Schlockleftoverfest: Stagefright (à deux)

Single leftover container on refrigerator shelf

Stagefright (1987)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Author’s note:
One from the vaults – this movie has the rare honor of being an unintentional dupe review due to slight miscommunication. Brian already gave this the thrashing it deserved here, but these are my musings.

What’s It About: A nut-job actor breaks out of the nut house, puts on a nutty owl mask, and kills an entire theater company. I ran out of nut allusions.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film


  • The movie starts off with what sounds like a cat being dragged through a quagmire.
  • This opening scene better be a really bad music video for Pat Benatar in 1982.
  • Correction. After seeing the dude in the owl mask, make that a really good music video for Duran Duran in 1984.
  • I really hate these dancers.
  • Jump cuts to armpit shaving always helps the general continuity of the film.
  • Not only do they have a Marilyn Monroe lookalike who has terrible balance, she can also jam out on the saxophone almost as good as President Bill Jeff Clinton.
  • Never saw a nurse who kept a tiger fish on her desk before.
  • I really hope this musical doesn’t get past previews.
  • Ok, we certainly find out who the killer is PDQ.
  • Classic Horror Movie Blunder #46: someone left the stage door slightly ajar so that the killer could enter and see how fuck awful this musical is.
  • Aren’t Shakespeare plays public domain? Why couldn’t they have used one of those instead?
  • Look, we paid for the rain machine so we’re gonna use it.
  • The killer has to be an actor since the movie is about actors. Jason Voorhees wasn’t a camp counselor though, so hence my overall dilemma.
  • The director’s cheer-up speech was anything but inspirational.

    Now be honest, I know the chainsaw works for me – but the owl mask yes or no?

  • You can’t have a mid-80’s movie without at least one girl wearing neon lightning bolt earrings.
  • 10 minutes after finding out she’s pregnant the girl already has morning sickness?
  • When on your knees in front of a killer pleading for your life, try to aim higher than a $100 opening bribe.
  • There are far too many POV shots that lead to stage equipment.
  • When the guy gets a power drill through the stomach, it was a good thing that there was a bottle clearly labeled Stage Blood on the table.
  • This chase-scene music sounds way too much like, “She Works Hard For The Money.”
  • At least this guy got half of his girlfriend back.
  • Ooof! The director gets his arm and his head chopped off. I say goddamn.

    You WILL give a hoot.

  • Nope, I can’t see the wires on the stuntman as he hangs from the rafters at all. Well done.
  • There were 2 cops sitting out front of the theater the whole fucking time this ruckus was happening.
  • Why is Alice going back for her watch? Why does she want to make this movie longer?
  • “The Sound Stage Massacre.” Leave it to the vultures in the press to make this sound cheap.
  • Thanks to the annoying stagehand we have a new world record for repeating the line, “I got him right between the eyes – just like I said.”
  • Another awful ending, but a hilarious freeze frame for the end credits.

    Gladys could not get over the fact that paper beats rock.

Is It Actually Scary: I can’t get scared of a killer who dresses up like the cover to Rush’s “Fly By Night” album.

Scariest Moment: Anytime we’re subject to the musical.

Most Disturbing Moment: When one of the idiotic cops convinces himself he looks like James Dean.

Dumbest Moment: When owl man calmly sits on stage with his kitty and waits for dumb-dumb final girl to get closer.

How Much Gore: Blood naturally, but also some pretty meaty hackings and choppings.

Best Line: “You’re supposed to be a whore is that too much to ask?” Judging by the prowess of these actresses I would say it is.

Best Scene: Waiting for all of the dead actors assembled on stage to blink. I know one of them did at least once.

Worst Scene: Peter’s desperate attempts to rationalize with the killer into leaving him alive.

Any Nudity: Some minor fleeting boob glances.

Overall: This is one of those slasher movies where you constantly root for the killer since there is not one likable character. If you can get past the awful acting, the 80’s synth stingers, and the overall lameness – you might enjoy it more than say, a funeral for a 2nd or 3rd cousin.

Score: 3 killer Woodsy The Owls (out of 10)

One thought on “Schlockleftoverfest: Stagefright (à deux)

  1. Pingback: The Schlocktoberfest – Day 14: Stage Fright | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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