Killer Workout (1987)
“The workout will kill you!”
Director: David A. Prior
Cast: Marcia Karr, David James Campbell, Fritz Matthews
Synopsis: Two years ago, a young woman named Valerie was burned after entering a tanning salon. Now, her twin sister, Rhonda runs a local gym where all of a sudden, people are being murdered.
WARNING – This review contains SPOILERS!
Rhonda Johnson (Marcia Karr) is the co-owner of a gym in Los Angeles which seems to have some kind of unwritten rule that nobody over the age of twenty-five, or over their ideal body weight, is permitted membership. This is great news for the likes of muscle-bound trainer Jimmy Hallick (Fritz Matthews) who seems to spend all his time ogling the bevy of playmate wannabes being put through their aerobic paces, but somebody obviously isn’t happy because the shapely clients are being offed one-by-one by a serial killer who has discovered a terrifying new weapon of death — a giant safety pin…
Enter Det. Lt. Morgan, possibly the crappiest police detective in the history of movies. Played with stone-faced ineptitude by David James Campbell, this guy makes Closeau look half-decent, as he bumbles from one murder to the next with the same tough but vacant expression on his face throughout. Morgan fails to close the club as the murder count mounts, and the hot-bodied aerobicisers continue with their routine, smiling throughout and seemingly unconcerned by the fact that occupied body bags are being shipped out of the building every other day.
There’s a saying that nobody sets out to make a bad movie, which may be true, but there’s plenty of people who don’t care if the movie is bad because they have filled the screen with hot nude girlies, and hot nude girlies always sell. Especially when they’re being killed off. And these girls are whacked in double-quick time, as the body count rises to what you would normally expect to see in the course of watching two or three of these kind of flicks. Director David A. Prior tries to inject a bit of tension by keeping the identity of the murderer a mystery, but he’s a lousy director and the characters are all so one-dimensional that you really don’t care. The acting is of the standard you’d expect from a junior school nativity play: the hero, who also gets killed — everybody gets killed, everybody; the heroine gets killed: all of a sudden, out of the blue, there she is swinging from a rope — anyway, the ‘hero’ is also the director’s brother, which tells you a lot, and he and Fritz Matthews fight like a couple of girls. In fact, their punches are so soft they don’t even get bruised after fighting.
It has to be said that the mass of female flesh on display keeps this one watchable — for a bloke, anyway; Prior treats us to lingering shots of the big-haired beauties in spandex and leg-warmers working out approximately every five minutes (in fact I’m sure some of the girls we see working out later in the film were actually killed earlier on, but what the hell — the movie has no credibility whatsoever by then, so what does it matter?) There’s a fairly neat sun-bed malfunction that seems to have nothing to do with the main body of the picture, but which is actually a key event and takes place two years before the main action, although Prior neglects to make us aware of the fact until near the end of the picture. There’s also quite a funny murder scene in which a girl trapped in her car wiggles and jives in the seat of her convertible as she tries to avoid the knife the killer is stabbing through its vinyl roof. Apart from these aspects, there’s little — other than the sheer cheesy fascination of it all — to recommend this flick.
(Reviewed 5th January 2005)