I caught a screening of Michael Fischa's 1989 flick Death Spa last week and had my brain melted for a number of reasons.
First, there's the obvious because I mean, holy balls this movie. I feel like the nugget of an idea was there – ghost-in-the-machine and all that – but somewhere down the line someone sniffed a mountain of coke and all reason went out the window ala Maximum Overdrive.
Aside from that, what confounds me the most is that I'd seen this movie a few years previous and had absolutely no recollection of it. It wasn't like I was halfway into it and thought “oh I've seen this”. No. Zero recall. No asparagus, no Ken Foree and no killer fish. Nada. I had Facebook exchanges about Death Spa in 2015, yet sometime between then and now, it got wiped. It's like this movie was such unequivocal nonsense that my brain rebelled and struck it from the record. I don't think that has ever happened before.
As for the movie, what can I say? I subsequently listened to the How Did This Get Made? episode on Death Spa and they had a lot of the same questions I did. You should go listen to it if you haven't, but the only thing I want to reiterate is this exchange;
This plays so many ways. Like he's saying he's gay, right? That's the only way this makes sense. But if so, why is Beta gay? Because it's better or just incompatible? Beta was already in its death throes by the time this was made so the former makes no sense. As does if he just meant he's too good for her. I'm so confused.
But let's get down the meat of the matter because even by eighties standards there was a lot of nudity in this. Not that I'm complaining. Gorehounds can also rest easy, as people get their aerobicized asses ended in a number of ways that included fire, acid showers and exploding glass, none of which made any sense within the ghost-in-the-machine context. But hey, whatever. I'm VHS, and you're DVD.