Theme Song: The music is credited to John Vulich, who was more of a special effects/makeup guy than a composer, but let’s give him credit for trying.
The song that plays over the intro credits is typical synth-stuff that is basically a take-off on Tears by Giorgio Moroder from his 1972 album Son of My Father. Tears is still a scorcher 40 years later and has been sampled a few times by various crate-digging musicians.
Interesting Dated References: Actresses pandering to their fanbase in the era before social media; The ability of humor to be cheesy without being soaked in miserable irony.
Best Line: Linnea Quigley delivers jokes via voice-over as she is working out on screen. If tongue-in-cheek 80s one-liners are your thing and you’re into Linnea Quigley, you’ll probably get an erection so intense it tingles a bunch and makes you confused.
Social Context: If you were a somewhat nerdy male teenager during the pre-internet days of the late 80s/early 90s whose interests laid outside the mainstream, there weren’t a lot of outlets for your sexual desires. You had the girls of Twin Peaks, but if you wanted to see them with their tops off you’d usually have to sit through a terrible erotic thriller. There was Lydia Lunch, but she’s gross, and if you wanted to see her with her top off you’d have to sit through her terrible music/art.
Most nerd-dudes fixated on schlocky horror movies and the “scream queens” therein. These actresses usually showed their boobs or butts and thereby justified the cost of rental for said nerds (either you, your older brother, your uncle, or possibly your dad). Linnea Quigley was one-such late 80s/early 90s actress who appeared in a lot of second rate horror fare: The Return of The Living Dead, Creepozoids, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama>, Night of The Demons.
Summary: Knowing exactly what her audience wants, Linnea opens Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout with a nude shower scene. Showering before you workout is totally pointless. This scene really serves no purpose other than to titillate the tingly erections of nerds.
Now it’s workout time! Linnea puts on her Lita Ford costume then shows us clips from her movies (that she could get rights to) and thrusts and gyrates. This is all accompanied by said one-liners and jokes. To their credit, Linnea and all the filmmakers are in on the joke and the whole thing comes off pleasantly campy.
Then Linnea goes jogging and it turns out the intoxicating aroma of her sweat brings the dead back to life. Just before they all kill her in front of a piece of peg-board covered in 80s beach towels, she entrances them to workout. This exercise routine entails Linnea leading the zombies as they shrug their shoulders and shift their weight from side to side.
This scene goes on forever, backed by the exact same drum beat over and over. The zombies have good makeup, though. Almost everyone who worked on this movie was involved with special effects or makeup. Director Kenneth J. Hall had been doing effects for years, and I already mentioned Vulich, who helped with Music and Visual Effects.
Later, Linnea and her friends decide to have a sleepover, where they look at VHS boxes of Linnea’s movies, talk about her movies, and show clips from her movies. All these clips really pad the shit out of this video.
After watching even more clips while eating popcorn, the girls decide it’s time to workout.
Things get borderline soft-core as most of the girls are pretty scantily clad, but it gets boring because the endless gyrating and stretching goes on for what seems like 20 minutes.
But things get better when the power goes out. The girls take turns going to investigate mysterious noises and are killed one by one. The deaths are gory, but cheesy (stabbing, decapitation, more stabbing), and the whole sequence is a nice ending to the video.
The Ronald Reagan-masked killer finally appears and the big reveal is that it’s Linnea. She then accuses the viewer of being perverted, having an erection, and threatens to kill them next.
Poster and Box Art: Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout was only released on video, mainly through mail-order ads in the back of Fangoria and other horror fandom magazines.
It’s interesting that the ad states “VHS only,” but my copy has an official box and is on a Beta tape with official-looking stickers. It’s possible someone went through the effort to make Betamax bootlegs, but the copy seems legit.
Availability: Because there’s a generation of nostalgic, but somewhat perverted and lonely middle aged-men with disposable income looking to recapture the erections of their youth, Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout is available on DVD, complete with commentary track by Linnea and director Kenneth J. Hall (co-writer of Puppet Master).