Death Warrant (1990)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Mystery  |  14 September 1990 (USA)
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The Canadian policeman Louis Burke is assigned in a jail to investigate in some murders of prisoners and jailors. When in jail, Lois, using his outstandings martial arts is able to save his... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Dickerson ...
Sergeant DeGraf
Douglas Tisdale
Hank Stone ...
Jack Bannon ...
Ben Keane
Dr. Gottesman
John Lantz ...
Sam Waldon
Hans Howes ...
Guard Keller
Harry Waters Jr. ...


The Canadian policeman Louis Burke is assigned in a jail to investigate in some murders of prisoners and jailors. When in jail, Lois, using his outstandings martial arts is able to save his life and make himself respected in that violent world. At least, helped by two another prisoners, he succeded in finding the truth about the dreadful crimes. Written by Tognacci Sebastiano <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prisoner | murder | prison | jail | escape | See All (184) »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dusted  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$16,853,487 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed before Lionheart (1990) despite being released after. See more »


At the very beginning of the film Louis Burke enters a building and is slashed across the chest by "The Sandman", Louis Burke drops his gun which lands more than arms reach away, he then tries to reach for it, and cannot reach it. In the exact next shot, he has it in his hand and then holds it in front of him and then shoots "The Sandman". See more »


Christian 'The Sandman' Naylor: Welcome to Hell!
See more »


Referenced in A Tale of Two Titans (2004) See more »


Bring Me a Dream
Written by Martha Davis and Gary Chang
Performed by Craig Thomas
Produced by Gary Chang and Curt Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

I have a warrant... FOR YOUR DEATH!
15 April 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

"What is a death warrant?" you may ask. I'm not too sure myself. I assume it must like an arrest warrant, but instead of arresting the target of the warrant, Van Damme gets to kill them. Pretty simple really. I mean, if Jean-Claude was only intending to ARREST the antagonists, it would be a pretty boring movie, right?

Van Damme plays Louis Burke, a Canadian Mountie who never wears the proper Mountie uniform, which is a damn shame because those Mountie hats are cool. Burke is on assignment in Los Angeles, tracking down a villain known as the Sandman, bullet-proof serial-killer extraordinaire. After taking down The Sandman in the first few minutes, Burke is given another assignment: The inmates of the local maximum-security prison have developed a nasty habit of being killed by ice-pick to the head. Burke's assignment is to go undercover (naturally) and find out where all these ice-picks are coming from and who is behind it. Is it a prison-gang war, or a massive conspiracy involving corrupt officials and mad scientists? Have a guess.

Naturally, one would assume that a Van Damme movie - set in a prison - called 'Death Warrant' would be action packed. Unfortunately, 'Death Warrant', much like 'Legionnaire', proves that not all Van Damme movies are excuses for a showcase of spin-kicks. It is a shame that 'Death Warrant' is not as action packed as I would like it to be. There are some cool fights, but it is a fairly slow movie, and the less said about the scenes involving a character called Priest (Abdul Salaam El Razzac), the better. Priest is a weird, weird fellow. I'm pretty sure he is really some sort of alien replicon from the beyond the moon...

Now, I'm trying to judge 'Death Warrant' harshly, I really am. There just isn't enough action, but I just can't speak ill of any movie that was made in the 80s, is about the 80s, or features music and fashion from the 80s. In this case, 'Death Warrant' has 80s music AND a mad scientist. Both big bonuses in any movie's favour. Granted, the mad scientist's screen time is almost negligible, but the presence of a mad scientist makes the coolness metre of any movie shoot straight up.

Sure, 'Death Warrant' may be slow, lack action, and feature a lot of Van Damme acting rather than fighting, but it is entertaining enough (what with the 80s music and all), but it is only for Van Damme fans - 6/10

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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