Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 24: Stage Fright

Schlocktoberfest IV

Stage Fright (1987)


*Spoilers Throughout*

StageFright_frontWhat’s It About: A deranged killer dons a huge owl mask and kills a bunch of stage performers, as owls are wont to do.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • From the director of Cemetery Man, so I’m expecting this to be pretty good but a bit confusing.
  • This hooker looks like Pris from Blade Runner, so we’re off to a bad start.
  • Hahaha! Whatever this musical within the movie is supposed to be it’s completely ridiculous. Like Rent with an owl man.
  • Lotta units in your face in this ballet scene.
  • “You call that erotic?” YES.
  • I’m getting the sense that this movie is going to be loaded with boobies.
    Although all the actresses have awful haircuts. They all look like they’re auditioning for the role of Gozer in a Ghostbusters parody porn called Nutbusters.
  • A stagehand girl is wearing a Cramps shirt. Expectations ramping up!
  • This musical really makes no god damn sense. But I guess it doesn’t matter. It’s called The Night Owl so at least the mask makes sense in the greater context of this movie.
  • A black stagehand. If I know anything about horror movies, his time is clearly short.
  • This girl twists her ankle and goes to the local asylum to get it looked at?? What the fuck? Is she nuts?
  • Yeah let’s go around and look in the cells for no reason.
  • Ya know, a lunatic killer escaping from an asylum ain’t the most original idea in the world.

    O RLY?

    O RLY?

  • Fright comes in many stages. This is Stage 8: The Owl Stage.
  • Never look for a cat in a horror movie.
  • Hmm. Someone gets killed. They call the cops. The cops show up. That definitely bucks a horror movie stereotype.
  • There’s obviously a deranged killer on the loose, so the musical director locks the door and hides the key. Good call, what could go wrong?
  • It’s kind of weird how everyone else in the movie also looks crazy.
  • Small boob flash. Literally.
  • The killer steals the owl mask and stabs a girl to death during rehearsal while everyone just kind of watches. These people are pretty stupid.
  • I don’t know whose notion it was that owl mask = terrifying but they were sadly mistaken. I mean, it’s cool-looking, but not scary at all. And if you disagree, I don’t give a hoot.
  • This one girl looks like Brigitte Nielsen with a vagina.

    "We have threats of violence everywhere. You call him a killer. He is a professional dancer... not a killer."

    “We have threats of violence everywhere. You call him a killer. He is a professional dancer… not a killer.”

  • There are multiple people here (well, there were), why didn’t they all grab blunt objects and find the guy and beat the owl shit out of him?
  • Someone gets drilled through a door and it’s great! Best drill kill since Dreamaniac.
  • I haven’t seen an owl cause so much gore since Labyrinth, which also features gratuitous shots of spandex man-bulges.
  • It’s fantastic that this girl just has half a boob hanging out after getting nipped by a chainsaw. Eviscerations, decaptitations, musical theatre, this horror film has it all! Even if, again, owls aren’t that scary.



  • They’ve been showing this one freaky mannequin way too much for it not to come to life later. Then maybe the mannequin and the heroine will fall in love.
  • They just showed an entire room full of masks all creepier than the owl mask.
  • Why is he even still wearing the owl mask? Seems like it would just get in the way.

    The "Hall of Presidents" at Disney World is a lot bloodier than I remember...

    The “Hall of Presidents” at Disney World is a lot bloodier than I remember…

  • You didn’t really think the owl man was dead, did you? Owls survive falls like that all the time.
  • I guess she wins the part by default.
  • The black stagehand lives! I’m very proud that the last two movies I’ve reviewed have eschewed racial stereotypes.
  • Ok, the stagehand shoots the killer, then says, “Right between the eyes” 500 times in the last two minutes, rendering all the good will I had at his survival defunct.

Is It Actually Scary: It’s a slasher, so expect your typical slasher jump scares and creepy feelings.

How Much Gore: Pretty much every kill is a total splatterfest, the way it should be.

Best Scene: There’s nothing quite like a good drill kill.

Worst Scene: I’d say the female lead, Alicia, seeking treatment for her ankle sprain at the insane asylum (the only place around to get medical treatment; where is this theater located, in the middle of a swamp?). I understand that she wanted to go get treatment as quickly as possible so the megalomaniacal director wouldn’t notice her absence, but come on. If leaving for a few minutes is such a big deal and will cause you to get fired, suck it up and ice that shit down. It doesn’t seem to bother her all that much when she’s running from the killer later. But if she didn’t go to the asylum the killer wouldn’t have escaped and followed her back to the theater and the movie would just be 90 minutes of watching people rehearse The Night Owl.

Any Nudity: Barely any baring, which I was very surprised by.

Overall: Very enjoyable, underrated slasher flick with a lot of style. The director, Michele Soavi, did second unit work on Tenebre, and you do see Argento’s influence here. The movie’s original title was Deliria, which definitely sounds like an Argento film. It’s also known as Stage Fright: Aquarius, which just confuses me and Dario Argento both. And apparently it’s also known as Bloody Bird and Sound Stage Massacre. I think we can all agree that Stage Fright is the best name out of all those. Although Bloody Bird is a very close second, but that isn’t widely used because it’s also the title of an extremely popular menstruation porn. Regardless, this is a fun movie with a lot of style and gore, and if you’re a slasher fan and haven’t seen it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t like it.

Score: 7.75 masks of various birds (out of 10)

It’s funny, just like The Town That Dreaded Sundown, they just remade this movie too and I hadn’t heard a peep about it, even though it stars Meat Loaf. Horror movie remakes are the equivalent of puppy mills these days.

13 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 24: Stage Fright

  1. “They all look like they’re auditioning for the role of Gozer in a Ghostbusters parody porn called Nutbusters.” I just laughed at this. So much. Why the hell am I just now catching up on Schlocktoberfest??


  2. YES! I love it when terrible haircuts somehow make it past the stylists and get into the movies. Best one ever? Definitely Demi Moore’s disgusting mushroom/bowl cut in Ghost. Haha, she looks like a little amish boy!


  3. This looks… Kind of weirdly awesome. God I watched an odd movie the other day. Made me think of you! Have you seen Phantom of the Paradise? Seemed a bit “Brian”. Hey, btw – I love that Labyrinth bulge!


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