A little girl named Cathy tries to keep her mother from making out with a man while driving one day, and she inadvertently causes her mother's death in the car crash. 16 years later, Cathy ...
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A psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?
The 1960's counter culture limped into the 1970s dragging with it a legacy of social confusion, dependency on drugs and promiscuity. In STAGE FRIGHT, shot in Baltimore, the era is satirized... See full summary »
A little girl named Cathy tries to keep her mother from making out with a man while driving one day, and she inadvertently causes her mother's death in the car crash. 16 years later, Cathy has changed her name to Helen and has become a psychotic actress. Things are going fine until horrible things starts to happened with the cast of her new play. Written by
Australia's answer to the slasher market well kind of, as this weird, trashy psychodrama does contain numerous elements found it slashers. Not perfect by any stretch, but it especially does a good job constructing its stalk and slash sequences with stylish verve and a real mean streak to boot. Like other reviewers mentioned it has a striking resemblance to Michele Soavi's late 80s slasher "Stagefright" and there's a touch Giallo evident. The POV shots do at times strike a nerve; just listen to the heavy breathing. The suspense when it's on, is gripping and the attack scenes are brutal and bloody. Hearing the glass slice the skin really does come through in these scenes. Also it doesn't skimp on the sleaze and nudity either. However it's too bad that the editing throws up some random scenes that are poorly linked, or don't add much to the unfolding situations and the final twist is so easy to pick up on that it's no surprise when its revealed. When it's not focusing on the stage cast and crew being dispatched, it's somewhat textbook in its tired dramas. Surprisingly the opening sequences are very effective in setting up a scarred character.
There were some names attached to this Australian production that horror fans will recognise. Jenny Neumann playing the lead character, the aspiring actress with a troubled past would be known for her part in the Linda Blair's starring slasher "Hell Night" the following year. Also attached to the project was Colin Eggleston as writer, who brought us the eco-horror "Long Weekend" and would later churn out an even more stranger and ultra-slick slasher in "Cassandra" (1986). You could also throw in director John D. Lamond who was behind some Ozploitation films like "Felicity" and "Pacific Banana".
Lamond ups the atmospheric traits (good use of a theatre setting), keeps the drama thick with touch oddness and stays rather traditional in the set-up. No surprises, but just like our central character it can be a neurotic and twisted jumble. Although towards the closing stages it does feel fairly rushed and contrived. The performances are acceptable, if at times a little over-colourful and the dialogues did have that blunt nature to them. And that music score is far from subtle.
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