Death Spa (1989)
A Killer What?
A health spa. Or more specifically a health spa possessed by the ghost of the spa owner’s dead wife. Or even more specifically an impossibly high-tech health spa possessed by the ghost of the owner’s dead codependent wife who committed suicide by burning herself to death when she became paralyzed from the waist down and now physically manifests through her own still-living twin brother.
Is It Any Good?
Yes, actually. The movie cashes in on the ‘80s health craze as a backdrop and uses the idea of a high tech modern health spa (really more of a gym) as a set-piece for a wide variety of creative murders.
We’ve got people being melted by chemical-tainted sprinklers, pneumatic arms used to open lockers impaling people through the head, a guy has his sternum broken by a weight training machine, a girl gets her hand juiced, a mirror blows up and turns a woman to giblets, a guy’s head explodes in a steam room without any explanation. It’s delightful goopy and gory.
Is the movie light on plot? Yes. Does the movie have a likeable protagonist? No. No, in spite of the villain being a spiteful ex-wife who wants to drake her widowed husband to hell with her in spite of the fact that it’s entirely her fault that she’s there (lot’s to unpack there, incidentaly the original title of this movie was Witch Bitch)
Death Spa isn’t a good movie but it is a very fun movie and in spite of the weaknesses from a plot perspective the movie is very beautifully shot. Also Ken Foree shows up, so there’s that. It’s a fun blood-splattered ‘80s tinged romp, it’s kind of the movie you wanted Chopping Mall to be.
Watch, Toss, or Buy
Buy it, there’s a Blu-ray and everything!