HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Stage Fright Murdering The TunesBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Jerome Sable
Stars: Allie MacDonald, Meat Loaf, Minnie Driver, Douglas Smith, Kent Nolan, Brandon Uranowitz, Ephraim Ellis, Melanie Leishman, Thomas Alderson, James McGowan, Eli Batalion, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Leanne Miller, Adrianna Di Liello, Ryan Bobkin, Jeni Ross
Genre: Horror, Musical, Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago, Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) was a star of musical theatre, and headlining the international success of The Haunting of the Opera, a musical with a horror theme. She came off stage one night walking on air at the reception she had been awarded, and in the dressing room her two children were waiting to congratulate her, as was her manager, Roger McCall (Meat Loaf). Kylie gave her daughter Carmilla her autograph on a photograph and ushered the kids out so she could see about changing, but once she thought she was alone, the actor who played the masked villain of the show crept up behind her and embraced her. She was flattered, but did not realise he wasn't who she thought he was - this was a genuine villain, and he had a knife!

Although there had been horror movies with strong music themes before, none too many had gone quite as far with the concept as Canadian director Jerome Sable did with Stage Fright, not the most original of titles but one which was undeniably apt as it married the very distinctive style of operatic musicals with the equally operatic (though less musical) style of grand guignol. He was yet another filmmaker who came of age in the early twenty-first century to credit John Carpenter as an influence, and here you could see the blatant Halloween tribute in the slasher form, but also the sense of humour that he had displayed over his canon, and was perhaps underrated when it was the suspense and action Carpenter was most admired for.

So if you appreciated bloody shocks, trilling singing and daft, irreverent humour in a Big Trouble in Little China fashion, which admittedly was a Venn diagram with a very specialised intersection, then you would likely embrace Stage Fright. Minnie Driver fans may be disappointed given she appears to have been involved mainly as a favour for an extended cameo at the beginning, but Meat Loaf fans would enjoy seeing him getting a role requiring him not only to act but to belt out a few tunes as well, for his character has in the intervening decade set up a camp which teaches theatre kids the tricks of the trade. Indeed, this was fairly indebted to the similarly-set musical of around ten years before, Camp, which had introduced Anna Kendrick to the movies.

There were those who thought that cult hit could really have done with the addition of a Friday the 13th killer stalking the precocious stage schoolers, and if you were one who could sympathise with that point of view then Stage Fright was the answer to your prayers (assuming you had nothing better to pray about). When we catch up with the plot, Camilla has grown up to be an assistant in the kitchens, played by Allie MacDonald (herself a veteran of musical theatre - yes, she was an Annie), a hesitant but talented young lady living in the shadow of her mother's violent demise. Her brother Buddy (Douglas Smith) works there too, as Roger is looking out for them both, but his camp is not operating as successfully as he would like, and to find a genuine star would be the boost he needs.

As a musical, it was a curious mix, as sometimes the cast would burst into song as per the traditions, yet at others they would be acting as if in a horror, as they were, and then yet more times they would be delivering a line of often very funny jokes, all of which could have resulted in a real dog's breakfast. Somehow, Sable's confidence with his material guided the movie to some very entertaining scenes as the resident budding director, Artie (Brandon Uranowitz), a boy with no aversion to the casting couch even at that tender age, wishes to stage of The Haunting of the Opera, only Japanese-style. Camilla, though not a student, feels she is right for the role, and MacDonald brought fragility concealing an inner strength the best final girls possessed, not to mention an ability to deliver the showtunes. However, there's a killer about, and he sings as well in heavy metal bellowings, making for an experience at once highly individual, maybe not too accessible either, but just wacky enough to hit the right notes with the cult crowd. Keep listening to the lyrics over the credits.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 474 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: