Archive for April 19, 2010

German VHS Box Cover for "Killer Workout," Under the Alternative Title of "Aerobicide"

I know what you’re thinking already, my friends — -can any movie possibly be as good as that cover? For that matter, can any movie possibly be as good as good as this cover —

French VHS BoxCover for "Killer Workout,"Also Under the "Aerobicide" Title

The answer in this case is an emphatic “hell yes!”

If you’re a lover of B movies, and slashers in particular, writer-director David A. Prior’s 1986 offering Killer Workout, also released (as if you hadn’t figured it out by now) under the if-anything-even-better title Aerobicide has everything you’re looking for and then some.

Gratuitous nudity? It’s in there.

Gratuitous violence? It’s in there.

Bad 1980s hairstyles? They’re in there.

Even worse 1980s soundtrack music? It’s in there, too.

Lots and lots of cheesy-in-a-seriously-hot -way chicks in tight workout leotards? In there by the score.

What, then, is honestly missing from this flick? Absolutely nothing. It even had a reasonably coherent plot with a semi-involving little murder mystery at its core, not that you necessarily need that given all the other sheer awesomeness on display here, but it’s a nice plus.

One reason you're watching this movie ---

From the very opening scene, you’re guaranteed to be hooked : a rather shapely young lady arrives home at her apartment and checks her answering machine messages to find that she’s flying to Paris tomorrow to shoot the cover of Cosmo magazine! Her agent (or whoever it is) warns her not to have any tan lines, though, so she heads to her favorite tanning salon and strips completely naked to lay out and soak up that UV goodness. Once she closes the bedcover (or whatever it’s called), though, a horrendous malfunction traps her inside and the heat cranks up past max. Does she live? Does she die? All will be revealed, even though we spend the first 3/4 of the movie wondering just what the fuck any of that had to do with anything.

and another ---

Next we jump ahead to the present day (although the events in the pre-credits opening sequence could well have happened the night before for all we know at this point) we’re at a typical 80s aerobics studio owned by a lady named Rhonda (Marcia Karr) that’s called, unimaginatively but admittedly appropriately enough enough, Rhonda’s Workout. Rhonda is stuck leading that day’s group session (filmed in lovingly close-up detail) because her perpetually untrustworthy employee¬† Jaimy (Teresa Van der Woude) is running late yet again, She gets there in time to clean and lock up and gives Rhonda essentially no excuse whatsoever for her tardiness (the condoms that drop out of her purse in the parking lot clue us in, though) but promises it will never happen again for what we can tell is the umpteenth time.

In the showers after class, though, a fetching young lass is murdered gruesomely with a giant safety pin, and when Jaimy finds her body stashed away in her locker while pursuing her decidedly unglamorous cleaning duties, she screams and screams and screams and next thing you know the cops are there, led by Detective Lieutenant Morgan (David James Campbell, who’s got the 80s moussed-hair look down every bit as well as any of the women in the flick), who hard-assedly (think I invented a new word there) interrogates Rhonda, Jaimy, and anyone and everyone else associated with the club.

and another ---

With no real leads to go on, his investigation grows more urgent — and he grows more stereotypically belligerent — as more people associated with the club all start turning up dead in and around Rhonda’s joynt, all despatched in the same manner — by giant bad-ass motherfucking safety pin.

To complicate matters, Rhonda’s absent silent partner in her operation, one Mr. Erickson, send in a new male employee named Ted (Chuck Dawson), who seems to have a habit of snooping around in Rhonda’s file cabinets.

Who is he? What’s he really up to? Again, all will be revealed, because unlike a lot of B-movies, every loose plot strand in this one is explained in at least something like a satisfactory fashion.

and, of course, yet another.

Mostly, though, it’s the details that matter in Killer Workout, and I’m thrilled to say it gets them all right. Inventive and gruesome kills, big hair, bigger boobs, cheesy period fashions and hair — we already went over our little checklist of everything that could possibly make this movie awesome, so you already know they’re all present and accounted for. And you can add barely-competently staged fistfights, scenery-chewing overacting, stereotypical gender roles, and a truly gleeful fourth-wall-busting ending to the list, as well.

You could want more from a film than that, I suppose, but why be greedy?

Workout queen Rhonda has a little message for all her fans at the end

Is Killer Workout a great movie? Of course not. But it’s definitely a great B -movie, and that’s what we’re all about here at TFG. Consequently, it earns, and I do mean earns, your humble host’s highest possible recommendation.

"Killer Workout" Advertising One-Sheet

Killer Workout is, sadly, not available as an official DVD release in Region 1, but fortunately that doesn’t stop the ever-enterprising Flesh Wound video from offering it anyway, and if you feel no moral qualms about needing to see this flick ASAP (and you really shouldn’t), then I suggest you get off your ass and go over to right away. As usual, Todd there does as good a job as humanly possible in transferring this over from the given source elements (which I assume in this case to be VHS). It’s a nicely-done full-frame transfer with an equally nicely-done opening title menu that, for all intents and purposes, looks like the “real” thing — and is probably as close as we’re ever going to get, anyway.

There are better movies out there than Killer Workout — lots of them, in fact. But I doubt you’ll have more fun watching them. If I were burying a time capsule in 1986, I’d put this in itside. It tells you everything you need to know about the era it comes from. It’s more fun to watch now than it probably was when it came out, and in 50 years’ time plopping down in front of the tube to it is gonna be an even better time.