Let’s Commit Aerobicide (part 1)

Posted on Jul 24, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Best of the Best | 0 comments

KILLER WORKOUT vs. DEATH SPA (part 1)

Killer Workout vs. Death SpaI’m not just a horror nerd, I’m a horror nerd who lifts weights. I’m that odd, muscular guy who can’t name a single NFL quarterback but can tell you who directed Don’t Go Near the Park. So when I was finally able to find a double feature, bootleg DVD of VHS transfers of the workout themed fright flicks Killer Workout and Death Spa, I eagerly dished out the dough and I’m glad I did.

I’m going to review and compare both films here to help celebrate our friends at Nature’s Market and their I’m Losing It 2012 program. While we enjoy moderate drinking, we at the Tavern are also fitness enthusiasts! We’re so pumped that we’re giving away free movie tickets to Nature’s Market’s Losing It program as one of the prizes in their weekly raffle. If you live in the central Florida area, we encourage you to check it out, drop of few pounds, and maybe get to see The Dark Knight Rises on our dime.

Now let’s get to the splatter-vision showdown. Two workout-themed retro horror movies. Which will prove the victor?

KILLER WORKOUT (1987)

Aerobicide (aka Killer Workout)Let’s start with Killer Workout, since that is the one I watched first. This one is brought to us by David Prior, the man behind Sledgehammer, so you can get an idea of the degree of skull-shattering radness we can anticipate. Fellow videovores, prepare to be dazzled. Slip on your leg warmers and get ready to roll around in the filth you love as much as I do.

The movie starts off with a model getting a message about a photo shoot gig. We never see her face but we do get to hear her friend’s strange message that compares their tits and fawns over the package of some guy she cannot wait to go out with. The model then goes to get her bake on in a tanning bed and there is a horrible accident.

The film is off to a great start here already. Only 10 minutes in and we’ve been given incredible vintage graphics, some nudity and a death. But then gets even better when it pumps up the 80’s flair with a music montage/exercise scene. Busty women with big hair jiggle around to cheap Madonna knockoff songs in a glorious display of borderline softcore.

Rhonda's GymWe are now at Rhonda’s, a hip and happening gym and spa where the majority of the film takes place. We get a myriad of gym rat characters that all center around Rhonda, including her flaky aerobics teacher, a jock name Jimmy with a creepy crush on her, and a suspicious new employee, Chuck, played by Ted Prior (director David’s Playgirl-star brother). Chuck arrives just after the strange killings begin in the gym, and it becomes clear to us early on that he’s investigating the murders much more thoroughly than the terribly incompetent Lieutenant Morgan, the detective on the case who shows up just to clean up more dead bodies and look constipated as he asks questions.

Ted PriorThe killings vary from very amusing to just so-so slasher hokum, but they are spliced with hilariously over-sexed scenes of exercise and old school fight scenes. Chuck and Jimmy have a couple of alley brawls right out of They Live, and Chuck has a romantic interlude that feels like you’re watching a non-sex scene in a porno. Instead of ‘roids, all of these gym rats seem to be on aphrodisiacs.

Eventually Rhonda and Lt. Morgan have a private revelation and the movie wraps up exactly as you would want it to.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As the bodies pile up you begin to wonder why anyone would continue their membership at Rhonda’s, but it doesn’t matter. KILLER WORKOUT is easily one of the best hidden gems in the world of retro 80’s slashers. It has absolutely everything that fans of this strange subgenre buck and bray for. It is loaded with bloody violence and big, jiggling breasts, and it unfolds in a variable orgy of plot twists when the killer should be painfully obvious to anyone who works there. Top it all off with an incredible 80’s soundtrack that sings about what you’re watching a la Smokey and the Bandit, and you have got a campy throwback that you are bound to revisit again and again.

  • RATING: A full on, balls out, 5 out of 5. Goddamn, love this movie!
  • CHICK OF THE LITTER: Take your pick. It’s a buffet of babes.

BARTENDER'S NOTES

While it is tempting to mix some Gatoraid in with this one, perhaps with some rum, I would say the best route would be to go with a few beers. Something light like Pabst in case you get in the mood to work up a sweat and writhe along with the strippers they hired for the workout scenes. This movie really has drinking game written all over it too.

 

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Tomorrow we'll see how DEATH SPA compares……..

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