The Horror Honeys: Exit, Stage Dead!

Exit, Stage Dead!

A Revenge Honey New Release Review

Stage Fright (2014)

As an unabashed fan of musical theatre and a former hardcore theatre nerd, it's often difficult to find a satisfactory place for my love of horror and JAZZ HANDS to intersect. Sure, there's Sweeney Todd, but that's a horror musical and not a horror film ABOUT musicals. (There is a distinction, trust me.) Then there is Repo! The Genetic Opera, which is fabulous but an opera. And of course, there is Phantom of the Opera, but seriously, fuck Andrew Lloyd Webber. So what is a chorus line-loving Revenge Honey to do? Watch Jerome Sable's Stage Fright on repeat for the rest of her damn life, that's what!

The Plot: After their stage actress mother is murdered, Camilla and Buddy Swanson grow up under the care of the owner of a summer camp for theatre kids. One fateful summer, the camp production happens to be the same show that lead to the murder of their mother, so Camilla feels the desire to audition. However, as sets are built and kabuki masks are pretentiously painted, a killer who just loathes musical theatre is picking off campers one by one. Will anyone be left to see Camilla make her big debut? Or will she be facing some curtains of her own? (THEATRE PUNS!)

To say I was in hysterics for the majority of this film is an understatement. Sable also wrote the script (as well as the musical numbers, of which there are many, with writing partner Eli Batalion), and I'm guessing he had to have spent some time at a theatre camp. All of the archetypes are there: the TOTES heterosexual kid who is just gay for musical theatre and loves the ladies (uh-huh), the actual gay kid, the kid whose dad slaps him around for singing Sondheim at the dinner table, the older director preying on the actresses, the ingenue who thinks she deserves the part just because, like, she showed up...

You're not fooling anyone! You are not Barbra!
Stop shouting all the time!

Stage Fright is hilarious and self-aware and anyone who spent even ten minutes around the theatre will appreciate how absolutely right this movie got the details.

Now, before you tune out and say, "Listen Revenge Honey, I don't do musicals. I'm just going to go watch the trailer for the new Transformers movie and make fun of it for 10,000th today," even those who don't know Hammerstein from Frankenstein will get something out of Stage Fright. The killer, who gives off shades of a KISS cover artist, hates musicals too and sympathizes with you. In his shrieking, rock god wail, he reflects your concerns and expresses them with a guitar that quit literally, shreds.

With gore, hilarious musical numbers, great performances (from Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver, of all people, as well as the rest of the cast), and a fantastically fun story reminiscent of GOOD Argento, Stage Fright has something for everyone.

And if you've ever wanted to watch the kids from Glee get murdered in inventive and gloriously bloody ways, this is the flick for you. I know I enjoyed it...

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 out of 5 Bloody Jazz Hands (for Theatre People)
4 out of 5 Kabuki Gene Simmons Masks (for everyone else)

Stage Fright is available on iTunes and onDemand as of April 3rd, 
so ready your tap shoes and watch it, kids!