I'll be honest from word one: I can't really convince you that the delightfully daft horror epic "Death Spa" is a great movie. It isn't! As a time capsule for the late eighties slasher flick, though, it is much more fun than you have any reason to imagine it will be. Truthfully, I loved this movie! It didn't shock or scare me, but I laughed along as it moved from one silly scenario to the next. At the heart of "Death Spa" is a sophisticated computer controlled gym facility. This state-of-the-art luxury spa has everything you would want from a gym, except (of course) for an ever-escalating body count! As the movie progresses, it seems that the computer system has been compromised and this leads to a series of unfortunate events. As weight machines grow deadly, the sauna becomes a death trap, and the showers develop a murderous mind of their own, one must wonder if anyone is safe. Various other problems plague the Health Spa, but for most of the patrons--things remain business-as-usual.
That's part of the movie's charm, though. No matter what has happened to kill or maim the gym's hard bodies, no one quits coming to work-out! Heck, what's a death or two? A gala costume party, in fact, remains on track for the film's finale. It seems a tad thoughtless to proceed with the party, but who am I to judge? And as the blood starts to flow at the party (screams, fights, countless deaths and mutilations), most of the revelers remain in a sweetened state of bliss no matter how close by death is knocking. But is there any escaping the Death Spa? Even the clueless detective investigating matters is more concerned with the juice girl than the violent deaths all around him!
The central mystery, naturally, is what is causing the Spa to malfunction. Is it a maniacal murderer? Technology gone awry? Perhaps a ghost in the machine? The spa manager does seem haunted by a tragedy from the past. The answers are provided, but they are certainly secondary to the action set pieces that comprise the various deaths and accidents. This being a terrifically cheesy horror endeavor from the eighties, you can expect plenty of full frontal nudity, a techno soundtrack, and copious amounts of fake blood and gruesome effects. Is all quite fun. I had not seen this movie before, but found this a handsome Blu-ray release (new 2K high definition transfer) with a surprising number of features.
Commentary with Director, Producer and Editor
Trailers (theatrical and video)
I've watched so many horror films from the eighties, the video market was literally packed with unusually delightful titles. Maybe, for me, there was a nostalgia factor that caused me to fall in love with "Death Spa." If you are a lover of bad movies, though, this one is fun through and through. KGHarris, 6/14.