BY MACK VELTMAN
There’s no getting around it–this movie is pure trash, and even fans of bad cinema will have a hard time making it through this hour and twenty-five minute slasher flick that felt more like four hours of never ending cringe and really bad dialogue. The most interesting thing about this movie is that it was originally entitled Aerobicide, and I’m wishing they had stuck with that name because at least it was semi-interesting and kind of funny, which this movie is not. At all.
Killer Workout released in 1987 and revolves around a string of murders that occur at a Los Angeles fitness club owned by a woman named Rhonda Johnson who’s packing around loads of anger after her sister Valerie is horribly burned in a tanning bed incident gone wrong. One by one, patrons of Rhonda’s fitness club are murdered—with—-wait for it——- a giant safety pin. I’m not kidding–the murder weapon is an oversized safety pin. The one redeeming quality of trash horror movies is a killer who dispatches their victims in creative ways, regardless of budget. But–a giant safety pin? Really? REALLY?
There’s not much to Killer Workout–the first half of the film plays like a bad 80s workout video intercut with the occasional kill, and the second half of the movie feels like a cheap knockoff of an action movie with a truly ludicrous ending. I admit–the soundtrack is annoyingly catchy at times. Donna De Lory’s “Only You Tonight” did get stuck in my head and stayed there long after the movie’s credits.
Just be prepared for an endless string of poorly placed pop rock songs that are sometimes so loud, they drown out entire conversations of some of the characters. Maybe that’s a blessing because the dialog is wooden and the acting is absolutely atrocious.
I’m not sure what type of movie Killer Workout is supposed to be. Sometimes it plays like a truly unfunny comedy that knows it’s bad, while at other times it comes across as a whodunnit mystery (that’s not all that mysterious) and police procedural with horribly choreographed fight scenes.
The movie thinks it’s being clever with a red herring killer, but when it turns out Rhonda is the one offing her patrons, no one was surprised. The film even tries to take it one step further by revealing that Rhonda is actually Valerie, who’s been hiding her burns under her clothes and a wig and who kills people because they’re beautiful.
The movie never answers who initially burned Valerie/Rhonda (was it jealous beautiful people?) or why the police didn’t simply shut the fitness club down after the first twelve or so murders or why Rhonda designed her fitness club sweatshirts with a very obvious grammatical error (just look at the movie’s poster) or even what happened to Valerie’s twin Rhonda if Rhonda was actually Valerie.
Yeah, it was a stupid twist.
I’ll give the movie props for having a pretty high kill count (although all the kills were super boring and again, THE MURDER WEAPON WAS A GIANT SAFETY PIN) and for featuring a female killer who gets away in the end, but this is one low-budget trashy film you’re better off not watching.
What horror movie should I watch next? Let me know in the comments and stay nerdy!