Any slasher movie with it’s deranged killer donning a huge weird ass feathery owl head mask deserves a watch right?! Yeah Italian horror movie ‘Stage Fright’ (aka Deliria, Aquarius) from 1987 is a prime example of how to perfectly execute a stunning slasher flick. I’m surprised I’d never seen this movie before, I probably need to delve deeper into the 80’s Italian horror, as aside from a lot of the cult classics I think I may be missing out on some cool shit, especially when it comes director Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man) who directed this creepy gem. It’s been a long time since seeing Cemetery Man and after viewing Stage Fright it’s clear I have to check it out again asap.
Stage Fright has got it all and then some, taking place in a spooky theater where the cast of play become trapped and hunted down by a mysterious madman donning a big feathery owl mask. It’s beautifully shot, ultra creepy and has a ton of great bloody action sequences. The old theater is the perfect setting for this mystery to unfold as well and there’s plenty of that to go around as the cast during the rehearsals soon discover a crazed lunatic has escaped a nearby mental ward and trapped them all inside for the night.
The atmosphere of Stage Fright at times has an mesmerizing dream like quality to it as well that adds a unique spin to the usual slasher fare. Add in the truly bizarre looking owl headed slasher and you’ve got one of the most unique looking antagonists of the genre. There are few that are as truly memorable looking as it’s crazy killer. This alone sets it in a category of it’s own. I mean check this dude out, it’s straight out of a nightmare.
There’s also a ton of cool chase sequences and impressive gore to behold here. This one’s not afraid to get nasty eitherand the final girl’s battle is beautifully filmed as well as action packed, especially when the battle moves high above the stage on the catwalks. The exceptional cinematography adds so much to this movie as well, an excellent scene beneath the stage where feathers float all though the air while the killer looms above is truly breathtaking and adds again a surreal element to the horror. Of course there’s also some neat twists and turns in the plot that keep this one a slice above most 80’s slashers and ramps up the the tension. If you’re a fan of 80’s horror and especially the slasher/giallo genre movies this ones about as good as it gets for those who love that neon 80’s era of film!
Just saw this awesome trailer today for “Stage Fright”, nope it’s not a remake of the Hitchcock movie of the 1950’s. This one looks more like it owes more to Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ and I mean that in the best way possible! The trailer looks incredibly fun, packed full of action & plenty of thrills. I remember the first time I saw ‘Scream’ in the theater way back in 1996, it was like going to Disneyland-I mean it really felt like I was on roller coaster ride and the audience ate it up. It was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had in an actual theater. The movie had just the right amount of comedy, a cool unique concept and ton of scares but it wasn’t a sickening torture flick either. I’d go as far to say it was a perfect horror flick.
Now watching the trailer to Stage Fright is giving me that same feeling again, one which I think is most often missed these days in horror cinema. This is the first full feature from director Jerome Sable, but it looks like it’s going to re-energize the slasher film in a big way. For me a slasher movie has got to have something special going for it for me to even give it a chance. This one takes place at an upscale musical theater camp and involves a masked maniac who truly hate the genre-check this shit out! Oh yeah it also stars Minnie Driver & Meatloaf!
Also this is not to be confused with the 1980’s “Stage Fright” also known as “Deliria” or “Aquarius” with the killer with the Owl Head! But that one was pretty cool too!