This weeks nostalgic rental isn’t a look back for me! This was the first time I’d seen this bonkers zombie cop horror comedy called Dead Heat (1988)
Tagline – These cops are on the biggest murder case of their lives… their own………….
Who’s our hero today?
Our hero Treat Williams brings his square head, chiseled smile and dwindling good looks to this comedy horror show.
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
No I never did! Hadn’t even heard of it before. No idea how it completely passed me by? Especially with the big named assembled cast. Was it ever released into UK rental stores? One thing for sure was…. MAN! this was so much fun and how incredible to get that feeling of watching a movie made for the rental market for the very first time. What a buzz it was.
Quick plot run down.
Two jewellry store robbers take to the street in a murderous rage whilst surrounded by a squadron of police officers. Joining the shoot out are two buddy, big-shot, LAPD police detectives. The felons seem to be invincible as they take bullet after bullet. Completely unstoppable as they mercilessly kill cops and passers by. How can they stop them? One cop takes extreme measures to stop the carnage. Whilst at the morgue it become apparent that there’s something not quite right with these two dead criminals. Made worse by the fact that the mortician has performed an autopsy on them before! Say what! For our two cop heroes now have to investigate the mysterious case of what sounds like undead zombies! Soon the case of zombies will be much closer to them than they could ever imagine……
Does the hero have a day job?
Roger Mortis (Treat Williams) is a sharply dressed, wisecracking LAPD detective who likes to drive the streets of LA in his 1960 Chevrolet Impala Convertible.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Likes to apply mulberry wine colour lipstick to bring out his eyes! Truth!
Heroes weapon of choice?
Roger uses his Beretta 92F sidearm for the most part until he switches to a Colt Python after freaking a cop out.
Heroes drink of choice?
Well I can’t vouch for Roger Mortis but his buddy, Doug Bigelow, likes nothing more than doing hilarious comedy skits whilst smashing down Miller Lite’s as The Fat Boys, A Wrestler and as Bruce Piscopo Lee.
Does hero have a sidekick?
Roger’s buddy and cop partner is Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo). In the best of my knowledge Doug isn’t the brother of Deuce Bigelow The Male Gigolo yet he’s known to excite the ladies with his comic skills.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Ladies and gentlemen please take your seats. We’ve got a battle on our hands from two contenders for hot girl. In the blue corner we’ve got Randi James (Lindsay Frost) the PR lady from Dante Pharmaceuticals. And in the red corner we have Doctor Rebecca Smythers (Clare Kirkconnell) from the LAPD. Three rounds. “Play nice ladies“. First round was boxing with the Doc Rebecca giving the old one, two and then flooring her opponent Randi with an out of sight uppercut. Round two. The arm wrestling round. The Doc gave her best but it was PR Randi with the arm power and sheer brute force bringing the score to one a piece. The final battle was fierce. Mud wrestling. Incredibly the slippery mud grudge fight ensued for near on ten minutes. Both our ass kickers rolling around on the floor. Suddenly Randi flies through the air and lands on her back. Quick as a flash Doc Rebecca spins round pinning her to the floor. Victorious she wipes the mud from her face and lets out a feral scream. She then became aware she was completely naked but the mud had covered her modesty. She smiled and giggled and the crowd erupted in roar of applause.
Who’s the main baddie?
Well that’s gonna spoil it but it’s not a secret when you see the two actors pop up looking extremely dodgy. Lets say there’s lots of zombie baddies.
Baddies special skills?
To be able to reanimate the dead and use them for his dastardly deeds is a pretty badass special skill.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 7/10
Well it’s a hard one to judge as their zombie army are hard to take down. However psycho the main baddies are they kind of do it sitting down!
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 10/10
All things considered they really don’t give a shit.
Surely it features a training montage scene?
Does it feature an impossible mission?
It should! As Scotty from Star Trek would likely say! “It’s defies the law of physics!” And it’s so brilliantly entertaining.
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Not our hero but his side kick sure does! Joe Piscopo biceps are popping out all the time. He spends many a scene flexing them. Which to be honest is a little odd.
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
You don’t wanna see them, trust me!
No! Wait come back, hear me out! I’m sure, unless you have a real freaky sick fetish, no one wants to see a sex scene in this movie? Things falling off in the throws of passion. “Look dear your fella has fallen off again!” “Dabnabit! Give me a moment love I’ll grab the superglue and the stapler” “Excellent, while you at it be a darling and stick my nipple back in the right place would you!“
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
HAHA yes oh yes oh yes. Press the random surprise scene alert button. Blast the horns. When our two hero cops turn up at Mr Thule (Keye Luke) Chinese take-out kitchen they meet the butcher (Professor Toru Tanaka). All seems well until Mr Thule hits the freaky dial. Get ready for naked chicken ninja’s, dancing wings and a screaming skinned piggy attack. No idea what the heck another thing was, a flying liver? Then as wild as it can get, the pièce de résistance!!! Oh I’ll leave you that piece of insanity as a surprise. But if you wanna see that whole scene now? Here you go. Have fun.
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
What is high? I say this is medium high. Around 30 deaths. Some are real splat-fests
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
A good solid medium base explosion rate. Saving the best for one for last.
Best fight scene?
It’s gotta go to the three nosed, multiply eyed, orange haired freakasaurus mutant Hell’s Angel biker. Yep that’s a true description.
Best Lines (OK you could equally say these are the worst lines, hehe)
Det. Doug Bigelow – (To above bloke reading porno mag) “Sorry to interrupt your erection.“
Det. Doug Bigelow – “I need a piss so bad my teeth are floating!“
Det. Doug Bigelow – “I like to come back as a seat on a girls bike!“
Doug Bigelow – “Roger, you were underwater in that Jacuzzi for five straight minutes.“
Roger Mortis – “That’s right, I was.“
Doug Bigelow – “Can you teach my girlfriend how to do that?“
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
- Here’s the big one. You ready for it? The legend that is Vincent Price pops up as the wealthy owner of Dante Pharmaceuticals, Arthur P. Loudermilk. He gets to do a few hammy things in his usual great style. The guy is getting on and this would be coming near to his last films but he still produces his acting chops.
- Darren McGavin aka Carl Kolchak from the excellent horror mystery series is present as Doctor Ernest McNab who’s connected to the LAPD department.
- Look out for Robert Picardo playing Lieutenant Herzog who will be instantly recognisable, past the mustache, as the hologram doctor from Star Trek Voyager.
- Dead Heat is directed by Mark Goldblatt who only directed this and the Dolph Lundgren Marvel film The Punisher (1989). Though Mark is massive on the editing scene. Movies like Commando (1985) The Terminator (1984) Rambo First Blood Part II (1985) Predator 2 (1990) and Wavelength (1983) and getting a nomination for an Oscar for Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
- The movie is written by Terry Black who is the brother of Shane Black who did the screenplays for Lethal Weapon (1987) The Last Boy Scout (1991) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) to name a few. Shane gets a small part as bewildered patrolman in the film.
As Dead Heat is really a comedy the Cheese-O-Meter doesn’t really apply so I’d say it’s low. Just remember cheese is part of the fun.
IMDB score rating – 6.1/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 9/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 7.5/10
Dead Heat was such a surprise, especially for the fact that I’d never even heard of it. It’s got everything you would want in a video store rental. A great buddy cop film, nonstop action. A comedy horror with big name actors, some sweet ladies, tons of gore and completely out the box, off the charts, animation, visual effects and crazy ass, having a right laugh, makeup department. Everything adds up for one roller-coaster of a ride. If you’ve not seen it, get on it. You’re sure to love it too.
PS The Hidden (1987) would make a perfect double bill with Dead Heat.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the film if you want. But most importantly have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.