Italian horror has always had a place in film fans hearts and most people associate it with directors Dario Argento and Mario Bava but this classic slasher comes from a younger protege of Mr Argento, Michele Soavi and Stage Fright is his directorial debut.
A group of young dancers rehearsing in an old theatre is accidentally locked-in for the night – but not alone. In the shadows, someone is watching, waiting and selecting victims at his demented leisure… tonight, deranged serial killer Irving Wallace has escaped and is about to put on his own real-life horror show!
Many horror films came out of Italy in the 1980’s most were awful and went directly to video. This, however, stood out from most with its stylish direction, absorbing story and plenty of suspense and gore for the fans. The acting is a little ropey in places but the pacing is tight and it comes to a satisfactory if a little predictable conclusion.
This Blu ray released by Exposure cinema has had a new restoration, has been colour-timing corrected and produced from the original vault elements. It looks fabulous with bold colours and no print damage to speak of – this is a great restoration. Audio gives you English Stereo and is clean and free from any pops crackles etc. It was post-dubbed so sometimes the lip movements don’t synch with the Italian cast members but it was not overly distracting.
You get some great extras on this release including:
- A Bloodstained Featherstorm – Interviews with cast and makers, including director Michele Soavi and leading lady Barbara Cupisti.
- Giovanni’s Method – Interview with star Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen)
- Alan Jones: The Critic’s Take – the critic and FrightFest co-founder discusses the film in detail
- Joe D’Amato: Totally Uncut – Archival, hour-long interview with the film’s producer on his career in Italian horror cinema
- Revenge of the Video Cassette – a documentary about VHS horror collectors
- Video Chillers – collector’s illustrated ’80s-style booklet featuring new articles on late giallo and overlooked slashers, trivia and biographies.
- Original trailer
A nice package which is limited to 3000 copies only. Fans of Italian horror are advised to pick this up before it sells out.
FILM: 6 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 8.5