Monday, May 31, 2010

Murder and mayhem and
malfunctioning zombies...oh my!

Death Warmed Up (1985)
Starring: Michael Hurst, Margaret Umbers, William Upjohn, Gary Day, and Norelle Scott
Director: David Blyth
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

Evil Dr. Howell (Day) brainwashes young Michael (Hurst) to murder his parents, because they annoy him. Michael then spends several years in a mental institution, while Howell goes onto turning most of the residents of a small island into brain-surgically altered zombies that are controlled by sound waves (or, at the very least, beeper signals)... that is, when they're not malfunctioning and going on violent murder and rape sprees. Michael is eventually released from the loonie bin, and brings three friends to Howell's island, hoping to gain revenge. Mayhem, motorcycle chases in underground tunnels, zombie rampages, and the violent deaths of innocent friends ensue.

This movie makes absolutely no sense. I've had dreams that were more coherent than "Death Warmed Up".

In this movie, we have a mad doctor doing experiments on a massive scale, yet there's no indication where his funding is coming from, or why the authorities haven't taken notice. He's got an army of zombies with some sort of brain implants that malfunction every now and then... sometimes the malfunctioning zombies are killed, sometimes they're put in a storage locker (where disgruntled employees can release them when the plot calls for it). We've got zombies driving motorcycles in the tunnels near the mad doctor's sprawling facility, because that is a GREAT way to keep out intruders, I imagine.

And then we have our heroes. I'm not even going to start attempting to explain their actions (and lack thereof). I will wonder, though, why, if Michael came to the island in search of Dr. Howell, why did he drag three friends (two of them wholly ignorant about Michael's past) along... and why does he spend time romping on the beach with them?

The film is watchable if you approach it like a really stupid logic puzzle... or if you're throwing a Bad Movie Party and looking for something to round out the lineup. Otherwise, you're better off ignoring "Death Warmed Up."


  1. Yeah I wasn't too thrilled with this one either. I liked the absurdity of some of it and I liked the atmosphere, but as a whole it was pretty disappointing. There's at least some decent gore though.

  2. the movie may not have been good, but that poster with the dead doctor looks awesome.