|DEAD HEAT (director: Mark Goldblatt; screenwriter: Terry Black; cinematographer: Robert D. Yeoman; editor: Harvey Rosenstock; music: Ernest Troost; cast: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), Martha Quinn (Newscaster), Professor Toru Tanaka (Butcher); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Michael Meltzer/David Helpern; Lions Gate Entertainment; 1988)|
|"That it is awkwardly conceived,
the premise is absurd and it's just not funny,
are its major flaws."
by Dennis Schwartz
low-brow misfire sci-fi comedy, that tries to remind
the viewer of the great noir film DOA and the horror
pic The Night of the Living Dead. Poor pacing by the
former editor, the inexperienced director Mark
Goldblatt ("The Punisher"), is just one
of its major flaws. That it is awkwardly conceived,
the premise is absurd and it's just not funny, are its
major flaws. It's crassly written by Terry Black.
two moronic buddy cops, the clean-cut Roger Mortis
(Treat Williams) and the muscular wisecracking Doug
Bigelow (Joe Piscopo),
have been victimized by the dangerous madman Arthur
P. Loudermilk (Vincent Price). He's
the leader of a crime ring who possesses a machine
that can bring the dead back to life. The machine is
used on his goons, so his already dead gang can never
get killed while actively committing crimes against
their rich victims. When Roger is asphyxiated
by the gang while investigating their illegal
activities, he's then roasted in the resurrection
machine and turned into a zombie with 12 hours
to live before returning to the dead. The big joke is
that he's slowly decomposing while chasing down the
bad guys and trying to get revenge.
money shot is played out in a butcher shop where all
the meat is restored to life.
FX by Steve Johnson deserve kudos for the
strange visual effects. Darren McGavin as a corrupt
coroner is worth a look. But the one-note
unimaginative flick is not worth a damn.
REVIEWED ON 4/11/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ