Blood Capsule #98

DEAD HEAT (1988)

Through extemporaneous circumstance, I have now reviewed three comedy-flecked films in a row.  They have all approached humor in disparate ways.  Tammy and the T-Rex was the class clown of the bunch, wearing its flapdoodle flakiness on its sleeve.  Dead Heat tones down the zany.  It's still spotted with exaggerated jocosity, but the conflicts are taken seriously.  For the most part.  The script takes a sober ride with Mortis and Bigelow, two cops at their wits' end trying to disentangle a string of jewel heists.  The case leads them to a chemical company that has a "resurrection machine" in its possession.  A what???  You'll have to suspend the fuck out of your disbelief, but basically, the plot points us in the direction of zombies.  In fact, one of our protagonists becomes undead.

Dead Heat doesn't make a lick of sense, but that's okay.  It has been ages since I've had this much fun watching a zombie flick (that was fresh to my eyes).  Director Mark Goldblatt brought serious sci-fi/horror credentials to the game (he helped edit Piranha, The Howling, and The Terminator among other notable titles), and it shows in this reel's relaxed pacing.  The characters are inviting.  Treat Williams rocks as the straight man against Joe Piscopo's token goober...I mean, goofball.  Lindsay Frost seduced me with her stare.  I was just as wooed by the creamy, mucilaginous creature effects.  The two-faced biker needs his own action figure.  That dude owned it!  Christ, I almost forgot to mention that Vincent Price has a small role as a pernicious magnate.  Similarly, that dude owns it!

I rate Dead Heat as righteous.  Robert Z'Dar says, "My face isn't here, but I also loved this fuckin' thing.  I'd be honored to serve with Piscopo as my partner, or at least pull over minorities next to him."

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