Death Spa aka Witch Bitch (1989)

Posted: 29/11/2013 in Trash movies
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When I first time heard of this movie it immediately reminded me on Aerobicide. Unfortunately, unlike the previously mentioned jewel of AIP production (Prior brothers), Death Spa is not as funny and interesting but only much worse. Though, truth to be told, there are a lot of dumb, retarded, gay jocks and empty-headed bimbos in Death Spa as well.

The movie starts with the lighting striking gym’s neon sign “Starbody Health Spa” (possibly the worst name ever), after which remaining working letters  create “Death Spa”. Oooh that can’t be good. Inside the gym hottie Laura (played by Brenda Bakke) is dancing and cleaning windows with her ass. She is alone  there. Or is she? One of the trainers there, Marvin (played by horror movies veteran Ken Foree) approached and informed her that closing time is near and  Laura is the only one left. So she decides to take quick relaxing in sauna. Now, I forgot to mention that the whole facility is top-notch and completely  controlled by computer. But computers make mistake too. Poor Laura is about to discover that when she, by mischief, gets locked inside sauna and things start to get really hot inside. It seems that computer has been putting a lot of poison gas inside. With her last atoms of strength Laura manages to break a small  window on sauna’s doors.

Let off some steam, LauraLet off some steam, Laura!

Who might have done it? Apart Marvin, two more persons have been there. Owner of the club Michael (played by William Bumiller) and David (played by Merrit  Butrick) who is main programmer and Michael’s brother-in-law. Well, an ex brother-in-law since his sister and Michael’s wife is dead. This mystery will try  to solve funny Lt. Fletcher (played by Frank McCarthy) and his associate, lovely Sgt. Stone (played by Rosalind Cash). Following morning both of them are at  the club, going past the above mentioned gay jocks and dumb bimbos, interrogating both Michael and David afterwards. Meanwhile, accidents are just waiting to happen. Apparently, someone has been messing with diving board. Actually, someone got loose bolts on diving board which almost killed some girl who was  trying to jump into the pool. All of this seems to puts a lot of pressure onto Michael’s shoulders since he dreams about wheelchairs in flame almost every  night. I must admit that that detail got my attention…for about 5 seconds! WTH burning wheelchairs from hell has to do with health spa??? I guess I am  going to get an answer on that question. Though, I believe that an answer is not going to make much sense. Anyway, back to spa now. I notice that enormous
number of homosexuals with muscles is attending gym. Well, I hardly find it surprising. It was truth back then same as now days. Michael really freaks out when he finds a bird nest in his office. He runs to David accusing him of that sick joke. Why sick, I wonder? Hm it seems that it has something to do with his late wife. More accidents… First, the tiles from walls at shower-room started hitting a lot of hot, naked chicks. But they were enough lucky to go without injuries which can’t be said for some dude who got torn apart by chest press device. Investigators are furrowing their brows and probably suspecting a water boy. Meanwhile, Michael went to pick up his blinded girlfriend Laura from hospital and take her on some home cooked meal.

Seducing a blind girl is like fishing in a barrel.

After another death (black chick gets impaled by one of the lockers in locker-room) Michael decides to hire a paranormal investigator. Great, now besides  mysterious murders we are also getting supernatural element in this movie. “Just throw it on a pile”, is what I guess director Michael Fischa had said. Now,  parapsychologist Dr. Lido Moray (played by Joseph Whipp) is a completely deranged and insane man. A total lunatic!!! And he has glowing stick which is  supposed to be some sort of ghost detector! And he uses it to demonstrate psychometri! HA! Ghostbusters, eat yourself!!!

This man scares meThis man scares me!

Later that evening, at the club, Linda gets a message from Michael in which he wants to meet with her in basement. He even had put a map of basement into  message. Happy about it she goes down to the basement searching for him. But Michael is at his home, dreaming about his dead wife calling him to spend  eternity with her. Nevertheless, Linda found something in the basement. Something evil! No, not a ghost. Just tube which showered her with an acid. Dr Moray  found her using his detector. And he had a close encounter with something unholy. I guess that is the dream of every parapsychologist. I can’t say if he died a happy man afterwards. What I can say is that he died a brutal, painful and humiliating death.

Bad medicine

Time for great finale! A Mardi Gras party inside the gym. And that is where plot is going to make sense (at least to director and producers). Finally, I say  since that is over an hour after movie had started and we got no idea what is actually happening there. It turns out that the spirit of Michael’s late wife  Catherine (played by Sharri Shattuck) has taken control over the main computer and, furthermore, control over David through computer. And all because  Catherine was jealous on girls in the club instead of Laura only (it seems that our Michael is a player). So, the complete chaos and bloodshed is about to  start. A lot of dead, mutilated people. First one to die is a dude in a computer room. Next one is bartender chick killed by blender (?!), followed by death
of horny Lt. Fletcher who’s neck has been impaled by talking frozen eel (yeah, I know). Well, its not that he had somehow contributed to this case  anyway. The whole place is falling apart with guests locked inside. Many more bizarre deaths and gore, including demise of legendary Ken Foree. Eventually,  possessed David burned himself to death by holding electrical installations with his\her bare hands. Yeah, ghost burned himself to death. Now you know it is  possible. Very ending of the movie is very cheesy, showing us burned ghost still alive (“Finally, everything is ok. Or, is it?”). God, I hope no one will  make sequel.

Some party to remember

Conclusion: I resent the fact Death Spa being compared to Aerobicide, even in bad elements. This movie makes Aerobicide looks like it has no place on this  blog (and believe me, it has; both of those movies have been reviewed by yours truly). Death Spa is nothing but a 80 minutes of goofy dialogs (though, you  can’t really expect any interesting and intelligent dialogs between gay jocks and sluts), dumb special effects, and screenplay which is in same time cheesy,  incoherent (elements of supernatural, sabotaging, and demon possession have been chucked in this shitty-taste stew) and inconclusive (I already have mentioned “Or is it?” ending of the movie). Also, shameless adding a legend of horror flicks (Ken Foree) to crew just to boost the sale and then giving him a small part (not that Foree’s bigger part could have saved this disaster) can’t go unnoticed and unpunished. If this was an attempt of ripping off Aerobicide then Death Spa is the perfect example of what happens when you try to rip-off another bad ’80s slasher. In other words – DON’T DO IT!!!


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