Blu-ray Review: DEATH WARMED UP

DEATH WARMED UP was directed by David Blyth who co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Heath and stars Michael Hurst, Margaret Umbers, Gary Day, David Letch,Bruno Lawrence, Ian Watkin, Norelle Scott and William Upjohn. The music was composed by Mark Nicholas.

A blonde hero (Michael Hurst) saves mankind from a high-tech brain surgeon and his army of killer mutants. Three years before Peter Jackson’s BAD TASTE, a young New Zealand filmmaker sprayed international movie screens with brains, blood and bizarre body fluids for the first splatter movie in Kiwi history: Director David Blyth (WOUND, GHOST BRIDE) launched his genre career with this relentlessly graphic – and still-intense – story of mad doctors, nude teens, psychotic mutants, shotgun murders, power drill lobotomies, explosive action and punk attitude.

The story for this 1984 New Zealand splatter classic centers around Michael Tucker (Michael Hurst) who kills how parents because he’s under the mind control of Dr. Howell (Gary Day), a mad scientist-type who also happens to be Michael’s father’s collegue. His father didn’t agree with how he was conducting his experiments in mind control and manipulation so Dr. Howell wanted to take him out and he used poor Michael to do his dirty work. This bloody massacre puts Michael away in a psychiatric hospital for seven years but when he’s released everything looks like all is good with him. What happens next is, Michael, his girlfriend Sandy (Margaret Umbers) and their two friends Jeannie (Norelle Scott) and Lucas (William Upjohn) take a fairy boat to a remote island where Dr. Howell’s new hospital is located and Michael has plans of revenge.

The foursome sneak into a tunnel system that leads them to the hospital but they’re cut off by some of the doctor’s psychotic goons, one in particular is Spider (David Letch), who becomes a real pain in the ass to Michael and his friends. Michael and Sandy end up losing their two friends along the way but the vengeance-driven young man ends up coming face to face with the mad scientist where he finally gets his revenge. Unfortunately, this dangerous adventure has left Michael mentally shaken up. He and Sandy are able to escape Dr. Howell’s sinister hospital but Michael makes one final bad decision on their way home that ultimately becomes a deadly one that leaves Sandy all alone.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. You can see it down below. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Death Warmed Up has been remastered for the first time ever. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Death Warmed Up ended up being another first time watch for me and I had a blast with it because it’s so freaking bonkers. The story was okay and the characters were fun to follow. The movie defintely has this punk rock look to it thanks to some of the wild and crazy characters running around in it and honestly this one probably paved the way for similar movies like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. I thought the actors did a great job with their characters and director David Blyth was able to capture everything he needed to make Death Warmed Up such an entertaining watch. There are so many different ways people die in this movie that it’s crazy. No pun intended. So yeah, there’s all kinds of blood and gore with each kill and it looks goretastic to the max. The SFX crew did a fantastic job on the old school special effects that drive this schocktastic splatter classic! Death Warmed Up will finally be available on Blu-ray on April 30th plus Severin Films is also offering it with a limited edition slipcover and you can check it out HERE.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 80 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include a VHS cut of the movie, some audio commentary, interviews, three deleted scenes with optional audio commentary, theatrical trailer, two VHS trailers, a TV spot and image gallery.

  • BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Original New Zealand 4×3 VHS cut (1:23:04)
  • Audio Commentary with Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
  • I’ll Get You All: Interview with Actor David Letch (26:31)
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath (15:56)
  • 2009 Interview Featurette with David Blyth and Michael Heath (40:01)
  • Theatrical trailer (01:56)
  • VHS  trailers (01:41)
  • TV Spot (00:21)
  • Image Gallery (17:51)
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