When you think of New Zealand horror films, particularly of the splatter variety you of course think of Dead Alive or Bad Taste both made by Peter Jackson. Dead Alive is considered one of the bloodiest films ever made, and with good reason. However if you were to travel back to 1984 you find the inspiration for that film. A small little splatter picture made by Gary Day entitled Death Warmed Up!. Never heard of it? Well that’s understandable. Made on a micro sized budget this film boasts a ton of gore, and also a ton of off the wall humor. It’s so out there it was banned by the Australian Classification Board and had to be heavily censored for release. Well now thanks to our good friends at Severin Films you no longer need to search out a bootleg VHS copy. You can watch it fully uncut on Blu-ray.
Death Warmed Up is the story of a young man named Michael Tucker. His father is a professor who works for a Dr, who is actually a mad scientist named Archer Howell. See Howell is all kinds of crazy and experiments on dead bodies in the hopes of bringing them back to life. Professor Tucker can’t be a part of that kind of nonsense and tells Howell he’s going to blow the whistle on him. So as Howell is a mad scientist he starts giving Tuckers son Michael some mind control drugs. Once Michael is all good and brainwashed Howell orders him to kill his parents. Michael does, and gets sent off to the looney bin when no one believes his defense of being mine controlled.
We flash forward about seven years and Michael has just been released , and he manages to convince his girlfriend and a couple of his buddies to go on vacation to a nice remote island. See this island is the home for Dr Howells new medical fortress where he has amassed an army of brainwashed slaves. That means little to Michael though as he is out for blood.
Killings by knife, electrocution, exploding heads, open brain surgery, mutants, and a synth score to die for this film has it all. It is 100 percent completely over the top. It has so much flying at you it gets confusing at some points. Nothing bad, as if you are watching this is no doubt for the gore. Heck the brain surgery is more than enough to satisfy any gore hound, but that’s only 1 out of 1000 different scenes. Extremely low budget yet extremely effective this may be the bloodiest film I have ever seen.
It doesn’t stop with just the blood, its incredibly funny. It’s so over the top it’s almost like watching a slapstick comedy where every joke contains some type of blood spray. I found myself laughing hysterically at some point just due to the shear nature of insanity being flung at me. I really can’t stress how fun this film is.
Severin, as I’ve stated before has really come into their own with these transfers, and this one is no exception. The transfer is crisp and clear, and the audio is fantastic. You can hear the blood spraying in the speakers, and see it pouring out of your television. They really have upped the ante with this release. It’s even loaded with special features.
BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Original New Zealand 4×3 VHS cut
Audio Commentary with Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
I’ll Get You All: Interview with Actor David Letch
Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
Interview Featurette with David Blyth and Michael Heath
If you’re a fan of blood and guts, and complete insanity then this is the film for you. It’s really a lot of fun, and the amount of gore is sure to please any fan of the horror genera. Overall I can’t stress enough how fun this picture is. Do yourself a favor and pick this up today.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!