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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 122 - Death Spa: LIVE!

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I hope Fallon and Sean didn't listen to this on Howl...

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Howl has ads on new content. The paid ad-free content is only for archives.

 

I hope Fallon and Sean don't wait to listen to this for 6 months on Howl...

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Every October for the past few years I basically do a marathon of nothing but horror movies. As of right now I've watched 115 and I can say this was nowhere near the worst. Amazon Prime really has some shitty horror movies available for free, so bad that they wouldn't even be good for the show (Crazy Murder, Under the Skin, and Stage Fright, come to mind). This was actually crazy good in the same vein as Sleepaway Camp.

 

I believe the lawyer was trying to finagle the gym from David by showing that he couldn't run his system anymore and needed to be replaced, kind of like a vote of confidence. I didn't realize that the majority of extras were porn stars but that makes sense, but does that mean that blind girlfriend was also a porn star since she was going full frontal as well and starting to fingerblast herself in the opening scene?

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Thoughts on Spa v. Gym:

 

I recall reading (I want to say it was on Jack LaLanne's Wikipedia page, although the current version doesn't make mention of it) that what we now think of as "gyms" were called "Health Spas" once upon a time, which would explain June's confusion. I would've figured, though, that went away by the 80s, as they've always been "gyms" to me (Born in '83). When I heard the title, I think I had something closer to "Death Sauna" in mind as a result, this being a method of [attempted] murder in various media (I specifically remember one unsuccessful attempt to trap Jessica Fletcher in a Sauna of Doom in an episode of Murder...She Wrote). Listening to the episode, it DOES sound like that was used at some point in the movie.

 

Anyway, unrelated to the movie, if you don't know who Jack LaLanne is, I highly recommend reading about him--he essentially laid the foundation for everything we think of as modern-day fitness, at least in the US.

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I kept thinking during my "screening" of this "film"- how are they going to cover all of this in the podcast when literally every choice they make in the movie is a total 'whatthefuck'? Of course I was pleased to see it was a nice long ep.

>

 

I guess this falls under omissions.

 

There was discussion about whether or not Katherine wanted Michael to go to hell with her or not, or whether she wanted Michael to kill himself. I don't know why because she said; "Killing yourself isn't so hard," and later; "Let's die together so we can live forever in hell". So that's pretty clear.

 

What was never asked or addressed in the movie is why is she in hell in the first place? Why was this woman whose suffered so much cast into the lake of fire? I think I have a theory. Maybe this film is religious propaganda against the sin of taking one's own life. Why else would she be in hell? And also this might answer the question of why she doesn't just kill Michael. It's because he needs to commit the sin of suicide in order to be cast into hell as well. Fortunately Michael's love of strange gives him the strength to overcome evil.

>

 

My alternative title would be - Fuck Spa Blood Bath.

 

Thank You.

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I was so bummed when I couldn't find Squirt Gun's Killer Groove, it was getting me pumped. I couldn't even find it listed as Killer Grove, the way it was credited.

post-95233-0-52163600-1446270797_thumb.jpg

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I have been trying to decide if I should just listen and skip the movie because I haven't seen it yet but all of the comments so far and the weird asparagus pic are convincing me that it would be worth a watch...

 

Same. I've been too busy this week to watch it (and, honestly, I'm kind of over shitty 80s movies for a bit; I hope they journey to another decade in the next ep), but the ep was wonderful and makes me want to watch it. Maybe I'll check it out before I give this ep the obligatory second listen.

 

 

I haven't had a chance to listen to the episode yet, but if it was good enough to make you consider watching the movie, then they must have done a good job. Basically, I found the movie to be of MST3K quality, but without the riffs. If that's something you'd be into, I say go for it. Otherwise, I'd say skip it and just enjoy their take on it.

 

Also, I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Devil's Christmas!

 

tumblr_my116yisHW1rlo1q2o1_400.gif

 

Have fun and be safe!

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First off, I had to make a profile just to comment on this movie.

 

Second, I want to address that there was probably more to the Lawyer/Manager (Priscilla) subplot than what we saw:

When Mike goes to confront his lawyer who's "got the cutest shorts [he's] ever seen" and asks who else is in it with them, the two of them look at each other before Priscilla clearly lies about it being just the two of them. Since they pretty much admit to the steam room and don't deny the diving board, I think that the two of them summoned the spirit of Mike's dead wife. The paranormal obviously exists in that world, looking at the events of this movie. Their partnership with Catherine would help to explain why the lawyer breaks into that office during the party (which I assume is Priscilla's since it doesn't look like where we saw Mike and Rainbow Clit tossing the football earlier). The lawyer is trying to remove any evidence that links him to the spirit while Priscilla is going in to do the same. He only hits her because she stupidly picks out matching costumes to wear with Mike or he was always planning to double cross her. (He is the king, isn't he?)

Think about it. Who makes sure that the computers aren't shut off? Who stresses the importance of the costume party? Who even admits to setting up the scene at the beginning? They had this thing planned from the start. The lawyer and manager are the puppeteers with Priscilla quite possibly being the eponymous "Witch."

 

I hate you guys for making me care so much about this dumb movie. I can't wait for the next one.

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I'm guessing that the VHS/Beta line was a holdover from when the script was originally written in '83, because that war had been over for a long, long time, at least as far as which format was dominant and would be sticking around is concerned. Comparing yourself to Beta after that is just calling yourSELF a loser.

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x

Isn't the Beta guy just saying he's gay?

 

Is it just me?

I’m Beta, You’re VHS

 

 

I'm laserdisc, I am staying out of this one.

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I'm surprised that no one mentioned that the actor who played David, Merritt Butrick, was the guy who played Johnny Slash on Square Pegs.

 

I'm not sure what accent he was shooting for in Death Spa, but he wasn't European. He was from Gainesville, Florida.

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I'm surprised that no one mentioned that the actor who played David, Merritt Butrick, was the guy who played Johnny Slash on Square Pegs.

 

I'm not sure what accent he was shooting for in Death Spa, but he wasn't European. He was from Gainesville, Florida.

I just looked up his IMDB page, and I didn't realize that he was dead before this movie even came out.

 

Also, I remember seeing one of those "Top Child Stars of the 80's" or "Before They Were Stars" shows where they talked about Sarah Jessica Parker being on "Square Pegs" like it was a cultural phenomenon. You'd swear it was the "Friends" of its day or something, but then they're like "But no one actually watched it when it was on, and it was canceled after one season".

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My biggest critique follows up on what Paul says about there being no agreement on the level of injury sustained by Laura and her Final Destination-esque murder attempt.

 

The cop says she's like an alkaseltzer and we see her wrapped in gauze blankets, so presumably she would need skin grafts which doesn't happen. During the party, she walks in wearing sunglasses instead of bandages on her eyes. At one point, she says that she's "glad to see the world again" then within 20 minutes, Catherine is taking her away and Laura says "who are you/where are you taking me?"

 

So my question, can she actually see or is she that slow? Shouldn't her eyes be scarred with chemical vapour burns?

 

Then when Michael removes Laura from the tanning bed, she's golden not beet red. Someone who has had chemical-burned skin in the last 2 days should look like Freddy Kruger at this point. There also should be a white line across her face from the gag but her whole face is bronze.

 

Finally, we get to see the worst CPR ever on film. Presumably Laura passes out from the heat of the tanning bed. Why does she need CPR? Did the scenario cause so much stress on her body, which is one of the most in-shape bodies around, that her heart and lungs stopped? Is it like getting trapped in a hot car?

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Is this movie set during the same time as Maximum Overdrive? Because that could explain some of the goings on. We can blame Catherine for the fish, the tiles, the pills and some of the other machine free murders, but the machine malfunctions could be the Maximum Overdrive effect (including the screws which are simple machines).

 

Also, at one point in the film, it is said that Catherine went mad after the birth accident. Understandable, but maybe the reason she killed herself so violently was because the spirit of the miscarried child was haunting her in the same way that she was haunting Michael. In the end the baby and Catherine just wanted to be a happy family living together in Hell with Michael.

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I was actually at the live show but didn't get a chance to make this comment there, hopefully it hasn't already been addressed...

 

Unfortunately, or fortunately, all the women in the shower scene weren't porn stars. The woman who later gets killed by the mechanical locker is Vanessa Bell Calloway, who by the time Death Spa is released had already been in DOOL, AMC, Webster, 227, and In the Heat of the Night. But most importantly, Coming to America, which actually came out the year before Death Spa. But since Death Spa took forever to get released, hopefully she filmed her part in it before moving on to "bigger" roles.

 

This may mean that the the casting director for this movie had an eye for talent and black actresses on the rise. He or she cast Karen Parsons (aka Hilary Banks) as a super thirsty gym-goer practically begging for a threesome with Michael and Vanessa Bell Calloway (aka Eddie Murphy's Queen to be) as sassy locker-bait. Clearly underutilized talents. Hahaha.

 

Check the link for a pic of her close-up in the Death Spa shower scene and part of her entrance in Coming to America.

http://www.blu-ray.com/Vanessa-Bell-Calloway/78608/

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Same. I've been too busy this week to watch it (and, honestly, I'm kind of over shitty 80s movies for a bit; I hope they journey to another decade in the next ep), but the ep was wonderful and makes me want to watch it. Maybe I'll check it out before I give this ep the obligatory second listen.

 

 

 

I haven't had a chance to listen to the episode yet, but if it was good enough to make you consider watching the movie, then they must have done a good job. Basically, I found the movie to be of MST3K quality, but without the riffs. If that's something you'd be into, I say go for it. Otherwise, I'd say skip it and just enjoy their take on it.

 

 

I ultimately decided to just listen, and I'm pretty happy I did. I usually love watching the movies, but I sometimes forget how fun it can be to not watch the movie and go into the episode with no expectations (especially when I consider how painful some of these movies have been to make myself watch). I just sat in the middle of my kitchen floor crying/choking with laughter over Paul trying to explain a miscarriage with the phrase "the baby never happened" and I probably saved some brain cells by not subjecting myself to my regularly-scheduled biweekly shitty movie, so I'd call it a win/win. :)

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I just sat in the middle of my kitchen floor crying/choking with laughter over Paul trying to explain a miscarriage with the phrase "the baby never happened" and I probably saved some brain cells by not subjecting myself to my regularly-scheduled biweekly shitty movie, so I'd call it a win/win. :)

June's line "It's called a miscarriage" absolutely destroyed me.

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June's line "It's called a miscarriage" absolutely destroyed me.

 

Yuppppppp 100% the point at which I ended up on the floor

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MATHS TIME!!!! (prepare yourself…. This is a little long)

 

In response to the whole self-immolation thingo that Paul raised, I thought I'd run the numbers on what it would take to turn a human being into unrecognisable ash.

  • The average american woman weighed 141.7 pounds (aged between 20-29 for the 1988–94 date range) (from the 2002 CDC Report on Body Weight & BMI)
  • The average temperature required to ensure disintegration of a body in modern crematorium conditions is 1700 degrees Fahrenheit (1600-1800 normal operating temperature)
  • The fastest burning time under ideal conditions is 110 pounds per hour

 

Based on these numbers it would take 1 hour 17 mins to roast this sucker.

 

So......

  • Gasoline burning temperature, while difficult to nail down specifically based on conditions, could be estimated to burn at approximately 1733 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The problem is that the fuel source would’ve burnt out in a very short space of time. Most likely under 30 mins.

More than likely Catherine started a grasslands fire as a result of this act.

TLDR. The fire couldn’t possibly have burned for long enough under the conditions for Catherine to have been turned into unrecognisable ash.

 

As an interesting point of reference. Thích Quảng Đức, the Self-immolation monk (Vietnam 1963) had to be re-cremated after the act. Most of his body remained intact. Possibly still recognisable, but definitely not ash.

 

My Theory. Whoever pushed her up to the top of that hill probably stoked the fire halfway through to keep her going. Because, fuck Catherine.

 

Suspects:

  • Michael, because Catherine was cramping his style with all her wheelchair-iness
  • Laura. So she could have Michael all to herself
  • David. Because, according to this movie, twins are evil and weird.
  • That barracuda from the freezer.

great-barracuda-24M1005-02.jpg

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This was an amazing episode, and I can't wait to get a hold of that commentary. Also, I was super happy to hear Jason shut down the whistler in the crowd. Hecklers deserve to lose a hand to a haunted juicer (or at least deserve to be denied the opportunity to ask a question).

corrections and omissions!

 

-What surprised me most was how easily Michael just accepted that his lawyer and Priscilla were planning to steal the company from him. They admitted their illegal actions Scooby-Doo-style to Michael himself and he just reacts as if this is an inevitability which he can do nothing about! Tell the damn police that you are seeing every single day.

 

-I think June was starting on the right track about eliciting fears about gender fluidity, but I'm not sure it was intentional. Early in the flick, David says something akin to "you can't improve on perfection" while watching a ripped guy workout via NASA computer monitors. I think it was a product of ignorance and prejudice about homosexuality and an assumption at the time that gay men are transvestites and deviants and possibly mentally unstable. I doubt this was malicious because of the clearly homoerotic overtones and (as mentioned in the episode) sex between actors of (nearly) any combination of genders and sexualities.

 

-Accepting the fact that Catherine can move objects unrelated to the NASA computer, the tiles flying off the shower walls was blatantly nonsensical. Not because they flew off, but because it seemed like they were propelled by pressure from pipes that suddenly ended behind the backs of the tiles. I don't claim to know anything about laying tiles OR plumbing, but I'm certain this is NOT how you do it. It must have been the same evil subcontractor that put the basement sprinkler system in line with the tanks of acid.

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Isn't the Beta guy just saying he's gay?

 

Is it just me?

 

I think that is probably giving this film WAY too much credit. The general nature of the Beta vs VHS argument was about the Quality and price.

  • Betamax was considered a higher quality product, in both construction and recording, but cost significantly more to purchase.
  • VHS was the cheaper alternative which became more widely accepted as an entry level option.

In short, Beta was better, VHS was cheap.

 

The worst part for this one-liner is that Beta was pretty much dead by 1988 (two years before the US release of this movie).

 

If this movie had come out a few years earlier, audiences be like

Oh+Snap.jpg

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I think that is probably giving this film WAY too much credit. The general nature of the Beta vs VHS argument was about the Quality and price.

  • Betamax was considered a higher quality product, in both construction and recording, but cost significantly more to purchase.
  • VHS was the cheaper alternative which became more widely accepted as an entry level option.

In short, Beta was better, VHS was cheap.

 

The worst part for this one-liner is that Beta was pretty much dead by 1988 (two years before the US release of this movie).

 

If this movie had come out a few years earlier, audiences be like

Oh+Snap.jpg

That's what I had said earlier, and it seems like one of those things that just stayed in the script from the time it was written to several years later when it actually got made. Paul made the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray comparison, but in that case, I don't think either of them had caught on enough yet when Blu-Ray (popularized by the makers of Beta!) won that war to where THAT would make sense if it were in a film today, as the window for that being culturally relevant was very, very, very small. For some reason though, people remember the shit out of Beta...

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