Director: Jerome Sable
Writer: Jerome Sable
Music by: Jerome Sable, Eli Batalion
Cast: Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith, Kent Nolan, Brandon Uranowitz, Ephraim Ellis, James McGowan, Meat Loaf, Minnie Driver
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]
After their mother and opera singer Kylie (Minnie Driver) was brutally murdered, Camilla (Allie MacDonald) and her brother Buddy (Douglas Smith) went to live with her boyfriend Roger (Meat Loaf). Roger runs a musical theater camp for rich kids where Camilla and Buddy, now grown, work in the kitchen. But Camilla dreams of becoming a performer herself. When it is announced that this year’s camp’s production would be a kabuki version of The
Phantom Haunting of the Opera – Kylie’s star role and a play that hasn’t been shown since her death – nothing can keep Camilla from auditioning. But it seems that her mother’s killer has followed them or maybe the play, and things get even bloodier than the usual casting and production process.
Stage Fright combines slasher movies and musicals in such a way that I was laughing until I cried. It was amazing.
There are so many things going on in this film I hardly know where to start. There is the wonderful way it makes fun of pretty much every musical cliché there ever was (only that there were no singing animals) – and I’m saying this as a fan of musicals. That starts with the exuberant song Where We Belong (“I’m gay, I’m gay, but not in that way”), continues to the casting couch and includes such lyric(s) gems as “So strong, so tender, so Alfonso!”
Speaking of lyrics, the music was generally very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. The singing was also pretty strong. Unfortunately there were not a lot of songs and they worked with quite a few repetitions. I didn’t mind much because they were good songs, but especially because they were good, it would have been nice to get a couple more pieces.
There was another issue I had with the film and that was with its big bad. [SPOILERS] For one, it was incredibly easy to figure out who it was. They really didn’t keep the motives and hints very subtle. But I didn’t mind that as much as I minded that I just didn’t buy Douglas Smith as the evil doer. He was just a bit too overblown when the mask is finally removed. [/SPOILERS]
But other than that I have nothing to complain about. I laughed my way through the film, I’m listening to the soundtrack right now and I still enjoy it, and there is the sheer hilarity of making The
Phantom Haunting of the Opera into a kabuki play. I could watch it again immediately.