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An Exercise in Terror: The Making of 'Death Spa' (2014)

Documentary about the making of the low-budget horror slasher movie Death Spa (1989).

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Credited cast:
Arledge Armenaki ...
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Jamie Beardsley ...
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William Bumiller ...
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...
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Peter D. Kaye ...
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Michael Kewley ...
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Mitch Paradise ...
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David Reskin ...
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Bob Schulenberg ...
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Elizabeth Ziegler ...
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Documentary about the making of the low-budget horror slasher movie Death Spa (1989).

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23 May 2014 (USA)  »

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$4,000 (estimated)
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Nifty retrospective documentary
7 July 2016 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

This really thorough and illuminating 51-minute documentary offers a wondrous wealth of great stories and information about the making of the low-budget late 80's horror opus "Death Spa." Producer Jamie Beardsley talks about the genesis of the project and how one day she committed a major blunder on the set by telling everyone they weren't working fast enough. Steadicam operator Elizabeth Ziegler discusses at length the special rig she had made for herself and that she had to walk off a cherry picker for the astonishing opening shot in the movie. Co-writer Mitch Paradise reveals that he came up with the idea for a computerized health club and notes that an earlier draft of the script had a red herring janitor character living in the club's basement. Actor Hank Cheyne tells a fun anecdote about how he was working as a bartender at the time he auditioned for a role in the picture and none other than Christopher Plummer wished him luck after he told Plummer he got the part. Composer Peter D. Kaye admits that he overdid his tacky synthesizer score. Shari Shattuck raves about how she relished playing an evil character, but openly displays regret over the fact that another actress dubbed her voice. Moreover, we also learn that the location used for the club was previously a dance studio, the extras used for the shower scene were obtained from a porn casting agency, and the film had to be extensively cut in order to obtain an R rating from the MPAA. Recommended viewing for fans of the film.


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