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Deliria

Stage Fright
Stage Fright: Aquarius

Italy 1987
produced by
Aristide Massaccesi (= Joe D'Amato), Donatella Donati for Filmirage
directed by Michele Soavi
starring Barbara Cupisti, David Brandon, Robert Gligorov, Loredana Parrella, Mary Sellers, Martin Philips, Jo Ann Smith, Giovanni Lombardo Radice (as John Morghen), Clain Parker, James Sampson, Ulrike Schwerk, Piero Vida, Richard Barkeley, Domenico Fiore, Mickey Knox, Michele Soavi, Sheila Goldberg, Danny Gordon, Claude Jurman, Mark Parkinson, Dominique Portier, Helen Porter, Rackel Roskoff, Simone Sadon, Albert Schultz, Sandi Schultz, Frank Senica
written by Lew Cooper (= George Eastman = Luigi Montefiori), music by Simon Boswell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Selfish and sadistic director Peter (David Brandon) tries to get his latest musical about a mad killer off the ground, and when a girl of his staff (Ulrike Schwerk) is killed by a madman right next to the theatre, he sees his golden opportunity to make a quick buck from the headlines and turn his musical into a raving success ... but that needs some extra rehearsal time, so he locks everyone into the theatre and has one of the actresses, Corinne (Loredana Parrella), hide the key. Thing is, he has locked the killer (Clain Parker) locked in with them, and the killer has soon killed the actor (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) playing the killer in the play, put on his costume and mask, and then he goes on to kill Corinne live on stage for real, while everybody still thinks he is acting. And when Peter and copmpany finally realize what has happened, the killer is long gone, hiding somewhere in the theatre.

While everybody suddenly realizes they are locked in with a maniac and that the only one who knows where the key is is dead, the killer starts playing a game of cat and mouse, killing one of the group after the other with a variety of tools, from knives and axes to power drills and of course chainsaws.

Finally, only actress Alicia (Barbara Cupisti) is left alive , and she turns out to be way more resourceful than all the rest, she arms herself with a gun, she finds the key, she pushes the killer off a scaffolding and finally she sets him on fire. And she then calls the police ...

The next day: Alicia realizes she has lost her expensive watch in the theatre, which is terrible inasmuch as the watch is the only thing she can get money for at the pawnbroker's ... so she persuades the caretaker of the theatre (James Sampson) to let her in. It's only then that she somehow realizes she hasn't killed the killer at all as everybody thought but he has gotten away. And no sooner does she realize it that he is standing behind her, axe in hand - when all of a sudden, the caretaker shoots him dead - end.

 

The very first film of Michele Soavi as a director, and by and large it's neither too bad nor brilliant. On one hand, Michele Soavi shows directorial inventiveness that one simply wouldn't expect from your typical Filmirage film and he shows a generic talent for creating suspense, on the other hand he is confronted with an awful serialkiller by-the-numbers sript and most of the actors simply aren't up to the task, which of course does not help the film one bit.

In all, Stage Fright is watchable, but don't expect anything great.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD