Saturday, October 22, 2016

Horrors of October - Death Spa

Death Spa (1989)

A fancy fitness center becomes a murder factory when a series of unfortunate accidents run wild. Could it be the computer system that runs the joint, the snarky programmer who operates it behind closed doors, corporate saboteurs hiding in plain sight, or the ghost of the owner's ex-wife? What not have all of them because that's how DEATH SPA rolls. This movie is absolutely bonkers, saturated in the sheer indulgence of 80s chic and goofy exploitation. One minute you're watching a hunk deny a girl by saying, "I'm beta and you're VHS", the next minute he's getting his ribs burst out by some malfunctioning press arms. There are nude females a plenty and a lot of unexplainable gory demises, including one hell of a head explosion. The story is very incomprehensible, developing a whodunit in the beginning stages only to thrown in elements from PSYCHO, only to then craft some bizarre mixture of body possession and cyber-supernatural evil so it can have a CARRIE-like finale. I would go to task on the film for this but it doesn't really matter when the proceedings are so kitschy and playfully violent. The cast are all having a lot of fun as they exercise, get naked, read off some pulpy barbs and suffer terrible fates. The people behind the camera relish all the B-movie prowess they can deliver but they also make sure to bring some brilliantly creative touches to the film, as evident by the very impressive opening tracking shot and several more scenes that employ a Steadicam. DEATH SPA is a perfect midnight movie and rightfully proclaimed as one of the best good bad films.


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