I hadn't heard of Stage Fright until I did some research following the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! It's an amazing documentary that goes into depth on Australian grind-house cinema. This film, however is not amazing. It's another b-movie that was cranked out in Australia during the eighties. It's directed by John Lamond. Who had worked on Australia After Dark and Felicity before tackling this picture. It is the first film for Gary Sweet.
An annoying young girl complains about her mother making out with a strange man while driving. This complaint is enough to distract the driver so that the car crashes killing the mother. The film follows the young girl sixteen years later. Her name is Helen and she is an absolute lunatic. She is an aspiring actress that is working on a new project. But now someone is going around killing the other cast members and people close to the production.
The opening scenes are quite trying. The girl that they had cast in the beginning was horribly annoying. The film utilizes some really cool effects to make-up for the lack of capital. Brian May of Queen had even provided the music but it's not that spectacular. It felt as if this movie was made too quickly. Interviews with director John Lamond confirm that he had bigger ideas and higher hopes for the film.
This is a passable slasher that is unfortunately a victim of film aging and quality deterioration. The acting is pretty abysmal but it has an independent charm that it can't shake. Not all of these old b-movies are terrible. This one surprised me. I thought it would have been much worse.
John D. Lamond
Gary Sweet, Jenny Neumann and Max Phipps
John Lamond Enterprises
October 30th 1980
Did ya know:
The character of Bennett Collingswood was based on a film critic who despised director John D. Lamond's work.