Sunday, January 31, 2016

Death Spa

Death Spa (aka Witch Bitch), Starring Merritt Buttrick, Directed By Michael Fischa (1989).

Out of all the aerobic themed slashers like Slash Dance, Killer Workout and even Fulci's Murder-Rock, this one is pretty fun and viciously gruesome. I wonder what would be the exploitation term for that sub genre, perhaps Exerci-sploitation, Fitnes-sploitation, nah those are no good). Let's blame that vile Olivia Newton John "Let's Get Physical" music video on this trend, it should be guilty of something besides assaulting my eyes and ear holes. So, already they've set the female gratuitous nudity barometer to a new sweaty level in the first few minutes, nice going Gorgon Video! This has since been re-released in pristine format by the same snuff peddlers of the 80's who churned out all the Faces of Death volumes littering the video store shelves back in the day (The site actually offers clamshell versions of their catalog to jump on the hipster bandwagon). click here to go to the site.

I can't bash Gorgon too hard though their tapes were just as entertaining to see as the Thriller VHS or H.G. Lewis ones and it's cool to see they're back doing what they do best, churning out the sleaze.
The synthy score by Peter Kaye is unintentionally funny and blips and gleep glops all over. The naked girl that we collectively objectified in the first few minutes gets in an accident and burns her face with eye melting Chlorine. One cop played by Francis X. McCarthy describes it as dissolving her like an Alka-Selzter, now thats just some clever product placement. They give him most of the best campy lines throughout the film and his partner is Rosalind Cash, who I remember as Charlton Heston's girlfriend in The Omega Man and she was also in "Guyana," The Jim Jones made for TV movie.

Some rad fucking 80's trash cult stars are featured here like Ken Foree (sporting that same mustache in From Beyond), Chelsea Field or Teela from the shit-tastic Dolph Lungren Masters of the Universe, looking pretty sweet in a skimpy bathing suit. Perhaps the best and yet bitter sweet performance is by "Totally Tired" New Waver Johnny Slash of Square Pegs and Captain Kirk's fictional son aka Merritt Butrick. This was his last film before he died of AIDS. And as if this weren't already an over-bloated sauna of cameos, we get Hillary Banks from the Fresh Prince acting like a dirty slut.

I'm plummeting toward a swimming pool of celebrity cameos

Michael Evans, the main dude played by William Bumiller keeps having weird nightmares about the recent suicide of his ex-wife that look like a bad WASP video, taking place in a flaming desert. He's the worst actor in the film if you can believe that and spends a lot of time paling around with Ken Foree (who deserves a better role).

Hey Bro let's recreate that sexy album cover by Hall and Oats

The dialogue is pretty tacky--I mean this in the best way possible, one dude puts down Darla by saying "You're Beta I'm VHS". Down at the Starbody Health Spa, where all the madness is centered, Merritt mans the controls of the Spa's computer system. The health club has that long ass name so that a few bulbs can conveniently blow out and spell the title (ala-Motel Hell). The supercomputer, which ends up crushing the poor BETA dudes' ribs goes haywire (but it's the evil new wave nerd who is more of a culprit then the technology). I get the impression that the Encyclopedia Britannica dweeb from those horrid commercials was up for this role and lost, Merritt's character just gives me that specific creepy nerd vibe.

I'll contact The Devil with my computer and make you all pay

Michael Evens aka Helmet hair picks up his hot blonde girlfriend (who had the blinding accident in the beginning). He remains haunted by flashes of that burning desert and I'm willing to guess his late finance Catherine is responsible for the murders happening at the club, Hey I should be on CSI!

Alright! It's Black Lawless, play my jam Fuck like a Beast! 

During a scene where a redhead is melted with acid and reduced to a giant "Body Melt" style puddle of pulpy mush, she whimpers as if she's still alive, Yeesh! I'm pretty sure some of this gore was cut out of the final version and was saved for the unrated one. Nowadays that usually means unfunny scenes tacked on, but back then it meant extra meat for gorehounds like us. There's some funny outdated 80's computer messaging that keeps taunting the main character. I love that 80's mystery associated with computers as ways to fry people (like in Hello Marylou Prom Night 2) or to contact Satan (Evil Speak). My favorite part is when a frozen fish comes to life for no apparent reason and kills a cop in the walk-in freezer! The murder scenes are pretty creative and the ending is very bizarre, I didn't really understand the possession angle of Catherine and her twin brother (feel free to explain it in the comment section)! Regardless of the oddball finale it was a blast!


Yowch! These En-Cor Fishsticks meal are too bitey, I better call Al

When there's no more room in the schvitz, your schlong will hit the tile

I was trained by a real new waver, the fat ass sand paper masturbator from Human Centipede 2

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