Production Year: 1987
Release Date: 09/23/2014
Studio: Blue Underground
Director: Michele Soavi

My first experience with Michele Soavi was through 1994's Cemetery Man, arguably his strangest and most experimental film.  After being completely floored by that film I made it my mission to seek out the director's other genre pictures; The Church, The Sect, soon I made my way to Stagefright.  Soavi got his start working as an assistant director with guys like Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento, eventually he'd branch out on his own; 1987 marked his first directorial foray into the horror world with Stagefright.

As seasoned Slasher vets would tell ya,' when it comes to crazed killers we've nearly seen it all.  From Voorhees to Cropsey and Angela to Myers, the bringers of death have all been pretty varied, though none probably quite as visually absurd (in a good way!) as the killer you'll witness in Stage Fright.  After an escaped lunatic performs a very grisly murder a group of young actors are locked away in a theater by an overbearing director.  Assuming they're safe, the group begin to rehearse the play to prepare for opening night.  Unfortunately for them, the loony murderer also happens to be locked inside.  This fictional play on death is about to crash head first into a very macabre reality!

Stagefright is a fairly by-the-numbers slasher film.  You've got your slow-stalkin' killer, nubile young flesh, and a variety of ways to die.  For a first time director Soavi handles himself with much aplomb helming a tight and tense film.  Seeing the credits is like watching a who's who of Italian horror; John Morghen (Actor - Cannibal Ferox, The Gates of Hell, and Cannibal Apocalypse), George Eastman (Writer - Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, Anthropophagus, and Keoma), and Joe D'amato (Producer - Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Beyond the Darkness, and Porno Holocaust).  With names like that you already know what to expect, and while this film delivers on all levels there's a very professional execution at play making for one memorable viewing experience.

After viewing this release I decided to pop in Blue Underground's 2007 DVD release for a quick visual comparison.  I was a bit stunned by the jump in quality.  This high definition presentation will have fan's drooling, there's a clarity here that was missing in the prior release, a very filmic look that's accompanied by lush natural colors.  I have zero complaints.  A 5.1 DTS-HD track is also along for the ride, a very even mix with clear dialogue and nice range.

Theater of Delirium - Interview with Director Michele Soavi (19:02 SD) - Soavi discuses Bloody Bird's transition from the script to the screen.

Head of the Company - An interview with David Brandon (11:40 HD) - The actor discusses working with D'amato along with the filming of Stagefright!

Blood on the Stage Floor - Interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice (14:01 SD) - Italy's whipping boy discusses his illustrious career, how he met Soavi, and the production of Stagefright.

The Owl Murders - Interview with Pietro Tenoglio (11:22 HD) - The man behind the gore gets into his work with the film.

The Sound of Aquarius - Interview with Simon Boswell (18:02 HD) - Composer Simon Boswell on his work within the Italian horror genre.

Theatrical Trailer (02:18 HD)

Poster and Still Gallery

With the amazing upgrade in picture and audio quality and the inclusion of a number of nice supplements Stagefright is completely worth the upgrade.  For horror-nuts who've yet to see it; what are you waiting for?  If the image of the chainsaw wielding Owl-man wasn't enough to get you excited for this flick than you're probably on the wrong website.