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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

StageFright aka "Deliria" or "Bloody Bird" or "Sound Stage Massacre" or "Stage Fright" or "Aquarius" [Blu-ray]


(Michele Soavi, 1987)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: DMV Distribuzione

Video: Blue Underground



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:16.828 

Disc Size: 40,908,830,407 bytes

Feature Size: 26,905,331,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 23rd, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2893 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2893 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), French, Spanish, None



• Theatre Of Delirium - Interview with Director Michele Soavi (19:01)
Head Of The Company - Interview with Star David Brandon (11:40)
Blood On The Stage Floor - Interview with Star Giovanni Lombardo Radice (14:00)
The Owl Murders - Interview with Make-Up Effects Artist Pietro Tenoglio (11:22)
The Sound Of Aquarius - Interview with Composer Simon Boswell (18:02)
Theatrical Trailer (2:18)
Poster & Still Gallery





Description: While a group of young actors rehearse a new musical about a mass murderer, a notorious psychopath escapes from a nearby insane asylum. But when the show's director locks his cast in the theater overnight, the madman is accidentally locked inside as well. Now, a killer with acting in his blood has gone berserk for the blood of actors (including several scenes that EuroHorror fans worldwide consider to be the most violent of the decade) and the stage is set for one unforgettable evening of shock, suspense and unstoppable carnage.

STAGEFRIGHT marked the stunning directorial debut of Dario Argento protégé Michele Soavi and instantly sealed his reputation as the leader of Italian horror's new generation of filmmakers. Also known as AQUARIUS, DELIRIA and BLOODY BIRD, this brutal shocker has been newly transferred in gore-drenched High Definition from the original uncut and uncensored negative and comes loaded with exclusive new Extras!



The Film:

Horror film actor Michele Soavi's directorial debut was this stylish giallo thriller about an escaped lunatic terrorizing the cast of a stage musical who get locked in a theater after dark. David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, and perennial victim Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka "John Morghen") lead the cast, most of whom spend their time sniping at each other with amusingly typical backstage cruelty. The murder scenes are the film's primary attraction, artfully handled by Soavi in setpieces such as a blue-lighted stage strewn with feather-covered bodies. The killer wears an owl mask, which is offputting at first but seems progressively more sinister as the film goes along. Soavi's stylistic mentor, Dario Argento, directed the similar Opera the same year, while this one was produced by Aristide Massaccesi ("Joe D'Amato") from a script by actor Luigi Montefiori ("George Eastman").

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Out of all the Argento-inspired giallo films of the 1980's, this is one of the best, if not THE best, with it's quirky character banter, quotable lines, off-the-wall camera moves, and phenomenal musical score by Simon Boswell and Stefano Mainetti. I only heard about it thanks to home video because, disappointingly (but certainly not surprisingly), the film was never shown theatrically here in the States.

Excerpt from HorrorExpress located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

StageFright is on Blu-ray from Blue Underground (and Exposure Cinema in the UK) looking very pleasing in 1080P. The transfer, on dual-layered disc, has a high bitrate and advances handily over SD. Detail is good, and colors realistic with some richness in the original 1.,85:1 aspect ratio. No prevalent noise or digitization the visuals exhibit depth and minor textures. This Blu-ray image is strong producing a consistent, clean and un hindered visual presentation.


















Audio :

StageFright has quite an active soundstage and the Blu-ray's audio is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track (bump) with some deft separation or a similar lossless encode 2.0 channel - both in, only, the English language (24-bit). Effects are aggressive and have some surprise and punch with the, credited, score by Guido Anelli, Simon Boswell (Delirium, Santa Sangre, Phenomena) and Stefano Mainetti adding another notch to its giallo-esque homage. Some may notice Mia performing Mystery Rouge. All good with the sound. There are English, French and Spanish, subtitles (yellow font) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Supplements include over an hour's worth of video interviews. In Theatre Of Delirium - we get a 20-minute discussion with director Michele Soavi who has extensive background and versatility as an actor in the Giallo genre and as a protégé of iconic director Dario Argento. Head Of The Company is an 11-minute interview with StageFright star David Brandon (plays 'Peter') who's been working in film for over 30-years. Blood On The Stage Floor spends 1/4 hour with cult favorite Giovanni Lombardo Radice who has been in a number of 1980's Italian splatter efforts. The Owl Murders is an 11-minute interview with make-up effects artist Pietro Tenoglio credited as 'Peter Moore' in StageFright. His resume include Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth and Stuart Gordon's 1991 horror The Pit and the Pendulum. The Sound Of Aquarius is an 18-minute interview with composer Simon Boswell who relates creating the musical score for StageFright. Lastly is a theatrical trailer and a poster & stills gallery.



Wow - StageFright is one of the better 'modern' Giallo films - even though it is 30-years old now. Soavi's pedigree adds a layer of, ham-fisted, style but really it's a solid slasher flic with plenty of tension and suspense. Perhaps heavy on the gore but still a commendable directorial debut worth a 'boo' to fans of the cycle. The Blue Underground Blu-ray is a wonderful way to embrace the film's abundant thriller charms. I was encouraged enough to keep on the revisitation shelf. Certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 30th, 2017



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