Also known as: Deliria (original title), Aquarius, Bloody Bird, Sound Stage Massacre, Stage Fright (alternate spelling)
Release Date: January, 1987 (Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival – France)
Directed by: Michele Soavi
Written by: George Eastman (as Lew Cooper), Sheila Goldberg
Music by: Simon Boswell, Guido Anelli, Stefano Mainetti
Cast: David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Mary Sellers, Robert Gligorov, Jo Ann Smith, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Martin Philips, Piero Vida, Michele Soavi
DMV Distribuzione, Filmirage, Artists Entertainment Group, 86 Minutes
“In case it slipped your mind, this show opens in just one week from now, and as you can see, those people up there literally stink.” – Peter
StageFright was the directorial breakout of Michele Soavi, who had spent a good amount of time working with giallo maestros Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava before getting behind the camera for this picture.
If you love slasher films or Italian giallo, this film is a good f’n time. You should absolutely love this and frankly, this is pretty high up on any list for either of those genres, as far as I’m concerned.
90 percent of this film takes place on and around a sound stage, as the potential victims of the killer are locked in after rehearsing their upcoming play. The play is about a guy that went psycho, dressed up like an owl in a suit and went on a killing spree. However, now someone is picking off the director, the producer and the cast and that someone dons the costume of the killer.
I love the slasher in this movie. The owl mask is just really cool and chilling. The use of flying feathers and blood throughout the film is also fantastic and really adds a lot to the mystique of the killer.
Like a typical giallo style film, this one uses a lot of vivid colorful lighting, heavy shadows and makes the viewer rely on their imagination a bit, as things are often times obscured and your mind has to fill in the blanks. This actually helps build the tension and the creep factor.
The acting isn’t superb and the dubbing is goofy at times but most of the chicks are hot, most of the violence is presented more artistically than an American slasher flick and this has a magical and surreal quality to it.
Man, I f’n love this movie. It’s certainly not a perfect film but if you love this style and want something more imaginative than just a run of the mill slasher picture, than this should satisfy.
Lastly, I love the music in this and I’m probably going to have to track down the soundtrack on vinyl.
Pairs well with: Other giallo and slasher flicks of the time: Opera, Phenomena, Pieces, Tenebre, A Blade In the Dark and The New York Ripper.