6.1/10
6,150
70 user 69 critic

Dead Heat (1988)

Trailer
1:07 | Trailer
A cop and his undead partner must chase down the diabolical villain who killed him.

Director:

Mark Goldblatt

Writer:

Terry Black
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Treat Williams ... Roger Mortis
Joe Piscopo ... Doug Bigelow
Lindsay Frost ... Randi James
Darren McGavin ... Dr. Ernest McNab
Vincent Price ... Arthur P. Loudermilk
Clare Kirkconnell ... Rebecca Smythers
Keye Luke ... Mr. Thule
Robert Picardo ... Lieutenant Herzog
Mel Stewart ... Captain Mayberry
Professor Toru Tanaka ... Butcher
Martha Quinn Martha Quinn ... Newscaster
Ben Mittleman Ben Mittleman ... Bob
Peter Kent ... Smitty
Cate Caplin Cate Caplin ... Saleswoman
Monica Lewis ... Mrs. Von Heisenberg
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Storyline

Roger Mortis and Doug Bigelow are cops that are chasing crooks that are dead serious about crime. Or should I say they are chasing dead crooks perpetrating serious crimes? Seems some nutcase has learned how to bring back the dead and is sending them on crime sprees. Now these indestructable goons are in the way of officers Mortis and Bigelow. To even things up, when Mortis is killed (in the line of duty, of course) he gets a jump start from the Resurrection machine and takes the fight to the zombie bad guys. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't keep a good cop dead. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lead character is Roger Mortis. Mortis is the Latin word for "death". Roger Mortis also sounds quite a bit like rigor mortis. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene where we see our two stars driving in the car, the camera crew is clearly (though quickly) visible in the reflection of multiple store windows and the side of a nearby van. See more »

Quotes

Det. Doug Bigelow: [sarcastically] I love this job Roger. I love the power. I love the little badges. I love being a human target for anyone within sniping range of a donut shop.
Det. Roger Mortis: It does have it's perks.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film suffered numerous cuts to the gore in order to receive an "R" rating instead of an "X". See more »

Connections

Features D.O.A. (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Heat
Written by John Huckert (as John W. Huckert Jr.), Patrick Read Johnson & Phil Settle (as Philip J. Settle)
Performed by Phil Settle
Copyright © 1987 by: Sarah Beth Songs BMI
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User Reviews

Heated violence is interwoven with horror and humor in this outlandish tale.
8 July 1999 | by FlyBoyDCSee all my reviews

Roger Mortis (Treat Williams) and Doug Bigelow ("Saturday Night Live" alumnus Joe Piscopo) are two down-on-their-luck cops. For, every single day these police officers must deal with pimps, drug pushers, child molesters, and criminal psychopaths. Until one unlucky day, a seemingly routine jewelry store robbery becomes an incident of unparalleled horror.

At first glance, it was a jewel heist. The two robbers involved in the robbery have found themselves confronted by cops everywhere. These crooks have no choice but to make an exit. With guns blazing, the cops and crooks viciously attack each other. By the end, everything turned into a senseless bloodbath with lots of fatalities. It took more than a thousand bullets to take out these robbers.

Mortis and Bigelow discover some peculiar experiments being conducted at Dante Laboratories. A criminal mastermind is attempting to bring dead criminals back to life through the use of a rejuvenator. Not only are these walking corpses trained in the usage of firearms, but they are bad to the bone! Hell hath no fury like the undead out for vengeance! Never before did these heroic (but bumbling) cops have to encounter the walking dead!

The grisly armies of the undead are under his command. Will our heroes be able to annihilate the walking dead? Or will they join in their ranks?

DEAD HEAT is no ordinary case of a "good cop, bad cop" scenario. Rather, this is a tale of a "good cop, dead cop." DEAD HEAT has all the pandemonium and frenzy that will keep you appeased. Zombies, bad guys, mad scientists, more zombies, and Joe Piscopo! Do not forget that legendary exploding ambulance! Also, with an ensemble that comprises of Darren McGavin, Keye Luke, Lindsay Frost (who disintegrates into a dry skeleton), Toru Tanaka, and Vincent Price, this is pure exploitation! What more could you ask for?

Plenty. You know that any movie which begins with two lunatics haphazardly shooting police officers as if they were sitting targets must be an ineffectual film, ad nauseam. DEAD HEAT is primarily moronic due to the presence of one Joe Piscopo. It is rude how often Piscopo always intermittently improvises his one-liners right in the middle of some conversation. Piscopo here has the personality of a "dumb" high school jock. Piscopo is such an irresponsible cop.and that will come back to haunt him.

As well, in the second half of the movie, everything falls apart thanks to plot implausibility and impossible twists. This film also loses its energy as well.

Is DEAD HEAT a completely titanic disaster? Of course not! This film does have its.merits (notice that I am using an euphemism here). The man to man alliance between the two leads is actually developed. The chemistry between these two characters works. The highlights are some rather wild special effects which accompany this grandiose feature. The zombies look VERY ugly and the gunshot wounds are particularly bloodstained. The gross special FX also depict bodies exploding like TNT. Many stop motion effects allow for some fairly nerve-wrecking scenes. The most notable scene definitely had to be watching the dead, butchered farm animals coming back to life! Yeah, that will show everyone who (or what) belongs to the top of the food chain! As noted, total carnage reigns supreme!

DEAD HEAT is a very inane action movie. Still, it reminds me of how audiences once had low expectations of action films. There is no substantial plot to speak of. The action scenes rely more on stunts and blood rather than authentic testosterone. This film falls short of its potentiality. DEAD HEAT does have its fair share of defects, but at least it's endurable. Even the action sequences offer an inventive twist or to. Therefore, expect to have an artificial good time.

Critics unanimously panned this movie. I can almost see why.

RATING: ** out of ****.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Heat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,667,036, 8 May 1988

Gross USA:

$3,588,626

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,588,626
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Helpern / Meltzer See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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