Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dead Heat

Directed by Mark Goldblatt, 1988

Every zombie pun that had been invented by 1988 receives Joe Piscopo's loving touch. It's pretty awesome, if you like pain.

I was thrilled to finally locate this movie, as I felt that Dawn of the Dead only scratched the surface of the cop/buddy/zombie genre possibilities. And it's a comedy, too! To summarize, Roger and Doug are partners. Zombie crooks lead them to investigate an ominous chemical company where Roger is killed and, of course, resurrected. He has 10 hours to find the bad guys until decomposition really kills him. The rest of the movie is full of puns, perms, guns, and shoulder pads.

Zombie explanation: A manmade zombie machine intended for the rich, who would pursue even more wealth in their resurrected bodies.

Contribution to the zombie canon: Few movies use zombies as a force of good as well as evil. Dead Heat offers the unpopular (but very Judeo-Christian) theory that you will be no better dead than you were alive. I enjoyed watching good zombies fight bad zombies.

Another cool addition to the zombie canon is my favorite moment of the movie. A villainous butcher shop owner turns on the Resurrection Machine to make his escape, and our heroes fight all manner of undead flesh. Zombies are a traditionally human menace. Zombie animals are a welcome diversion from that grim rule of zombie film.

Favorite moment: Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo battling a reanimated butcher shop: fish, ducks, chicken, and a massive butchered cow walking on bloody stumps. It's both hilarious and unexpectedly creepy.


JordanC said...

You didn't mention that the butcher scene also included a FLYING ZOMBIE LIVER.

My favorite moment my have been the outtake with Treat's death day party inc. zombie stripper.

Madolan said...

I had forgotten the reanimated liver! It raises all manner of interesting epistemological and hypothetical questions-- among them, why didn't their reanimated belts and shoes attack them? Would this not be an effective weapon of mass destruction if deployed at a family buffet-style restaurant? The mind simply BOGGLES.