Monday, November 3, 2008

Stage Fright (1980)

...aka: Nightmares

Directed by:
John D. Lamond

Jenny Neumann (from MISTRESS OF THE APES, HELL NIGHT and many others) is Helen Selleck, an American actress who gets a lead role in an Australian stage production. She's a virgin because as a little girl she saw her mom having sex and then accidentally caused the car accident that killed her. Meanwhile, a black-gloved killer prowls around the theater slashing up people with shards of glass. It's obviously Helen (she speaks in her dead mother's voice, washes blood off her hands after murders and is seen killing a child molester with a broken bottle as a little girl for Christ's sake), but this has gratuitous heavy-breathing POV camerawork and conceals her identity until the end like it's supposed to be some big surprise.

The entire cast (which includes Max Phipps from DARK AGE and Briony Behets from LONG WEEKEND) seems obsessed with talking about, having or trying to have sex, and, in one case, even blackmailing their way into getting laid. There's quite a bit of nudity and blood, but there's no sense of continuity, the photography is murky and the editing (by Colin Eggleston, who also scripted and produced) is terrible. The theater setting for a slasher film predates Soavi's film of the same name and Dario Argento's TERROR AT THE OPERA (both made in 1987 and both leagues better than this) by five years, though and Neumann is pretty hot.


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