Schlock & Gore: Death Spa (1989)

“These are gazebos! They’re bullshit!”

OK! Pardon me, but I’m still reeling after seeing the new It movie. You see that shit? How good was that? I can definitely see the new Pennywise instilling that fear of clowns in children for decades to come, much in the way Curry did back in 1990. But that’s not why either of us are here. Moving on!

Hold on to your toned and firm asses! Like Killer Workout (AKA Aerobicide), Death Spa spins a gossamer yarn about none other than death… in a spa! In the 80’s! Gimme lycra or give me death…SPA! Jesus Christ I need a drink…

(click to buy!)


When I saw the movie’s cover and read the title, I projected my own ideas onto it. See, I expected Death Spa to be more like a “Spa of the Living Dead.” A bunch of pilates babes and neckless meatheads getting attacked in a fitness center and using workout equipment to fight back. Who wouldn’t love to see a zombie’s head get flattened by a dumbell? It would be the kind of movie to have a professional wrestler in a small role. Someone like Psycho Sid or Bam Bam Bigelow killing a couple of the undead by administering chokeholds, crushing their skulls with their flexing biceps. Also, their shorts would be too short, and too neon. Okay, I’ll write the screenplay.

Well Death Spa is actually about the deaths that occur due to “malfunctions” in a high-tech, state-of-the-art, computer-controlled health spa. It’s the kind of place you’d think to throw a Mardi Gras party, apparently.

With a few characters having a probable cause for the mysterious deaths, we end up with a whodunnit that culminates in a psychedelic ending with a killer and the paranormal. That makes me think of It, and the way Pennywise isn’t actually a clown, but something much more paranormal and sinister.

The whole movie is amusing, thanks to it’s setting and the onslaught of boobs, but it’s that final 1/3rd of the movie is the shining star here,  much in the same way Bill Skarsgård’s turn as Pennywise set him apart as the shining star of It.


A cop gets his throat ripped out by a frozen barracuda for fuck’s sake!

Or is this an eel? A mackerel? I don’t know my fish.

As far as entertainment value, Death Spa outshines Killer Workout in every way, similar to how 2017’s It completely outshined the original 1990 TV miniseries event. It’s entirely inane from start to finish, but in a charming way, rather than a frustrating one. I’ll probably think about this movie every day for the rest of my life. At least until It comes out on blu ray.


I’ll be treating myself to several repeat viewings of It, thanks to the wonderful performances by Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, and Bill Skarsgård as Richie, Bill, Beverly, and Pennywise respectively, and give it the schlock & gore seal of approval.


It gets a 9/10

Stay slime and be rad at all times!

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