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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Death Warmed Up (1984)

I enjoy foreign horror films since they tend to be, generally, more original and interesting than those produced by the North American studios.  But, sometimes the foreign attempts just suck.

After spending years in a mental institution due to his murdering his parents, Michael Tucker is finally released... and plans his revenge on the scientist responsible for taking over his mind...

"Death Warmed Up" was apparently New Zealand's first foray into the splatter gore region of the horror genre.  I'm kinda hoping they learned from their mistakes in this film.

I couldn't stand the main character- especially as he dragged his friends into a blood bath without any remorse at all.  Not only that, I kept getting distracted by how much he looked like Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner".  Personally, I'm ashamed to mention such a great movie like "Blade Runner" in a review of an utter crap fest.  Not only was the main character detestable, but his friends weren't all that likable either.  They were bland, dull, and shallow etchings of people.  Nothing about them drew me into the story so that I cared about them dying.  And they're the good guys!

The villains weren't much better.  They were over the top, exaggerated and almost cartoon-like.  I swear, the scientist's laugh was something taken directly from a comic book.  I wasn't intimidated or even creeped out by them.  There was absolutely no real sense of menace or threat from them.

The story was thin and weak.  It was weakened further by a lack of any sort of real logic and backstory to draw us into the movie.  I can suspend my sense of disbelief when watching a film, but I couldn't with this one because there was no real structure to the unfolding of the events, nor any real logic to the actions of the characters.  Rather than simply shooting the main characters when they break in, the bad guys chase them on motorcycles until they get away.  You'd think an evil genius would figure out the best way to deal with trespassers was to shoot them on sight.  I'm not a genius and I even I know that.

The only saving grace to movie is the gore.  There is lots of it.  Some of it is well done- such as the opening shotgun murders, as is some of the make-up on the gooier experimental subjects. Some of the gore isn't as well done, but still plentiful and suitably messy.  My only real complaint about the gore is that most of it wasn't necessary to the story- and just kinda thrown in for the sake of gore.

Despite the fact that I did enjoy the gooey parts of "Death Warmed Up," I'm rather cold towards it, and have to place it in "The Ugly".


  1. The guy in the pic looks like Rutger from The Hitcher.

  2. He does in that scene- later he looks like Rutger from "Blade Runner". LOL