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Death Spa (1989)

 -  Horror  -  October 1990 (USA)
5.2
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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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Title: Death Spa (1989)

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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)
...
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:

Strange things are a brewing at the local gym! 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 Gorgon Video Magazine (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Message
Performed by Messenger
Composed by Messanger and David Pock
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gore That Makes Up For Many Shortcomings
25 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Michael's health club is besieged 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.

The film started in 1984 or 1985, and was filmed in 1986 (despite not seeing release until 1989). In the beginning, it was meant to just be a haunted health spa and the script went through multiple revisions. After completion, the editing and post-production dragged on for years.

The film was something of a "family affair", as many of those involved not only made this film but had a part in producer Jamie Beardsley's wedding. Executive producer Waleed B. Ali (the man who launched John McNaughton's career) walked Beardsley down the aisle. Incidentally, Beardsley was later first assistant director on Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs".

Director Michael Fischa burst on to the scene all at once, releasing his first three films almost simultaneously. Besides this one, he also unleashed "Crack House" and "My Mom's a Werewolf" (starring John Saxon) on to the world. Co-writers James Bartruff and Mitch Paradise have less than a handful of credits between them.

"Death Spa" went under the radar for most of us, just now getting some home video love almost thirty years after it was made. Gorgon Video has a new Blu-Ray transfer that looks beautiful and is loaded with extras -- so a film you never heard of a year ago can be one you know everything about next year.

There is a solid cast. Karyn Parsons went on to play Hilary Banks on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". Joseph Whipp (Dr. Lido Moray) had previously appeared in two Wes Craven films: "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Chiller". Mysteriously, Ken Foree's name is absent on the box credits despite being the biggest horror star in the film ("Dawn of the Dead", "From Beyond").

The film itself is a bit slow, and not the best edited at times. One is left with the impression that one goal was simply to see how many women they could get naked on camera (and the count is at least a half dozen if you are wondering). If this was a non-horror film, it would be a complete waste of time.

Luckily, it happens to be a horror film, and its shortcomings are made up for by some of the nastiest, goriest effects to come out of the screen. For what was likely a very low budget, no expense was spared to have people melt, burn, spray blood... the death count is quite high, and every death is gloriously fun to watch. Some things are questionable and the basic plot never quite adds up, but maybe that was never the point.

For the average viewer, this will not be something to see. For a fan of the blood and guts, it may just be that lost 80s classic you have been waiting for. Worth picking up. The Gorgon Blu-ray features audio commentary with director Michael Fischa (who happens to be Austrian), producer Jamie Beardsley and editor Michael Kewley (who is now best known as the producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"). There is also a full-length making-of feature.


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