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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Stage Fright" )

 

directed by John Lamond
Australia 1980

 

American actress in Australia Helen (Jenny Neumann, HELL NIGHT) auditions for a Victorian stage comedy by a vitriolic director (Max Phipps, THIRST). Her relationship with one of her co-stars (Gary Sweet) is hampered by her traumatic memories of seeing her mother killed when she was a child. When someone starts slashing through the cast with shards of broken glass, is it Helen or one of her melodramatic castmates. Scripted and edited by the late Colin Eggleston (LONG WEEKEND, FANTASM RIDES AGAIN), there is really no suspense to be had in the rather obvious script but we do get some vintage Australian sexploitation levels of nudity and some fairly brutal slashings. Attempts at red herrings fail and even two years after HALLOWEEN the Steadicam roamings of the killer's POV seem obligatory (s/he takes forever to creep up on victims). The scope formatting makes the proceedings a bit more interesting (a few passable Australian horror films made around this time benefited visually from the use of the Panavision format) and there are some nice delirium montages and triggered memories. MAD MAX composer Brian May's score is undistinguished compared to his lush work on other Australian horror films of the time. Briony Behets (LONG WEEKEND) co-stars.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 30 October 1980 (Australia)

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DVD Comparison:

Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Severin Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Umbrella Entertainment
Region 4 - PAL
Runtime 1:19:24 1:19:24 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.47:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.77 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.52:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Severin Films

 

Bitrate:

 

Umbrella Entertainment

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Severin Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.47:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director John Lamond and NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD director Mark Hartley
• A Brief History of Slasher Films featurette (16:9; 15:11)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:17)
• John Lamond Trailer Reel (including THE ABC OF LOVE AND SEX, FELICITY, PACIFIC BANANA, BREAKFAST IN
• PARIS, and SKY PIRATES)
• Trailers for BLOODY MOON, HORROR EXPRESS, and PSYCHOMANIA

DVD Release Date: 28 June 2011
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Umbrella Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.52:1

Edition Details:
• Confessions of an R-Rated Filmmaker: interview with director John D. Lamond (16:9; 8:09)
• John Lamond Trailer Reel (including THE ABC OF LOVE AND SEX, FELICITY, PACIFIC BANANA, BREAKFAST IN PARIS, and SKY PIRATES)
• Still and poster gallery

 

DVD Release Date: 28 August 2009
Amaray

Chapters 21

 

Comments

Severin's DVD retains the PAL running time because it has converted the 25 fps runtime to progressive 29.97 fps; as such, there are no interlacing artefacts, but there is some blurring in fast movements and the image is softer than the import release. Like the import, the Severin DVD is single-layer. There are more extras starting with an audio commentary by director Lamond with Ozploitation documentary filmmaker Mark Hartley. Hartley ribs Lamond about some of the film's shortcomings (some of which are shortcomings of many low budget horror films) and a soft-spoken Lamond provides some interesting details. Neumann's role was originally slated for Debra Feuer, and co-writer Colin Eggleston [director of LONG WEEKEND] directed some segments since Lamond was directing PACIFIC BANANA back-to-back with this film, and Lamond supplements the discussion of the film's nudity with his own anecdotes of being a "rear end double" in a couple Ozploitation films. The "history of slasher films" featurette - also on the BLOODY BIRTHDAY disc - won't be anything new to slasher fans, but it does have a nice selection of clips from films and their trailers. Besides the theatrical trailer, there is also a John Lamond trailer reel (the same trailer reel seen on the import) and trailers for three other Severin releases (including a rare and newly-transferred one for HORROR EXPRESS).

About the Australian DVD: Outside of a BBFC-cut UK tape, the Umbrella DVD is the first widescreen presentation of NIGHTMARES (which was virtually unwatchable in its cropped US tape release STAGE FRIGHT, not to be confused with the similarly-themed but superior Italian late eighties slasher entry by Michele Soavi). The anamorphic widescreen image is clean and probably looks as good as the film allows (there is heavy grain in dark scenes but it seems natural) but the 2.52:1 aspect ratio seems odd (the cover states 2.35:1). The film was shot in Panavision but the image does not seem stretched or overmatted (maybe a tiny bit but perhaps some of the close-ups are just tight). Unlike some of Umbrella's other Australian genre offerings (PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, SUMMERFIELD), NIGHTMARES is rather bare extras-wise. Director John D. Lamond provides an 8 minute interview but it is more career focused. A trailer reel for Lamond's films is also included. The slight still and poster gallery includes one poster and a couple behind the scenes shots.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Umbrella Entertainment - Region 4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Umbrella

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Severin
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Severin Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Umbrella Entertainment
Region 4 - PAL


 

 




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