Death Warmed Up

Doctor’s offices are weird places. It always seems like no matter what time you set up your appointment, you won’t see your doctor for a few hours, regardless of when you show up. Last time I went to the doc’s I had an appointment at 9am, and I waited until at least 11 before he ever came into the room to check in on me. In the case of David Blyth‘s 1986 film “Death Warmed Up” the main character Michael Tucker (Played by Michael Hurst: known by some as Charon from Xena: Warrior Princess) goes to the hospital and sees a doctor right away.

Who called an exterminator?After a slightly homo erotic shower scene, Michael gets injected by a mystery substance directly into his butt (with a needle, you pervs) by Dr. Archer Howell (Gary Day). That’s when things start to get weird. It seems that Dr. Howell has been conducting experiments that protect the body from death, meaning the body continues on, but with some adverse side effects. The injection given to Michael is only a prototype and puts him under the temporary spell of Dr. Howell. Howell instructs Michael to kill his father – a professor who works with Howell who opposes his experimentation entirely. Michael kills his mother and father through means of the short end of a shotgun, and Michael is institutionalized for 6 years.

While Michael is spending his time in the loony bin, Dr. Howell is refining his technique, and removing a portion of the patients brain. This is causing some serious side effects, like causing the victims to vomit creamy white oatmeal, and in extreme cases, causing their heads to explode. When Michael gets out, he takes his friend Lucas and their girlfriends to an island where a Clinic that Dr. Howell has created is being housed. They meet with many of Howell’s creations while Micheal seeks the ultimate revenge upon the crazy doc.

Sean: Just a disclaimer, if the series of words up above this paragraph make this movie sound compelling, it’s just the great artistry that we put into crafting that sequence, because this movie is a little out there. It started off really well (minus the shower scene) with an action sequence that really just teases more than anything else. I thought after watching Michael blow holes in his parents that this would be more of a run and gun film. It wasn’t. You really have to follow the dialogue in the opening 10 minutes or else you will be totally lost as to what’s going on, especially with the psycho zombies in the second half.

Can you tell me how to get to rollerball?

Jenny: The shower scene was very homoerotic and I was confused about Dr. Howell and Michael’s relationship at first. Also, I get how Dr. Howell’s juice is supposed to allow the body to be protected from death, but why does the juice allow Michael to be convinced to kill his parents? This does not make sense. And Dr. Harlow’s potion does not seem to work at all. All his patients are nutty or dead.

Raz: I did not follow this movie at all. It probably did not help that I kept dozing off. All that aside I did catch most of the movie. Just like any horrible horror flick we are graced with a “shower” scene. Unfortunate for me it was a guy in the shower. I think the reason that Michael killed his parents is because he was ashamed of having a strange man inject a weird syrup into his ass and he did not want his parents to find out. Or the strange goo drove him mad…

Sean: The effects in this film are few and far between. The surgery scenes are actually pretty believable, but the guy’s head exploding… not so much. It looks like he has a garbage bag that’s his skin color over the top of his head. There were also a lot of places where once scene didn’t have anything to do with the other. Seriously, what was with the whole tunnel chase where the bad guys were chasing the group on motorcycles? Fuck if I know, because it just happens, and then you’re supposed to accept it. Why were some of the people working for the doctor feeling a “burning inside”, and why did that guy puke up oatmeal? Again… I have no clue.

Jenny: And who is funding this project? The government? I doubt it. He delivers no results. Whoever invested into his project is an idiot. As far as Michael’s return for vengeance, why is he trying to deliver it with a new platinum blond hairdo? I am still confused about his relationship with Dr. Harlow. As far as dragging his friends along, what a jerk! Be a man and deliver your revenge on your own time, not when your friends are trying to have a vacation.

Raz: i don’t think the the explosion headed, oatmeal puke, rejects from a government funded project gone bad had a “burning inside”. They probably mistook the burning in their loins from the live porn action on the ferry. The only thing they suffered from was penile expansion and they did not know how to deal with it since they are missing part of their brain. Then the overwhelming expansion and burning caused them to go psycho and blow their top.

I think it\'s a little late for aspirin...Sean: In all honestly, I didn’t think that this was necessarily an awful story. It had some good elements in it, it just felt like it was too piecemeal to hold it together and keep it cohesive. I thought some of the scenes worked well, but you don’t know what’s going on because none of the characters clue you in, from the doctor, to the nurses with mesh face masks during surgery (doesn’t a mesh face mask during surgery kind of defeat the purpose for sterilization?) to Michael and his friends. If they just had a scene with Howell explaining what he’s trying to accomplish to some of his colleagues, the whole thing probably would have made more sense, but there’s nothing like that here, and that’s why this is getting such a low rating from me.

Raz: I did not like this movie. The parts that I liked the best was when i was asleep, and that is all I have to say about this movie.

Jenny: Ultimately, I felt that the film was not well-written or cohesive. The movie reminded me of a zombie version of Thunderdome with its wild band of motorcycle riding freaks. Many things did not make sense and some aspects of the film were haphazardly thrown together. However, if you like bad special effects and zombie freaks, maybe this film is for you.

Check out some more pics from our movie of the week: DEATH WARMED UP

2 thoughts on “Death Warmed Up”

  1. My first thought while reading this review was “I really want to see the head explode but thats about it” and I pretty much resigned myself to knowing that I would not watch this movie unless it was on free tv.

    But then Jenny had to wrap it up with “if you like bad special effects and zombie freaks, maybe this film is for you.” those two items are on my list of must haves….

    I might need to rethink this.

    petras last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Evil Lurks

  2. Yeah, I have really mixed feelings about this one. It makes no sense as a whole, but some of it’s parts are interesting. I didn’t think the effects were bad but you don’t get to see enough of them.

    The ending is really, really bad. Probably one of the worst endings I’ve seen, and as you know a lot of the endings in these movies are usually just tied up as quickly as possible.

    After you watch the whole thing, you’re just left thinking “Huh?”

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