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Death Spa - 1989

Death Spa - 1989

Director(s): Michael Fischa

Writer(s): James Bartruff and Mitch Paradise

Cinematography by: Arledge Armenaki   

Editor(s): Michael Kewley

Cast: Karyn Parsons, William Bumiller, Brenda Bakke and Plastic Glow Stick

Synopsis:  Gruesome deaths begin to occur at a hip Los Angeles health club (IMDB).


This movie opens up with a woman trying her best to capture the magic from Flashdance and the sweatiness of Predator, dancing her way to a great workout. After she is finished, she decides to take a very sweaty, steam session in her sauna. This woman sweats more than a sinner at church. She sweats more than a snowman in the summer. She sweats more than Shaquille O’Neal at the free throw line. She sweats more than me trying to write a fourth joke about sweating. The steam room gets too steamy and she escapes by breaking the glass on the door with the palm of her hand like freaking Bruce Lee. She barely makes it out alive and now the gym is under investigation, since the accident was so mysterious.

Quick note: The gym is called Starbody Health Spa, many rumors claim that this is where The Weeknd got his rocking body and why he refers to himself as a Starboy. Also, the one cool thing about this movie is that the sign of the gym is struck by 1980’s lightning and the remaining letters spell Death Spa (starbo_D_y h_EA_l_TH SPA).


This gym is no normal gym. Not only is it packed with extras pulled from Venice beach and dressed like a hipster’s wet dream, it’s run by a super computer. Yeah, this Planet Fitness full of legwarmers is run by a hyper advanced computer that NASA would envy. It runs the workout machines, the doors and the blenders. How much is their membership?  Anyway, the next victim has it worse than the first. She is about to jump in the pool and starts bouncing on the diving board and the screws mysteriously come loose and she falls in the water. You know, the water she was about to jump in? So cruel. The next attack is on a group of ladies taking a very long shower and the water turns super hot and tiles start flying from the walls, slicing the ladies. What’s hilarious about this scene is that while the ladies are screaming and running in terror, you can clearly see one just washing her hair. She’s like; “I still have soap in my hair and ass, no ghost is stopping me”.

Quick note: we get two back to back murders. One is a lady in the locker room who gets a spike through the back of her head and the other is a “bro” who is torn apart by a chest machine. But before that scene he delivers a solid burn to a girl trying to hit on him. He tells her; “I don’t need your help, I’m Beta and you are VHS.” Oh, snap! Betamax burn.


It is revealed that the owner of the gym has a tragic past. His wife killed herself by setting herself on fire. By setting HERSELF on FIRE. Look, I know we aren’t in the best state of mind when we commit suicide, but why go out with arguably the most painful way of dying? Also, the character is supposed to be paralyzed, but when she sets herself on fire she walks. I guess fire is the way to cure paralysis. Anyway, he starts to suspect that all these events in his gym are the workings of his late wife, because he senses a presence. He recruits a paranormal expert who uses a plastic glow stick to read objects’ past, present and future… I think. And he accurately tells him everything that happened to his wife. I don’t have a joke about the plastic magical glow stick, since it worked, so…


Quick note: Karyn Parsons is in this movie, one year prior to starring in Fresh Prince of Bell Air as Hilary. Fun fact?

Alright let’s push this along a bit. Sweaty Flashdancer is out of the hospital and she is now with the owner. A bunch of people get murdered and another one is through the use of hot water. I guess being a ghost has its limits and temperature controls is the best that she can do. It is revealed that the guy who runs the computer is working with the ghost and that he is her twin. So, she starts to possess him and starts dressing up like her to complete the transformation. Oh, and the general manager and the gym’s lawyer are working to destroy the gym’s reputation so they can take over the gym from the owner. A huge conspiracy to take over Crunch Time Fitness run by Windows 2.1x.

Quick note: we get another sweaty sauna scene that leads to the lawyer’s head exploding and strawberry jam spills from his head. one lady dies by getting her hand stuck in a blender, producing eighty gallons of blood. Another is killed with a fish to the throat. Yep.


Why is the ghost doing this? Why is the ex of this successful Gold’s Gym killing the patrons and tormenting him? Well, she wants him to commit suicide because she misses him. She is killing random people that have nothing to with her so her ex-husband kills himself and goes with her to hell and keeps her company. Talk about your unoriginal plot. How many times are we going to see the same thing over and over again? The movie ends with him electrocuting the object that held the ghost in the realm of the humans with 1980’s lightning, burning up her spectral body. The end.

Ah wait! It’s a gym in where you burn calories and the ghost dies by being burned. Oh, yeah there was a Halloween at the Gym and through the course of the ghost death roughly about 90% of the people inside die in the chaos. Talk about a spa retreat! I think they can rebuild, hire a good PR firm and turn your image around. If this movie doesn’t motivate you to work out, I don’t know what will. Leg warmers is why I love movies.

Death Spa is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. It’s a killer watch.

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