Well, it is no Death Spa….
Killer Workout (Aerobicide) (1987) 8 out of 10: A remarkable body count and gratuitous nudity and well Killer Workout is chock full of everything… definitively bad movie heaven.
The Good Cheesy Eighties stuff: Score A+
It is the cheery pop songs with on point lyrics from unsigned bands than take this one over the top. Whether the earworm is Woman on Fire by Jill Colucci or the haunting Love Is a Four Letter Word by Didi Nelson or the catchy sounds of had they not changed the name to Killer Workout, this would have been the title song Aerobi-Cide sung by Marty Hylan. The result is the same joyful feeling.
The soundtrack is kicking the eighties vibe on all cylinders. Add in the workout clothes, big hair and on point sports cars and you are in eighties throwback heaven. Killer Workout challenges for the most eighties film ever.
The Good Nudity: Score A
While there is nothing erotic about Killer Workout, it needs to get credit for a ridiculous amount of exploitative nudity. Good quality exploitation with a variety of attractive women with different ethnicities, body types and attractiveness levels. We don’t get to know most of these women since they have a tendency to get murdered soon after they take their clothes off but don’t worry many of your favorites will reappear during the peppy aerobics workout scenes that pepper the movie and don’t seem to take into account the current body count. (Nothing as obvious as Space Mutiny’s bridge Lieutenant, but noticeable for the observant)
Also, a very special shout out to Teresa Van der Woude who is like Mary Lou Retton if Retton was also a supermodel. Teresa also seems to know how to do that acting thing, which really makes her stick out among the cast. (See below)
The Good Violence: Grade B
While not the most creative slasher film (There are a couple of good scenes, one with the killer trying to kill the girl through the canvas roof of a convertible. Another well done scene is the opening tanning bed incident, which while not up to Final Destination 3 standards is well done. Most of the other death scenes (though not all we have a hanging, vehicular homicide etc) are with a large oversized safety pin which is as stupid, awkward and visually underwhelming as it sounds.
What Killer Workout lacks in creativity, however, it more than makes up for in volume. The death rate is enough for a least three of these films climbing easily into the high teens (I lost count) I stopped questioning why the gym was still open and people were still jazzercising and wondered why the entire strip mall hasn’t been turned into a memorial and a national day of mourning had not yet been declared. I mean, I know the eighties were a rougher time, but still.
The Bad: This is not a well-made film, even by eighties slasher standards. The direction is technically there. The fight scenes are laughable (and there are a surprising large amount of fisticuffs between buff men in this movie.) The script is bonkers. (Sometimes in a good way. No sane person would start unceremoniously killing off lead characters two thirds through the film. Honestly, that kind of chaos works for me.) The plot has ADHD and the surprise revelation will only work on those that left the room before the movie starts and pop in at the ending credits asking what were you watching honey?
I originally gave this film a six out of 10 because it really is that bad on many levels, but gosh darnit the music and gratuitous eighties drew me back in and I have to admit it l liked it a lot more on the second viewing.
David Campbell gives such an over the top terrible performance in the film, I have to think it was on purpose. It is as if he read the script and by murder fourteen said fuck it I’m going full method on this mother. Then he dropped acid and watched a William Shatner marathon. I mean, that is the only rational explanation. How his fellow actors don’t react on camera to his histrionics shows at least some talent and self-restraint among the thespian crew.
In Conclusion: It is no Death Spa (Which in fairness clearly ripped off this movie) but it is a good cheesy eighties slasher flick. And I have seen enough bad ones to recognize a pleasurable time when I see it.