Death Warmed Up (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

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Death Warmed Up (1984) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: David Blyth
Starring: Michael Hurst, Margaret Umbers, William Upjohn
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Severin Films

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 that AXS.comcalls “weird, wonky and one hell of a ride that will have gorehounds howling!”

Death Warmed Up was one from Severin that I had been really looking forward to because, well, it comes with a lot of hype. Now having seen it, I can sorta see why all the while noticing a few things that make it not hit as hard for me as it seems to do for other people. This weird little tale about a guy who was wronged by an evil doctor and then some years later ends going at it with the doctor’s other mutated evildoers all the while wanting revenge on him. It does, of course, get a little more complex than that but if you are just here for the fact this is New Zealand’s first splatter movie, well you get what you want more times than not in that area. But while it is the first and does take some chances to gross you out with the blood and other fluids, it still isn’t on that Bad Taste level even with it preceding it. I feel like this movie is a movie you’d get if you took that New Zealand flavor (it certainly has a feel of Jackson’s work regardless) and mixed in a little Re-Animator with it. The thing holding this one back, however, seems to be the pacing, as it does seem to have chunks of time with nothing of note going on. Still, the gore makes up for most of that.

And if you want even more of that (and who doesn’t?) you also get a VHS cut here of the film that is fully uncut. The disc notes that the VHS cut is basically the same as the DVD of it since the DVD was just a VHS rip, so while it won’t look as nice as the main HD feature on here, you still have it at the best quality possible none the less. That’s a MAJOR extra to have and seals this one off as one of the coolest releases we’ve seen in a while. That VHS cut and this weird and bloody movie would be enough for me, but you still get an audio commentary and interviews to go along with all of it. I don’t think I’d call Death Warmed Up as good as I had heard, but it is good none the less. And Severin has gone out of their way to make this a disc worth owning and I’m happy to have it in the collection.

Extras

– 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
– Original New Zealand 4×3 VHS cut
– Interview Featurette with David Blyth and Michael Heath
– Theatrical trailer
– VHS Trailers
– TV Spot

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 90%

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