Honestly, people, I had a hard time choosing a movie to watch today after the great heights I witnessed in Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. It's going to take some time to readjust to life outside the awesomeness of that flick. It's like I'm trying to swallow down RC Cola after being introduced to Coke...or it's like I'm getting reacquainted with civvie life after a lengthy tour of duty with the 501st Howlin' Commandos...or maybe it's like trying again to be satisfied with a crack whore after having sampled one of Heidi Fleiss's gals who's been dipped in gold. You know, whatever simile you can relate to. And yes, I realize that a Heidi Fleiss reference is terribly passe, but what can I do? Where have all the Hollywood Madames gone?
Anyway, I decided to soldier on for the benefit of humanity. I realize that there are at least 7 people who would simply be lost without Final Girl and therefore it's my duty to continue on, even though the best is now clearly behind me. In time, perhaps I'll tuck Shark Attack 3: Megalodon away in the recesses of my brain like a treasure, like a little girl's pink diary with a little gold lock and a little gold key- then , maybe, I can move on. I'll never forget Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, but other movies deserve my love, too. I have oh so much love to give.
It's a good thing I chose to watch the 1987 slasher flick Stage Fright (aka Deliria) upon my re-emergence in the world. Directed by Dario Argento collaborator Michele Soavi (who also directed the 1994 cult fave Cemetery Man), Stage Fright is a fun flick that's a little bit goofy, a little bit tense, a little bit gory, a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll. Wait...scratch those last two.
So, the movie begins during a rehearsal of a "hip" and "edgy" musical about a guy called The Night Owl who has a large owl head mask and dances all around the stage after he kills hookers. The musical also has a woman standing on top of a building in the background playing the saxophone whilst dressed like Marilyn Monroe in that famous photo where she's standing over the subway grate and her dress is blowing up. I think perhaps in late 80's lingo "hip" means "shitty" and "edgy" means "ludicrous". Yes, of course a man in a giant owl head mask dancing all over the stage is awesome...but at this point I was thinking "Stage Fright, honey, if you're going for so-bad-it's-good, trust me- you do not want to step into the Thunderdome with Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Two movies enter, one movie leaves...and it ain't gonna be you."
Despite the ensuing...well, retarded plot logic (OK, yes, psychiatrists are technically doctors, but this doesn't mean you should go to a mental hospital to get your sore ankle examined), to my relief Stage Fright decided it wanted to try to be a good movie- and like all good Italian slasher flicks, it actually makes sense that sense goes right out the window. What they lack in logic they make up for with style- and once the stowaway from the trip to the mental hospital steals the owl mask and lets loose in the locked theatre, the movie sure does get stylish.
Stage Fright boasts some inventive kills, strong direction, OK acting, and some pretty creepy sequences. The blood flows freely, but it's not overly grody, surprisingly enough. The last twenty minutes of the film feels a bit more like it's twenty hours, but that's alright- it had a decent ending, if bizarre. Well, the moments before the ending were decent. I can't imagine for the life of me why, after all the bloody gruesomeness that just played out, a filmmaker would choose to end the movie on a fucking freeze frame of the aforementioned saxophone-playing Marilyn Monroe looky-likey. But, I suppose, this is why I write a blog about making movies rather than actually making them. What do I know?
Stage Fright ended up stronger than its beginning promised, and boy, was I relieved. I give it 7 out of 10 owl pellets are not owl poop, but are rather the undigested feathers and bones of its prey!s.