Take 80s buddy cop comedies like Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop, add an undead twist, and you have the 1988 flick Dead Heat!
Treat Williams plays the straight guy and SNL alum Joe Piscopo is the comic relief as they take on bank robbers who don’t seem to die unless you really squash them or blow them up. Soon, the partners end up at a medical lab, where Joe is attacked by a big fat mutant zombie biker dude! But it’s Treat who dies in the line of duty.
Looks like last call hook up time at the leather bar….
Luckily. they’ve discovered that someone has been experimenting with a machine that resurrects the dead. Treat is back in action, but he has 12 hours to find out who killed him before he turns into rotting mush. Dead Heat isn’t a flesh eating zombie flick. This is an action comedy horror, so as Treat and Joe investigate who’s behind the experiments, they are up against zombies with guns, and not a whole lot of zombies.
Even so, this is still a cheesy 80s goodie for horror hounds. One moment in particular absolutely rules. The guys go into a meat market where all the slaughtered animals and meat come to life and attack them! Even though it’s slapstick and funny, it’s also gory and you’ll probably want to pass on any carnivorous behavior for a little while!
While Joe is predominantly the comedy guy, as Treat continues to become more zombified, he goes rogue and totally grabs all the laughs. His character’s name also happens to be Roger Mortis. Plus, he says the line, “Welcome to zombie land.” Hm….
Dead Heat has something else going for it. Nowhere else will you witness Darren McGavin say to Vincent Price, “Shut up, you old fart!” And finally, 80s freaks should keep an eye out for a television newscaster in the movie, because it’s none other than MTV VJ Martha Quinn! Gone is her short, early 80s Pat Benatar/Olivia Newton-John hair. She is rocking the huge hair!