Death Warmed Up

Death Warmed Up is a 1984 New Zealand science fiction horror splatter zombie film directed by David Blyth. It stars Michael Hurst, Margaret Umbers and Gary Day.

Death Warmed Up
DVD cover
Directed byDavid Blyth
Produced byMurray Newey
Written byDavid Blyth
Michael Heath
Music byMark Nicholas
Tucker Production Company
New Zealand Film Commission
Release date
Running time
82 minutes[1]
CountryNew Zealand

The film's plot centres around a young man named Michael Tucker (Hurst) seeking revenge against a mad scientist (Day), who years earlier caused him to kill his parents because he is creating zombies.


As a child, Michael Tucker (Michael Hurst) is used as a test subject for mind control drugs developed by evil scientist Dr. Howell (Gary Day), which cause him to unwittingly kill his parents. After spending seven years in a mental institution for the murders, Michael, his girlfriend Sandy (Margaret Umbers) and his two friends Jeannie (Norelle Scott) and Lucas (William Upjohn) use Michael's car, a black 1963 Ford Fairlane 500, to set out on a trip to a remote island on which Dr. Howell's clinic is located. Desperate for revenge, Michael is determined to infiltrate the scientist's base and kill him with no mercy. After tracking him down, he kills Howell's mob of mind controlled slaves who are both zombies, but in the resulting mayhem both Jeannie and Lucas are both killed. At last Michael proceeds to brutally kill Howell after repeatedly stabbing him in the stomach with a knife. After escaping from the clinic, Michael and Sandy return to their holiday home, only to discover that it caught fire. When Michael steps out to investigate the damage, he is struck by a falling electrical line and is electrocuted to death, leaving Sandy alone weeping over the loss of him as she's overcome with grief and starting to run.


Release and response

The film won the Grand Prix award at the 1984 Paris International Festival of Fantasy and Science Fiction Films.[2] Despite this, general reception to Death Warmed Up was mixed.

Banning in Australia

In 1985, the film was banned by the Australian Classification Board due to excessive violence. A censored version was later released.[3]


  1. "DEATH WARMED UP (18)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  2. "Death Warmed Up - Awards". NZ on Screen. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  3. "Films: D #2 - Censor". Retrieved 20 February 2018.
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