The 1984 adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” is a classic. This review provides an overview of the film, including the cast, production history, and significance.
Death Warmed Up is a slick and relentless horror/thriller done in the “B” movie style. It’s a lot of fun in a no-holds-barred manner, with great camera work, surprisingly nasty gore and violence, and a conclusion that leaves you feeling quite thrilled.
A group of young people go to a secluded New Zealand island for some fun, but they stumble across a mad doctor who is conducting experiments on the natives.
A crazy, controversial doctor operating a facility in New Zealand lures a young guy called Michael (Michael Hurst, later in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) and injects him with an untested medication. Under the effects of the drug, Michael returns home and murders his parents, with his father — a colleague of the mad scientist – as the intended victim. Michael is imprisoned for the deaths of his parents and sent to a mental hospital for seven years, after which he fights to recover his life when he is finally freed. He and his girlfriend, as well as his friend and his girlfriend, are out on a ferry to a remote island for an afternoon of fun when they upset some strange-looking punks (one of whom has a forehead that looks like it’s about to explode), and after a scuffle with these guys, Michael and his friends continue on with their day on the island, which is cut off from the rest of the mainland. The island’s centerpiece and hub is a research laboratory run by the crazed scientist who made Michael kill his parents, but after seven years, the scientist’s experiments have advanced and become more deadly: he is using the locals in gruesome brain trials that turn them into raging killers who can withstand great pain. When Michael and his friends come across an underground lair on the island where the scientist’s failed experiments are dumped, they become targets for a legion of the scientist’s subjects, who break out of the research facility and take control of the entire island, turning it into a virtual insane asylum with no rules… and no mercy.
Death Warmed Up is a slick and relentless horror/thriller done in the “B” movie style. It’s a lot of fun in a no-holds-barred manner, with great camera work, surprisingly nasty gore and violence, and a conclusion that leaves you feeling quite thrilled. While his work here is a little rough around the edges, it is accomplished and assured. Director David Blyth is apparently considered something of a godfather of New Zealand horror films – predating Peter Jackson – and his work here, while a little rough around the edges, is accomplished and assured. It has a punk sensibility and a sense of danger, which is always exciting in a horror film since you never know what will happen next.
Death Warmed Up was just released on Blu-ray (it’s already available on DVD), and it has a number of bonus features, including an audio commentary with Blyth and the co-screenwriter. On-camera interviews, deleted sequences, a 43-minute “VHS” version, the trailer, and more are all featured. The image quality meets Severin’s high expectations.