Stage Fright
Delria (original Italian title)
Bloody Bird
Sound Stage Massacre
Year: 1987
Rated: unRated
Run Time: 90 minutes
Production Company: Filmirage S.R.L [it], Anchor Bay (US DVD)
Director: Michele Soavi
Starring: David Brandon, Jo Ann Smith, Mary Sellers, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Clain Parker
T & A: Gross
Master Blaster: Run Barter Town

"The Theatre of Death!"

"The Night-Owl" is set to open in one week. The lead actress has twisted her ankle. A dangerous serial killing Owl Man is on the loose. Boa is fighting Python in the sewers beneath Philadelphia. Fucking-A, the shit is going down. This is the scene for STAGE FRIGHT, the debut film for Italian prodigy, Michele Soavi. Brought up on a strict diet (rite) of Suspiria, Demons, and Emanualle and the White Slave Trade, Soavi was taught by the best and he delivered a captivating piece of film-ritardato.

It all begins with a troupe of struggling actors trying to get their musical about a serial killer in an owl costume knifing prostitutes in the back alleys of the naked city. After the lead actress twists her ankle, she sneaks out (with the help of the only black man in the cast) to go to a nearby clinic to get it fixed up. Naturally, the clinic is a psychiatric hospital housing a notorious actor turned killer whose previous roles include: Black Sex, Blue Erotic Climax, Hard Sensations, and Honey, I Chopped Up My Entire Cast Into Little Bite Sized Pieces. Needless to say, he escapes and hitches a ride back to the theatre in a phat station wagon complete with wood side paneling. This is the first twenty minutes or so and it was about as slow and dry as it sounds. Old skool creep thinking would've turned it off, but patience is a virtue, bitches, and if Master Te taught us one thing, it's wipe from front to back. If he taught us another, don't open your mouth too wide in a scream, or you're libel to get your uvula pierced by a fucking mattock. The wardrobe girl didn't listen to Master Te, and she paid the price.

Now, you'd think that after one of the crew has been murdered (with a mattock to the face, no less) that the production would close shop for the night. Well, you also thought that trading your Battle Action Skeletor for a handful of M.U.S.C.L.E. men was a good idea too... you fucking retard. They planned on turning their tragedy into an overnight lock-in channelling their sorrow into Tony-Award winning gold. Unfortunately, they locked themselves in with the killer and his next victim was the only one who knew the location of the key to get out. Whoops.

The next hour is filled with awe-inspiring kills on par with some of the best we've seen. The Owl-Faced-Killa stalks the remaining cast and crew, killing them off one-by-one in a variety of graphically sensual ways. Having had enough of cowering in fear (which they do, quite well) they decide go to the workshop and arm themselves. Instead of grabbing the drill press, power saw, or fire axe, they choose: a pair of sisscors, a fire extinguisher, and a piece of clay. The results: a decapitation, a detorsification, and a drill through the stomach.

Before you rush out to Video Link, for your hourly dose of porno and stage fright, let me let you in on a few of the (going) downsides of this festivita sans titty. The only titty comes in rare glimpses of wardrobe mishaps. The one good (cum) shot of titty actaully shows less titty than ReRun with his shirt off (then again, ReRun had titty to spare perhaps more like Rog with his shirt off). The kills themselves, make up for the lake of te-tas, but the pace is real slow at the beginning, and some of the gritty suspense sequences are drawn out longer than a Christian on the rack during the Spanish Inquisition.

Ultimately, Stage Fright is worth checking out, but it requires a little more patience, and a Dexterity of 15, to make it to the really good shit. It's no Opera or Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, but it's better than scrapping the barnacles off Grandma's cooch on a Saturday night.

-Mr. Paul

Our Rating System

Mr. Paul: "In a word: OWL. In two words: OWL-MAN."

Z-man: "You know, I've hated theater people ever since I got hit in the face by that Tony Award at the afterparty for Pirates of Penzance. How sweet it is to see a storm of annihilating violence unleashed upon them by a prancing gimp in an owl mask. Hootie hoo, mother bitches."

Ookla The Mok: "Decent old school kills that show potential especially since they are killing off the Brits which the world could do without. Limey bastards. I recommend FFwd'ing past the first 40 minutes for maximum value."

General Zod: "Owlch."