The death by overdose of a rock star Johnny Squares on the set of a low budget horror movie seems routine, that is until a member of the production crew is killed in an unrelated crime. It turns out that the rock star was on a betting list of sorts, whomever has guessed the most celebrities to die during production wins the 'dead pool'. Police Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan, thanks to his recent arrest and conviction of a high profile mafioso, is on the director's list and he is not amused, especially when a psychotic has decided to tilt the pool in his beloved/hated director's favor.
The Dead Pool seems to be the last Dirty Harry adventure, which is a good thing. It lets this series go out with an entertaining sleeper hit of a movie. It has its tongue lodged firmly in cheek and, on several occasions, it comes close to making fun of itself. Still the suspense and action level is quite high and the pathology of the psycho killer is refreshing in its realism. Being the shortest of the Dirty Harry movies, it does not over stay its welcome. Highly recommended.
Trivia - This is the only Dirty Harry film that was not shot in widescreen. The three film clips that are credited to director Peter Swan are From Beyond the Grave (not Time After Time as the DVD trivia states), The Pack (not Cujo as the DVD trivia states) and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive. Believe me, I have them on video and know my horror movies. This is also the only movie in the series in which Harry has actually arrested a suspect and but him behind bars.