B-Sides: You're in a Dead Heat
Before the deceased cops of R.I.P.D. fought supernatural crime, there was Dead Heat. Treat Williams as police detective Roger Mortis, murdered in the line of duty and brought back from the dead after uncovering a reanimation crime syndicate led by “Kolchak, the Night Stalker” and Vincent Price.
The 1988 action-horror-comedy Dead Heat was a flop in its day, and to this day it’s only a minor cult favorite. Neither is surprising considering the movie is very, very bad, but so uniquely bad there aren’t too many movies you can compare it to. How many movies include a scene where bad guys have a reanimation machine set up in the ceiling of a Chinese butcher shop as if they know one day a zombie cop and his smart-ass partner are going to come calling and will need to reanimate dead animal meat in order to make a hasty escape?
But if you ever need conclusive proof as to why Joe Piscopo’s career fizzled in spectacular fashion, just watch him in this movie as Williams’ motor-mouthed partner. His character should have been named Officer Nails McChalkboard.
Phil Settle provides the title song to Dead Heat bearing the same name as the movie. It is very much a quintessential 1980’s pop song, the sort made specifically for a motion picture, with no musical value outside of the airing of that film.
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