Friday, 24 October 2014
Death Warmed Up (1984)
I've long maintained that Michael Hurst was the best thing in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, so I held out some hope this film might be decent. Or at least entertainingly bad. Alas, it was not to be.
The movie begins with a young man (Hurst's character, also named Michael) sprinting through trees and then dashing into a hospital. A nurse makes a comment to him about his father winning an award, so we have a bit of context as to why he's there, but not for his frantic speed.
Michael's just in time to see his dad get roughed up by a nutty colleague, but the latter man stops when he sees Michael watching them. Dr Punchy then tracks down Michael and suggests the youngster take a shower. Michael agrees, in the first of the films many "Buh?" moments.
Anyway, the Doc assaults Michael while he's in the shower, but not in the way you might be thinking. He shoots him full of drugs and then brain washes him to murder his parents, an event that takes place in blood-soaked slow motion.
Now these events will be used as Michael's motivation, later in the film, to track down and kill Dr Punchy McBrainwasher. But given how laid back he generally is about his revenge, I suspect it was really done so they could start the movie off with some gore.
Anyway, it's text scrawl time, because just writing your plot on the screen is easier than actually making a movie, and we jump at least seven years forward (the movie is fuzzy on exactly how long it has been). Michael, his girlfriend and another couple are going to the island where Dr Punchy McBrainwasher has - though of course they don't know this yet - become Dr Punchy McBrainwasher, Lord of the Zombies.
Though really, they ought to work it out. One of the sailors on the ferry they're taking is grey. That's not normal.
A lot of nonsensical stuff follows, including a cringe-inducing scene with a supposedly Indian character, and a beach sequence where the bulge in Hurst's swimming trunks needs a credit all of its own.
Oh and there's tunnels from World War 2 and nurses who look like they're at a fetish bar and crazed biker mutants and zombies and medical orderlies with super taser things and Michael finally remembers he hates Dr Punchy McBrainwasher and stabs him a whole bunch of times. Then he acts like an ass to his girlfriend, gets himself electrocuted, and the movie ends.
The 80s, man. They were frequently a stupid decade for film. Sometimes endearingly so, but this is not one of those times.