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Death Warrant (1990)

In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.


Deran Sarafian


David S. Goyer

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Louis Burke
Robert Guillaume ... Hawkins
Cynthia Gibb ... Amanda Beckett
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Tom Vogler
Art LaFleur ... Sergeant DeGraf
Patrick Kilpatrick ... Christian 'The Sandman' Naylor
Joshua John Miller ... Douglas Tisdale
Hank Stone ... Romaker
Conrad Dunn Conrad Dunn ... Konefke
Jack Bannon ... Ben Keane
Abdul Salaam El Razzac ... Priest
Armin Shimerman ... Dr. Gottesman
John Lantz John Lantz ... Sam Waldon
Hans Howes ... Guard Keller
Harry Waters Jr. ... Jersey


The Canadian policeman Louis Burke is assigned in a jail to investigate 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 last, helped by two another prisoners, he succeeds in finding the truth about the dreadful crimes. Written by Tognacci Sebastiano <seblog@maya.dei.unipd.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In "Bloodsport" and "Kickboxer" he won it all, now there are no rules, no escape, and NOBODY'S playing games!


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dusted See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Burke's identification # is 72689. See more »


"The Sandman" taunts Van Damme with the line, "Bring me a dream, Burke! Bring me a dream.". The song "Mr. Sandman" clearly states that it is the Sandman who brings the dreams and not Jean-Claude Van Damme...unless he just knocked you out with a kick to the face. See more »


Over the Radio: Listen Burke, this is L.A. not Canada. We have procedures here.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut to receive an M rating in Australia for its theatrical release. The cuts were later restored for an uncut R rated video release. 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

No-Holds-Barred Action Prison Style! - The best of Van Damme!
30 December 2015 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Death Warrant (1990) is no-holds-barred-action classic another prison style Van Damme movie. It is my fourth favorite best underrated Van Damme movie. This movie is really underrated, but it is one of my best favorite prison style movies. Also my favorite childhood movie that I still watch today, like other Van Damme action movies I do.

The action fighting sequences are awesome. Sylvester Stallone made an action Drama movie Lock Up in 1989 and Jean-Claude Van Damme made Death Warrant a year later in 1990. Directed by Deran Sarafian and written by a David S. Goyer who at the time was a college student and it was his first script. Cynthia Gibb is awesome as co star alongside Van Damme. The movie is awesome another adrenaline action packed movie I also love the music score: Bring Me a Dream by Craig Thomas, which I am still listening today.

"Bring me a dream Burke".

This movie to me is a kicks-ass, Patrick Kilpatrick as The Sandman was a bad ass villain on screen, I have ever seen. This movie is also a horror film and get's scary, when you see the prison place and the murders of the doctor and the prison inmates inside those cells. When prisoners brake loose was really scary. I love loved the prison movies, about prison inmates, it was, one the reason why I love Prison Break (2005) and why it become my favorite TV Show! This movie is a kick ass and it will always be forever my favorite Van Damme movie that I love it to death!

" Don 'The Dragon' Wilson (Bloodfist) and David Bradley (American Ninja 3) the action stars from the 80's and 90's both ripped off Van Damme movies! Like Bloodfist 1 ripped off the story from Bloodsport, Bloodfist 2 ripped off the story from Kickboxer and Bloodfist 3 ripped off the story from Death Warrant! And Don Wilson was praising him self that, he could beat Van Damme to a pulp?! I don't think so! David Bradley's Hard Justice (1995) ripped off the story from John Woo's Hard Boiled (even the title they stole), Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight and Death Warrant! That movie copied and stole everything from those three movies. That is the thing I had a problems in the 90's, they could have been all creative and not copy someone else's movies work! Even Jerry Trimble - Live by the Fist (1993) ripped off Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight. I know they were all different movies, but they copied and ripped off the story from Death Warrant geesh! I want to point this out! That's fine by me, if you read my review and you don't agree, but that is me.

Attila from Lionheart and Sandman in here Death Warrant fights comes very close. The movie is filled with action and the inside of the prisons is great. The cells are also great. This is the first time Jean-Claude Van Damme played a Canadian, the second time he played a Canadian was in Sudden Death (1995). I always enjoyed Death warrant and like I mentioned before it is my fourth favorite best Van Damme Movie. The other three are Hard Target, Bloodsport and Universal Soldier than is Death Warrant.

It's part of that first generation of JCVD films (Bloodsport, Cyborg, Kickboxer, Death Warrant, and Double Impact) before the biggest budget film he was part of (Universal Soldier). I love Jean-Claude Van Damme and I am a big fan of him. I grew up watching, his old movies and other kids including me grew up too watching his movies. Bolo Yeung, Michel Qissi, Abdel Qissi and Patrick Kilpatrick where great villains in Van Damme movies. Cynthia Gibb was also awesome she played in Youngblood (1986) in the 80's another my favorite all time sports film.

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