It’s a new year folks, the year of 2019. Time to start crafting that ‘new you’ that everyone has been chattering about. It’s time to hit the gym. Personal, emotional change is great and all, but how can that compare with a set of killer abs right? The great Arnold Schwarzenegger once said “The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is… The Pump.”
However, while chasing the ultimate ‘pump’ take heed…the gym is also an environment fraught with potential danger and hazards. How much can you really trust your spotter while you work on your chest presses? And that machine that’s gonna help sculpt and slim your core? Yeah, it could also kill you. Before you add more weight to that bar, let’s look at 10 examples in horror of people getting ripped (apart) chasing the dream of physical perfection:
10. KILLER WORKOUT aka AEROBICIDE (1987)
Rhonda’s Health Club aka Spandex World Headquarters is a great place for an aerobic class, not such a good place if you want to live a long and healthy life. You may just find yourself being chased down by a giant safety pin wielding killer, or getting your head bashed in by a pretty serious free weight. Either way, that local YMCA is looking more and more appealing…
Tagline: The workout will kill you!
9. FATAL GAMES (1984)
The pinnacle of physical prowess and athleticism is The Olympics. It’s a cutthroat world and only the best of the best make it to the podium. But what if your competition were to mysteriously meet an unfortunate end? Like say, getting speared by a javelin wielding scuba diving serial killer while you’re trying to swim in the gym pool? Better make sure that water is crystal clear before you swim over to the deep end.
Tagline: Someone is stopping the nation’s top athletes dead in their tracks!
8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981)
It’s important to know your limits at the gym. If you don’t, you could overdo it and end up hurting yourself. Poor Greg didn’t heed this important lesson and bit off a little more than he could chew with his chest routine. In his quest for a killer beach bod, he ended up with a killer of a workout instead.
Tagline: John will never eat shish kebab again. Steven will never ride a motorcycle again. Greg will never lift weights again. Who’s killing the school’s snobbish top ten? At the rate they’re going there will be no one left for Virginia’s birthday party …alive.
7. FINAL EXAM (1981)
Lesson One: When being pursued by a killer, avoid a gym room at all costs. Nothing good can come of it.
Lesson Two: Work Smarter, Not Harder. When confronting a strong, athletic jock victim, the killer utilizes the power of leverage and strategically lets the chest fly press machine to the majority of the heavy lifting! Good for the killer, not so good for the jock.
Tagline: Some pass the test…God Help The Rest!!!
6. TRAGEDY GIRLS (2017)
While trying to take out a victim more than twice their size, the girls in Tragedy Girls know that utilizing the resources around them is of the utmost importance. Luckily for them, when their plan goes awry when dealing with Al in the gym, the scenario provides them a plethora of tools at their disposal. Unluckily for Al, the machine that helped sculpt those arms, also helped end him for good with the pull of a weight pin.
Tagline: Friends Who Slay Together, Stay Together
5. THE TOXIC AVENGER (1984)
Bullies, criminals, drug pushers beware…The Toxic Avenger will mop you up and take you out! You might think the gym is a safe place to hide, like no one would ever think a place dedicated to physical improvement would be a drug den. You better think again! The Toxic Avenger knows all the tricks and knows just how to use those gym machines to take you out in a terrifying, brutal manner. Can anyone look at one of those seated leg curl machines the same way after seeing this film? Yikes.
Tagline: He’ll go from cleaning nerd to cleaning crime-fighter.
4. DEMONS 2 (1986)
There are perks to being attacked by a horde of demons while getting your sweat on in the gym. You’re already in workout clothes, your muscles are warmed up and ready to go, you’re likely wearing good athletic shoes prime for running away, and you’re surrounded by heavy objects to use as weapons! However, you may want to first remove yourself from any weight machines that could be used to crush your chest in. Just saying.
Tagline: Lets Party!
3. DEATH SPA (1989)
There’s a lot of strange things happening at Starbody Death Spa. Gym rats are dying in mysterious and unfortunate accidents. Despite heralding itself as one of the most technologically advanced workout facilities, that technology turns against many including one arrogant regular. While using the chest fly machine, he finds his weight level increasing to a deadly level. However, right before his death he did utter this unfortunate line, “I never waste effort in the gym. Besides I’m BETA, You’re VHS.” A strange case of poetic justice perhaps?
Tagline: You’ll sweat blood!
2. FINAL DESTINATION 3 (2006)
Oh Lewis. Your friends were just trying to have a conversation with you, discussing the possibility that there might be a power stronger than you that’s contributing to your social pool shrinking at a rapid rate. And yet, you had to openly challenge death in a gym of all places. Have you learned nothing from the previous installments of your franchise? Clearly, you do not ‘just win.’ In this circumstance you lost…hard.
Tagline: This Ride Will Be The Death Of You.
1. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER (1988)
‘No Pain, No Gain’ right Debbie? Unfortunately for you, Freddy sees right through your adamant denial of belief and taps into your true fears. Your focus on the physical and surface level traits leads you into a literal trap. Not only does he crush your arms while you complete your reps, he breaks your spirit by turning you into an ugly, disgusting cockroach. He turns you into what you fear most and with that transition awards you the #1 spot on our gym death list. You should have listened to Alice, it takes more than bench presses to defeat Freddy.
Tagline: Pure Evil Never Really Dies
HONORABLE MENTION: LINNEA QUIGLEY’S HORROR WORKOUT (1990)
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this gem of a video on a horror related gym death list. An actual workout video that combines one of the most iconic scream queens in history with totally self-aware horror!? This video is full of fun horror tropes, zombies, 80’s hair and extremely quotable quotes like Linnea yelling “Work those thighs or I’ll cut em’ off!” Yeah, we’re in.
While bulking up and chasing gains is great and all, I’m thinking that maybe the unfortunate souls on this list should have perhaps taken a cheat day. In fact, movie night anyone? What are some of your favorite gym-centric scenes in horror? What scenes make you walk wide circles around that certain machine at the gym? Let us know over on Twitter, in the official NOFS Subreddit, or in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!