5.7/10
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68 user 33 critic

Death Warrant (1990)

In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.

Director:

Deran Sarafian

Writer:

David S. Goyer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Louis Burke
Robert Guillaume ... Hawkins
Cynthia Gibb ... Amanda Beckett
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Tom Vogler
Art LaFleur ... Sergeant DeGraf
Patrick Kilpatrick ... Christian 'The Sandman' Naylor
Joshua John Miller ... Douglas Tisdale
Hank Stone ... Romaker
Conrad Dunn Conrad Dunn ... Konefke
Jack Bannon ... Ben Keane
Abdul Salaam El Razzac ... Priest
Armin Shimerman ... Dr. Gottesman
John Lantz John Lantz ... Sam Waldon
Hans Howes ... Guard Keller
Harry Waters Jr. ... Jersey
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Storyline

The Canadian policeman Louis Burke is assigned in a jail to investigate some murders of prisoners and jailors. When in jail, Lois, using his outstandings martial arts, is able to save his life and make himself respected in that violent world. At last, helped by two another prisoners, he succeeds in finding the truth about the dreadful crimes. Written by Tognacci Sebastiano <seblog@maya.dei.unipd.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In "Bloodsport" and "Kickboxer" he won it all, now there are no rules, no escape, and NOBODY'S playing games!


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dusted See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,853,487
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to French magazine interviews with Jean-Claude Van Damme at the time, he was in competition with Steven Seagal to star in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Burke is in the records room and he closes the drawer he cuts his right arm. When the guard comes in and Burke is on the bulkhead, his left arm is bleeding. See more »

Quotes

Christian 'The Sandman' Naylor: Bring me a dream Burke, bring me a dream.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut to receive an M rating in Australia for its theatrical release. The cuts were later restored for an uncut R rated video release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hot Fuzz (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Bring Me a Dream
Written by Martha Davis and Gary Chang
Performed by Craig Thomas
Produced by Gary Chang and Curt Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I have a warrant... FOR YOUR DEATH!
15 April 2005 | by AwesomeWolfSee all my reviews

"What is a death warrant?" you may ask. I'm not too sure myself. I assume it must like an arrest warrant, but instead of arresting the target of the warrant, Van Damme gets to kill them. Pretty simple really. I mean, if Jean-Claude was only intending to ARREST the antagonists, it would be a pretty boring movie, right?

Van Damme plays Louis Burke, a Canadian Mountie who never wears the proper Mountie uniform, which is a damn shame because those Mountie hats are cool. Burke is on assignment in Los Angeles, tracking down a villain known as the Sandman, bullet-proof serial-killer extraordinaire. After taking down The Sandman in the first few minutes, Burke is given another assignment: The inmates of the local maximum-security prison have developed a nasty habit of being killed by ice-pick to the head. Burke's assignment is to go undercover (naturally) and find out where all these ice-picks are coming from and who is behind it. Is it a prison-gang war, or a massive conspiracy involving corrupt officials and mad scientists? Have a guess.

Naturally, one would assume that a Van Damme movie - set in a prison - called 'Death Warrant' would be action packed. Unfortunately, 'Death Warrant', much like 'Legionnaire', proves that not all Van Damme movies are excuses for a showcase of spin-kicks. It is a shame that 'Death Warrant' is not as action packed as I would like it to be. There are some cool fights, but it is a fairly slow movie, and the less said about the scenes involving a character called Priest (Abdul Salaam El Razzac), the better. Priest is a weird, weird fellow. I'm pretty sure he is really some sort of alien replicon from the beyond the moon...

Now, I'm trying to judge 'Death Warrant' harshly, I really am. There just isn't enough action, but I just can't speak ill of any movie that was made in the 80s, is about the 80s, or features music and fashion from the 80s. In this case, 'Death Warrant' has 80s music AND a mad scientist. Both big bonuses in any movie's favour. Granted, the mad scientist's screen time is almost negligible, but the presence of a mad scientist makes the coolness metre of any movie shoot straight up.

Sure, 'Death Warrant' may be slow, lack action, and feature a lot of Van Damme acting rather than fighting, but it is entertaining enough (what with the 80s music and all), but it is only for Van Damme fans - 6/10


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