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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Βlast From The Past: Dead Heat 1988 (English Only)

"You Can't Keep A Good Cop Dead
These cops are on the biggest murder case of their lives... their own"
Badass-movies says: “Action- buddy cop comedy served with zombie creeping flesh? SOLD!”

While I was messing around on the internet, I stumbled upon a movie called R.I.P.D (Rest In Pieces Police Department) an upcoming adaptation from a graphic novel. It’s about a slain cop returning to life, to take revenge from the bad guys who murdered him. ( Release date: 19th of July).

Before I even finish reading the plot about it, Dead Heat from 1988, came to my mind instantly. And this can only mean one thing...Badass-maniacs start your engines, pump some plutonium for the flux capacitor and get ready for time travel, because you are about to experience a Blast From The Past. 
For the Greek Version of Dead Heat, Blast From The Past Click Here

I was around 8-9 years old in the early nineties and all I would do back then, during the weekends, was hanging around the local video store. Once again I was searching for some VHS movies to feed my hunger.

After one or two hours spending looking at the covers and reading the titles, (yeah I didn’t give a fuck about other details back then) I stumbled upon, Lucio Fulci’s, Zombie 3 (the one with the flying zombie head). Rented it and went straight back home to watch it. Moments after I pushed the play button, the trailer of Dead Heat appeared on my tv. That was it! I had to see this movie.

So I called the legendary video store owner, named Thimios (who was a friend of my parents, and that explains all the R rated flick rentals to me/this guy deserves a tribute post here. Hope he is ok, whatever he is doing these days) to ask him if he has the movie. The answer was not the one I expected. Dead Heat was rented out. Anyway after I almost cried over the phone, I said to the guy: «When the movie comes in, please hold it for me».

Αfter two days, I got my hands on Dead Heat, watched it, had a blast with it and then buried it in the back of my skull (I was a kid!). Some years later I remembered watching this film, so I tracked it down and bought it, and now  the time has come, to take it’s place on this blog.

When you thinking about 80’s, two detectives who don’t play by the book, shootings, explosions, one-liners, violence and over the top action, your mind goes instantly to a movie called «Lethal Weapon». You see L.W, played a major role on the whole buddy-cop movies explosion that still lives on today. So, Dead Heat was a part of that explosion but it came with a odd twist.

Think of that twist, like Lethal Weapon got out on a date with Re-Animator, got their asses drunk, fucked Kama Sutra style, in a cheap hotel room, while the clerk was peeking from a hole on the wall...Nine months later, they had a baby and this baby, is Dead Heat!
The Story: Roger Mortis (Treat Williams/Deep Rising among others) and Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo/Saturday Night Live), are two detectives who investigate a major crime wave on the streets. During a robbery on a jewelry store, our two cops respond to the scene, shooting the bad guys.

The only problem is, that the bad guys are not from the good old days, when guns killed people. After a shoot-out and some research, they find out that some nutjob (The legendary, Vincent Price. Fuck yeah!) has a machine that can resurrect the dead.

Mortis is killed in the line of duty, Bigelow accidentally bring his ass back to life with this machine and our undead cop with his well and alive partner, have 12 hours to crack the case, deliver justice & serve revenge.

The Trailer:

The Verdict: As I said before, Dead Heat is the result of a crazy night between Lethal Weapon and Re-Animator. A movie hybrid, that even back then sounded cool. Αnd you know what; Dead Heat still sounds cool.

Time for the checklist:

  • Hybrid mash-up movie in the style of other 80’s great hybrid flicks (Big Trouble In Little China and The Hidden for example) ?  Check!
  • Shootouts and explosions? Check!
  • Enough Badass Action? Check!
  • Funny dialogue? Check!
  • Hillarious come-back lines? Check!
  • Vincent Fuckin Price? Check!
  • Re-animated animals from a Chinatown restaurant?  Check!

There is absolutely no need to continue, with the list. It’s a Zombie/Cop movie and that says it all. And yes I did said «re-animated animals»...Υοu will have to see it to believe it.

Dead Heat is the only movie out there so far (R.I.P.D comes at June) who marries the buddy cop recipe with the zombie comedy recipe, and it does it real well. Just think, how this pure hybrid of the 80’s sounds. Undead cops (ok at least one of them) VS Undead goons! The cops and robbers game just got a life after death. I know, I know. It sounds good. And it’s good. Trust me. Give it a chance and see it. It’s  great fun and a strange ride in pure 80’s style. I enjoyed it as a kid and now, as a grownup, i enjoyed it even more.

Fun Fact 1: Τhe scriptwriter of Dead Heat, is Terry Black, brother of Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Last Boy Scout, Long Kiss Goodnight and the upcoming Iroman 3 also). Shane has a cameo posing as a motorcycle cop.

Fun Fact 2: The movie was successful financially and the producers asked Terry Black to write a sequel. His responce was: «I cant do it, because will killed off the characters». So the producers told him: «You have a fuckin machine that brings the dead back to life. Use it». Αccording to an old interview of Terry, he finished the script, but the movie never got off the ground.

Fun Fact 3: Τhe term «Zombieland» is heard first time in this movie!

Fun Fact 4: Mark Goldblatt has directed also the cult favorite, Punisher, with Dolph Lundgren.

Music Encore: The Cramps/Zombie Dance, Rob Zombie/Living Dead Girl, Six Feet Under/Revenge Of The Zombie



  1. Dead Heat brings back some memories. Nice blog!

  2. Great write-up! Love Dead Heat. Treat Williams at his best.

    1. Thanks Ty. Ι added some video store memories also in the post, cause it's a nice trip down to memory lane. I love Dead Heat. As for Treat Williams, this one and Deep Rising are my favs.

    2. Love video store memories...always fun to read. We had some very cool video stores in Hamden, CT...remember picking up a lot of action and horror...Evil Ed, Tons of Jackie Chan, and The Ultimate Fight for example.