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Death Spa (1989)

R  |   |  Horror  |  October 1990 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 576 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 42 critic

Michael's health club is beseiged with a series of terrible murders involving killer saunas and other grisly devices. Michael's wife killed herself a while before and her brother holds ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Bumiller ...
Michael Evans
...
Laura Danvers
...
David Avery
...
Tom
...
Priscilla Wayne
...
Marvin
Rosalind Cash ...
Sgt. Stone
...
Lt. Fletcher (as Frank McCarthy)
Shari Shattuck ...
Catherine
...
Robert
...
Darla
Joseph Whipp ...
Dr. Lido Moray
Karen Michaels ...
Rhonda
...
Vicky (as Tané McClure)
Cindi Dietrich ...
Linda
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Storyline

Michael's health club is beseiged with a series of terrible murders involving killer saunas and other grisly devices. Michael's wife killed herself a while before and her brother holds Michael responsible. Michael needs to stop the bloodshed before he loses all of his clients. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The evil of the past has found its place in the present See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Witch Bitch  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Merritt Butrick's final film before his death on March 17, 1989 at the age of 29. See more »

Goofs

Actress Shari Shattuck's first name is misspelled in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in An Exercise in Terror: The Making of 'Death Spa' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

El Chasan
Performed by Rudy Regalado
Composed by Rudy Regalado and Oscar Muzo
Rudy Regalado Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Get fit or die trying.
14 May 2009 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

In Death Spa's title sequence, director Michael Fischa guides his camera slowly towards the entrance of the Star Body Health Spa as an electrical storm rages on the horizon; suddenly, lightning strikes the building, knocking out some of the letters on its neon sign to reveal the title of the film. The camera then continues to glide through the doorway, as the spa's staff prepare to leave for the night; lights are switched off one-by-one, and the foyer is slowly plunged into darkness...

It's a promising start and one which proves that director Michael Fischa has a keen visual sense, which makes it all the more disappointing when the film quickly slips into mundane murder/mystery mode and threatens to stay there for the rest of its running time.

The film's plot sees a series of suspicious 'accidents' occurring at the high-tech, computer-controlled spa owned by widower Michael Evans (William Bumiller), whose wife Catherine (Shari Shattuck) committed suicide following the death of their child. Could Catherine's embittered brother David (Merritt Butrick), creator of the spa's advanced computer system, be behind the bizarre mishaps? Does anyone else have reason to see Michael's business fail? Or are the accidents the work of a malevolent supernatural force?

Thankfully, despite this rather cheesy 'whodunnit'-style narrative, which sees a pair of useless cops assisting Michael in solving the mystery, Fischa manages to keep things interesting through the inclusion of plenty of nudity (the spa is a haven for busty babes and hard-bodied hotties), a few enjoyably crap 80s Flashdance-inspired aerobics scenes, some inventive deaths, and a bit of fun hokum involving a parapsychologist.

And then, as the film enters its final act, everything goes completely nuts...

It is revealed that David has been possessed by the spirit of his sister Catherine, who wants Michael to die so that they can be together in the afterlife. At a Mardi Gras party, being held at the spa, the possessed David kidnaps Michael's squeeze Laura (Brenda Bakke) and tries to kill her by frying her under a sunbed. Meanwhile, lots of other people die in a variety of entertaining and bloody ways: wood panelling from a sauna room shoots through one guy's head, spilling his brains everywhere; a girl has her arm removed by a food blender; the policeman has his throat torn open by a frozen fish (I kid you not!); and an exploding mirror leaves one poor woman a mess of bloody pieces scattered all over the floor!

This totally unpredictable and gory ending is loads of fun, and it's well worth suffering through Death Spa's more tedious moments in order to fully savour the complete and utter madness of the film's final moments.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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