Violent criminals who can?t be killed are shooting up Los Angeles, and the investigation leads LAPD detectives Roger Mortis (Treat Williams) and Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo) to a mysterious pharmaceutical firm. But when Mort... more »is is suddenly murdered, his coroner girlfriend and loose cannon partner discover the company?s ?resurrection machine? that turns Roger into the walking dead. Now the department?s most unstoppable cops must battle zombie hit men, a butcher shop gone berserk and the deceased industrialist (the legendary Vincent Price in one of his final film roles) who may hold the key to it all. But can Mortis solve his own homicide case before he completely decomposes? Darren McGavin (THE NIGHT STALKER), Lindsay Frost (THE RING) and Keye Luke (GREMLINS) co-star in this wild combination of explosive action thriller and gory zombie comedy directed by Mark Goldblatt (THE PUNISHER) and featuring grisly make-up effects and monsters by Steve Johnson (SPECIES).« less
A strange mix of buddy-cop action comedy and horror flick that might as well have been called "Beverly Hills Zombie." Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo star as a pair of L.A. cops investigating a series of mysterious robberies, and who eventually discover that the bad guys are zombies... created by a crooked corporation that has figured out how to re-animate the dead. Bullets and tasteless one liners fly constantly in this extremely violent, surprisingly gory, but still very funny flick that seems destined for cult classic status.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
EJ N. (FXANM8R) from CAMPBELL, MO Reviewed on 9/5/2009...
I watched this movie back when it was on VHS. I liked it then and it still not bad now.
Damian M. (ratchet) Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
A horror with the comedic stylings of Joe Piscapo. Zombie movie where all the principles die. Not at all watchable, though good effects, and a decent budget, but no comic timing whatsoever (well, what did you expect with the funniest guy on SNL and Treat Williams!).
No Admittance My Ass!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 01/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dead Heat kinda fell into obscurity right away, so I don't think it even reached cult film status. This is one of those that you may have caught late at night in the old glory days of HBO. It's not a horror film, it's more of your typical buddy action/comedy in the vein of Tango & Cash, but with a few horror elements thrown in. Zombies are roaming around robbing jewlery stores and causing other assorted mischief due to a new resurrection machine. The zombies are pretty much normal looking people who are a pain in the ass to kill. Some are a little yucky and decomposed too. Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are the cops on the case. Naturally, Williams being the straight cop and Piscopo being the wisecracking tough guy cop. I've always liked Williams, and though his performance is nothing to shout about, I enjoy his presence. Piscopo is another story. In general I do like Piscopo, but his role in this film is I guess a real love it or hate it affair. The humor of the movie is almost all set on him, yet he is probably the unfunniest wisecracking cop I have ever seen in a movie. He has absolutely no delivery and the jokes seem forced and just plain bad. It's strange coz he is so not funny that it actually becomes kinda funny. Funny for reasons other than intended. Plus, he's supposed to be a big, buff badass, yet he's always saying stuff like, "Oh, that's gross!", "That's really disgusting", and "I think I'm gonna throw up". These aren't tough guy lines, and he comes off sounding like a wuss. Steve Johnson's fx are pretty good. We have a mean looking mutant biker guy, a disintegrating woman, and a Chinese restaurant full of reanimated ducks and pigs and stuff. Williams' half melted face in the last 10 minutes looks good too. Some cool appearances here too, including Darren McGavin, who you may remember as the leg lamp obsessed dad in A Christmas Story("Oh, you should see what it looks like from out here!"). Vincent Price has a small walk on part as well. The leading lady is quite flat and boring. All in all, Dead Heat may be a cheap action/comedy, but it obviously had more money invested in it than other films of this type. The fx are top notch and the film really doesn't look that cheap at all. This is no masterpiece for sure, but I must say that I really miss this kind of film, coz stuff like this just isn't made anymore. Enjoy."
Laughed my arse off
M. Armstrong | Scottsdale, Arizona USA | 06/02/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this in the theater way back when and I thought it was hilarious so I went and saw it again. Treat Williams is a cop who dies and yet he lives on and decomposes throughout the film. Piscipoe is not funny normally - this is the only time you'll ever see him being funny. The film was not well received and I think it has somewhat of a cult following since only a handful of people actually liked it. Haven't seen it in ages so I don't know how well it would hold up. I remember it being really cool though. This is what 80's movies were all about... being really terrible with cheesey special effects, but entertaining as all hell. I won't buy it until it comes to DVD."
A Buddy Cop Movie With Zombies; Does It Get Any Better?
The Straw Man | Aloof October on April's Birthday | 10/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the epitome of the type of movie Anchor Bay releases on DVD, crisp, clean, clear and celestial. Dead Heat is by far a cult movie that can be seen as both an action and horror movie. Our leads, LAPD detectives Roger Mortis (Treat Williams) and Doug Bigelow (Joe Piscopo) are investigating crimes, which are being committed by people who are deceased. When Roger is killed during the investigation, he is brought back to life, by the same element that is resurrecting these criminals, to solve the mystery.
The movie itself isn't suppose to be taken seriously, at least that is how I watched it. Joe Piscopo provides many one liners that are really funny, and one liners can be hard to pull off. Treat Williams also provides some dry and wry humor. It's cool that Vincent Price was in this movie, which gives it the official horror stamp of approval. There are plenty of dummies, fake blood, and cheesy effects to keep you going. It also has this buddy cop vibe to it, now it isn't Lethal Weapon or anything, but still a buddy cop movie. The sour cream on the taco is it was made in the 1980s! So if you love those late night cop movies and have a taste for things that are undead, you get them both in the same eighty-four minutes!
A action horror movie with lots of action and jokes!
Aaron Amos | 04/02/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This turkey movie star Treat Williams(Deep End of The Ocean) as a cop who gets killed and is brought back to life.This a buddy moive much like the "Lethal Weapon" movies, but it does not take itself too seriously.It not too scary and I would even think that by today's standards t would rated PG-13! If you like a turkey movie once in a while buy this one! Plus it does not cost as much as the other videos they have here! Face it guys,this video is bargain! Now go buy it and have some laughs while you watch it! Also starring is Vincent Price as the villian trying to take over the world!..."
Buddy Cops Vs. Zombie Hoodlums!
Dead Kev | www.allthingszombie.com | 06/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had no idea this movie even existed until a few months before its release on DVD. I never saw it in theaters when it came out in 1988, and by the looks of its box office receipts I wasn't the only one that missed it (ahem). I was only 11 back then and it was an R-rated film after all, so there's my excuse. How it escaped my keen horror radar in the following 16 years is a complete mystery, however. You'd think that I would have caught it some late night on television or on video at least once in all those years, but DEAD HEAT proved as elusive for me as a successful movie career did to Joe Piscopo.
While Joe Piscopo may not have had a stellar career in movies, as soon as I found out that he was in DEAD HEAT and that the film is billed as half "buddy cop comedy" and half "zombie horror", that's all I needed to hear. I was sold. In a rare move for me, I bought the DVD without even having seen the movie. My instincts proved correct once again as I found out that zombies plus Joe Piscopo equals comedy gold! Actually, gold might be overstating it. Comedy silver? Maybe. At the very least, DEAD HEAT is pure comedy bronze!
It doesn't take long before it strays from your normal buddy cop formula in a big way. When Roger (Treat Williams) bites the big one in a doggie euthanasia room while fighting a hefty undead two-faced biker (don't ask me about the two faces, I don't get it either) and is resurrected shortly thereafter, it becomes a race against time as he and Doug (Joe Piscopo) try to find Roger's killer. Can they find his killer before his body decomposes and he turns into worm food? Can Doug keep from becoming a walking corpse himself? Who's behind this zombie crime wave? Did Joe Piscopo's career tank after SNL or what?
Piscopo's character Doug is a veritable one-liner factory, churning them out fast and furious. It's probably because we're too busy trying to absorb them all that the audience essentially ignores Treat's character, Roger. Joe Piscopo delivers the lines with ease, some being real gems and some are just plain bad. The bad ones don't linger too long because there are enough good ones to get you through. These one-line jokes make up essentially all of the comedy, and in that respect the script is a little weak.
Like a lot of horror movies, the special effects and makeup are almost a character in themselves. Dead Heat is no exception. I was highly impressed in the job that Steve Johnson (SPECIES) did. With no CGI, all the effects withstand the test of time, even after all these years. There's a particularly nice scene of a woman who fast-forward decomposes right before your eyes. Even better than the decomposition scene is the Chinese restaurant scene. In one of the most phenomenal scenes in all of movie history, you can see all manner of animal get resurrected and get very ornery. From a pig on a platter and a flying liver of unknown origin to, best of all, a completely skinned undead steer on the attack. It's so utterly ridiculous, it's brilliant, and I doubt anything quite like it will ever be seen again on celluloid.
Director Mark Goldblatt's vision for DEAD HEAT was for it to be a legitimate comedy/horror crossover. If you hold it up to that standard it definitely falls short, especially if you compare it to the 80s film that was the most successful at it, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Where ROTLD was funny, yet still very much a horror film, DEAD HEAT doesn't nearly compare. There's just no horror to speak of. All of the scenes that are supposed to scare just don't work very well. Zombies attacking with Uzis in broad daylight are more laughable than horrific. They would have been better served to just concentrate on the comedy.
Simply put, despite its shortcomings, DEAD HEAT is a fun piece of cheese that is distinctly 80s. Vincent Price has a small, but important role, and what his presence adds to a film you just can't quantify. This is one of his last films, and it's worth seeing almost for that fact alone."