In 1987, movie producers were thinking about how Lethal Weapon captured lightning in a bottle, and wanted to continue the trend one year later. Their idea? Lethal Weapon, but with zombies. To do this, they hired Terry Black (Shane Black's brother - yes, Shane Black, who wrote...Lethal Weapon) and birthed Dead Heat.
Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo do their best impressions of Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs. Hell, Treat Williams's straight laced character is even named Roger...Roger Mortis, to be exact (Roger Mortis...get it?). Piscopo, who apparently showed up on set without an ounce of charisma, plays Doug, a Neanderthal police officer who never wears a shirt with sleeves and thinks only with his dick and mullet. The two have about as much chemistry as Wesley Snipes and a tax return, which is the biggest problem here. Had two leads been cast with even just a dash of 'play-off-each-other-wit', this may have been a 'good' movie. As it is, it's just so bad that it's become enjoyable.
Here's the plot...some old nutcase has created a 'resurrection machine' and has started bringing back the dead...which not only makes them basically indestructible for twelve hours (after which, they melt into dust). While investigating (poorly), Roger Mortis is killed and resurrected, giving him a short time as an invincible zombie to catch the old bastard, while his meathead partner follows him while spouting stupid one liners like, "You have the right to remain disgusting."
The 'gore' effects are actually not that bad - take this broad turning into a fast forwarded corpse, which looks pretty good for 1988...up until the stupid skull starts talking at the end of the scene.
The best part of the movie involves our dumb duo heading to a Chinese butcher shop. They confront the owner, who proceeds to flick on a light switch - the light above happens to (inexplicably) be a mini resurrection machine. It starts bringing all of the dead, chopped up animals back to life - duck heads, livers, and pig carcasses all attack the cops (but not the Chinese men who chopped them up in the first place). Describing this scene just does not do it justice. It is one of the most batshit crazy scenes I've ever seen in any movie.
You absolutely cannot go into this movie expecting anything other than insanity, and on that note, it does deliver. The actual comedy bits in this movie are awful and completely miss, but you'll be laughing at the absurdity of it all. It's on Netflix right now, I suggest you grab a six-pack and some friends while giving this a spin.
I'll leave you with a scene that literally had me howling with laughter, as Treat Williams and some bad guy shoot each other with Uzi's for what seems like forever.