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.