Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You have the right to remain AWFUL: Dead Heat

Title: Dead Heat

Director: Mark Goldblatt

Year: 1988

Oh the buddy cop movie, from Beverly Hills Cop to Bad Boys its a genre that offers awesome car chases shoot outs and loads of laughs. Now mix in the horror genre with a pinch of sci-fi and you get this weird little concoction that proves just why the horror science fiction buddy cop genre never quite took off....

I was not sure what to expect, it seems like these two genres would not mix well and sure enough it does not. I do give props to Terry Black for coming up with some neat ideas. The concept is really interesting, but I feel like its bogs itself down in the solving the mystery and comes off more like a bad episode of Scooby Doo then a horror film. Worse yet the films takes itself way to serious. When dealing with undead cops and re-animated ducks, you tend to not win any drama awards. Its note worthy that this is the only full length film that Black wrote, the rest being tv series (Tales from the Crypt and also the cartoon series) With a strong start the story soon loses steam. Seems that this might have worked better as a episode of Tales from the Crypt then a full length feature. This is also a very cliched cop movie, right down to the chief calling the guys in his office and giving them the business for causing trouble and that there badges are on the line. I also got a Starsky and Hutch kinda vibe as well.

        Dead Heat does have a very interesting cast including Treat Williams,Joe Piscopo and the legendary Darren McGavin. Making a awesome appearance is none other then the master of horror himself Vincent Price. McGavin is great but then again he is in everything he does and is great as the films villain. The icon of terror Vincent Price is as always wonderful and adds a touch of class to even this poorly put together film. Poor Vincent is sorely under used, but this may be due to his age and  I don't fault this to the filmmakers. Sadly this was close to the end of his career (his last being in 1993) The lead cops are played by Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo and both are pretty terrible. Joe`s delivery on comedy is flat and both seem to have no on screen chemistry, I don't buy the fact that would ever really hang out together and frankly as a viewer I wouldn't either. Note to Joe,please do the world a favor and stop acting.

Very nice zombie make up FX! Zombie biker!! 
The zombie creature effects are above par, and it seems like a lot of thought and effort into making some unique ghouls. Its refreshing that a different approach was taken in making that is more then a slow walking flesh eater. The best is the biker triple faced creature which I think is rad as hell.  Nick Benson worked on the effects having worked on two Brian Yuzna films Society and Bride of Re-Animator along with the cult classic Tremors. Their is a nice scene with some re-animated pigs and ducks that you soon wont forget.

This film is a blending of cop drama,buddy comedy and horror/zombie and while I applaud the bold attempt to bring something different to the screen, sadly the poor acting and lazy writing left this film with a bad taste in my mouth. I guess you could say I threw the book at this picture and I sentence it to a bargain bin at your local Wal Mart.

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