAD HEAT or perhaps BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE
CHINA just don't get made anymore, and if they are out there, hopefully
someone will turn me on to them. This one is a fun and original film
with some truly "great" moments. Piscopo and Williams (neither of whom
I'm all that fond of normally...) play this one up perfectly - but
understand that this is basically a "turn your brain off and be
entertained" kinda film...
Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are LAPD cops trying' to bust a ring of jewel thieves - problem is, is that the thieves were dead BEFORE they committed the robberies. Turns out, some shady chemical company is bringin' the dead back to life to do their dirty-work. When Williams is killed while investigating the chemical company, Piscopo (with the help of their Medical Examiner friend...) bring Williams back to life using the same machine that the chemical company used to re-animate the dead...catch is - Williams only has 12 hours to find out the truth behind the chemical company and their plans...
DEAD HEAT is a great way to blow some time. Some decent violence, a bit of gore, and some really good make-up and special FX for the time. Piscopo and Williams play really well off of each other, doin' the "buddy cop" thing - with Piscopo as the "joker" and Williams as the "straight arrow". Definitely one of the more enjoyable and well pulled-off of these types of hybrid films...give it a look...8/10
Takes the buddy movie to new heights, at any rate. Other than one of the cops is dead, it pretty much plays out like a standard cop/buddy movie. So much so that it's unintentionally funny. That, and the script taking the logic of resurrection to logic conclusions (like in the Chinatown butcher shop), makes for a hilarious pic. We also have horror veterans like Vincent Price, Darren McGavin (Kolchak/Night Stalker) and Keye Luke along for the ride. Check it out if you get a chance.
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