The owner of a popular gym/health spa with a state-of-the-art computer system comes to find his members are under attack by either a saboteur or perhaps there’s a ghost in the machine.
Judging a Book by its Cover
– And this is why I only go to the gym once after I join…this type of thing might happen!
– The bike might turn me into a skeleton or that weight machine might blow up into flames.
– …that skeleton is stacked though.
You’ll sweat blood!
Directed by Michael Fischa
Starring William Bumiller, Brenda Bakke, Merritt Butrick and Ken Foree
The film opens in the Starbody Health Spa which has just closed up but one of the employees sticks around to do sexy stuff in the sauna after hours. Realizing that the steam machine is shooting out deadly chemicals instead of steam, she barely escapes alive though she sustains injuries to her eyes as the incident temporarily blinds her. She turns out to be the new girlfriend of Michael Evans, the owner, since his wife passed away a year ago via immolation (setting yourself on fire) and he is eager to find out what went wrong.
The spa is run by a state-of-the-art computer system which is the gym’s biggest attraction as the computer operates a large portion of the building as well as the machines. The system itself is operated by the twin brother of the Michael’s late wife so he’s a primary suspect and although he’s guilty of being super weird, he’s not a killer. Incidents increase at an alarming rate injuring several spa members and while Michael suspects sabotage, the killer is more of a supernatural nature and using his computer against him.
Horror films with ghosts don’t tend to be bloody but Death Spa has some incredibly fun and surprisingly shocking death scenes. A gun exploding a guy’s hand off, a sauna that collapses another guy’s skull, a mirror that tears a body apart are just some of the awesome kill scenes that I enjoyed very much. Not every kill makes sense though. The strangest kill was death by frozen fish. Yeah, a character is thrown into a freezer and gets his throat chewed out by a frozen fish that flies off the shelf towards him.
What I expected from Death Spa and what I got in the end couldn’t have been more different. Without reading up on the film, what I thought would be a slasher (ala Aerobicide/Killer Workout) wound up being a supernatural horror/tech thriller and as odd as it sounds, it was a fun watch mostly because of how “futuristic” the 80s thought it was. Throw in some gratuitous T&A and some legitimately good gore scenes and Death Spa is worth the trip.
Story: 6 – The vengeful spirit of a gym owner’s ex-wife comes back and haunts the advanced computer system in his gym and kills his clients when he starts dating again.
Blood: 8 – I honestly didn’t think the movie would be this bloody but I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the kills on display in this goofy flick.
Nudity: 8 – The T&A quota is also filled out nicely with the expected sauna/shower sequences sprinkled throughout.
Overall: 7 – By no means a great film, Death Spa might be a bit of a hidden gem for horror fans out there looking for a gory supernatural flick that’s also lots of fun.
-The female extras were from a porn casting agency.
-The film had to be cut down to secure an R rating.