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The Best Horror Workouts, Part 1: Killer Workout (1987), Death Spa (1989) and Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

September 9, 2016

Working out in the 80s…in horror movies?
You guys know this is gonna’ be a bit dirty!

Ready to sweat out the sins of watching too many horror movies?  Well throw on your halfway shirts, short-shorts and tube socks and let’s get to it!

Killer Workout, aka Aerobicide (1987)
Pretty classy poster, right?

Killer Workout, aka Aerobicide (1987) is easily one of the most TnA-rich raunchy throwbacks I’ve ever seen.  Hardly horror at all, this was deliciously cheesy to the point of hilarity.  Watch this to remind yourself of what it’s like to be a teenage boy.  Brace yourself for sweaty hard bodies, ass-choking leotards, hot pink tights and excessively inappropriate camera angles as we are introduced to Rhonda’s (Marcia Karr; Maniac Cop, Savage Streets) gym.  Despite a recent series of in-gym homicides people keep coming to the gym as if nothing happened and never seem to wonder what happened to their training partner.  This may sound bad, but we came to laugh as people get killed with random gym apparatuses.  What this flick lacks in knives in cleaving sweaty cleavage, it makes up for with extra cheese in your post-workout shake.

We get our raunchy cheese, as any cheese connoisseur would have it, in a variety of forms.  But the real highlights here are aerobics montages to remind us that back in the 80s women pretty much dressed like hookers when they worked out.  We learn that the camera man understood his instructions loud and clear as we are bombarded by tandem close-ups of sweaty bouncing aerobic boobs, thong-wedgied butts and leg-spreading crotch shots.  No joke–the aerobic routines are more than a little slutty and there’s an inordinate amount of this.  Every 10-15 minutes it’s like the director was just filming hooker tryouts.  SIX TIMES we get these bouncy slut montages encored by a highlights reel during the closing credits. LOL.  We even see a scarred up burn victim’s bare breasts in more than one lengthy scene!!!  That’s an awful LOT of screen time for TnA even in a raunchy horror flick.

Nope.  That’s not a prostitute walking up to the Bunny Ranch in that ass-choking leotard.  That’s an aerobics instructor in her classiest uniform hitting the gym.

I have no clue what this move is called.  But I think I love it.
Yup.  This really happens in this flick…a lot


Death Spa (1989)

Death Spa (1989) lets us sweat out the toxins with some bad 80s horror at its best.  A sultry Flashdance routine immediately warns of the quality of the movie to come.  Our flashdancing spa exhibitionist is Laura (Brenda Bakke; Nowhere to Run, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight) and she is nearly killed when the gym sauna spews caustic gas out of some pipe–clearly in an effort to murder her…because spas “do that” in this movie.  But have no fear, she judo chops to safety through a window and then passes out naked and sweaty before our eyes.

This spa looks like the 80s vomited all over it.  Super short shorts on allegedly straight guys with feathered hair, girls in provocatively snug unitards, lots of hairspray, tights, promiscuity, legwarmers and a strangely wardrobed black dude (Ken Foree; Dawn of the Dead, The Lords of Salem, Halloween) who the director clearly decided was “tough” because he’s a tall black dude who works out in a robe!

As the “spa” continues to strike, its assaults include tampering with a diving board, scalding hot showers, projectile bath tiles flying at naked women, a busted hot water pipe melts the face off of some chick and a needlessly deadly chest-fly machine.

Not surprisingly it only takes a few free months of gym memberships for gym rats to remain loyal to Brother Iron and Sister Steel while several people have been serially killed or injured in the past week!  Later some dude has his face squeezed off (the only real latex effort in special effects), a chick’s hand gets blended into a protein shake while it’s still attached to her and there’s a random zombie fish attack…yes, one zombie in the entire movie and it’s a fish.  They’re rich in omega-3’s, bro!  This movie even includes death by tanning bed–which is the second time this ever happened on film (Killer Workout (1987) was the first), later copied by the I Know What You Did Last Summer and Final Destination franchises.

Shower scenes and wet bodies abound in this extra cheesy flick in which a HAL-like gym security system takes it upon itself to kill its members like they kill their triceps.  I’d like to see this remade by Eli Craig, Joss Whedon or Sam Raimi…you know, like the minds behind Evil Dead (2013), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Final Destination 5 (2011), Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Drag Me to Hell (2009), and of course Evil Dead 2 (1987) and The Evil Dead (1981).



Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Grin-worthy 80s lameness abounds in this gory flick.  The deaths range from ho-hum to laugh-out-loud hilarity.  But my favorite kill involves giving a mean spot while someone is doing bench presses, which of course reminded me of Killer Workout (1987; aka Aerobicide) and Death Spa (1989).  But unlike the other two mentioned flicks, Happy Birthday to Me (1981) features but a single gym-related death.

Happy Birthday to Me 3 bench press

After any good workout you gotta’ eat right to get those gains!  PROTEIN!!!!  And if you’re a gym rat, you know muscles are made in the kitchen.  So whether your forcing kabobs down your throat or prepping your girlfriend’s severed head, get to it!  The pay off is so worth it.

happybirth10Happy Birthday to Me 4


I know you’re full, bro.  But take it down like the lion does the gazelle. GET THOSE GAINS!


We hope you enjoyed these three gory sets of horrific muscle-building reps from the 80s.  Stay tuned for The Best Horror Workouts Part 2!

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