Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dead Heat (1988)

Not pictured: nudity. Crazy, I know.
Not pictured: nudity. Crazy, I know.
Dead Heat - starring Treat Williams, Joe Piscopo and Vincent Price (in one of his last roles) - is a horror/comedy vehicle from the director that brought you the 1989 version of The Punisher and also edited a bunch of pretty good movies. Mark Goldblatt in case you're interested.

In a nutshell, Dead Heat revolves around two cops and a machine that brings the dead back to life. From what I could understand the character played by Vincent Price was swindling rich old people into giving up half their fortune in exchange for eternal life, the catch being that those brought back to life only lived for 12 or so hours before melting into goo. Of course that part wasn't demonstrated to the captive and above all cashed up audience.

The movie zings along at a decent pace. Characters appear and are then slaughtered off screen, the action is okay, the jokes are horrendously bad and the acting is pretty abysmal. The one exception to this is Treat Williams, who I found far more believable than any of the others. Overall it was a budget 80s cop flick only with zombies instead of Colombians, Mexicans, Italians or whatever culture we're making fun of at the time.

What I did enjoy were the effects, prosthetics and general level of technical expertise. In particular the Chinatown butcher scene is awesome, well thought out and kind of horrific. Sadly though, an interesting premise and good effects were wasted with a crap script and horrible acting. Perhaps a remake should be on the cards using an all new script that exploits that central idea and builds a bunch of clever scenes like the Chinatown scene. Throw in some good jokes, decent actors and an underlying theme that explores the feelings of those brought back to life yet facing death again - and we have a winner. Someone send me lots of money and I'll get right on it! - Trailer

5/10 - Dead Heat had some potential, but ultimately it's a dead duck.

Oh and the ending was fucking terrible. I think I had a 6/10 in mind until I saw the ending.

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