Happy Horrific Summer, Campers! (A Film Series): #4

Happy Horrific Summer, Campers! We are in our fourth week and I am starting to think maybe American camps are not the best option. In our camp-filled summer, we have seen militaristic Piranha attacks, realized a certain Cheerleader Camp should properly vet its campers, and last week we decided being a camp counselor is not what is is cracked up to be on Friday the 13th. Maybe, a Canadian camp, or at least one put on by Canadians, might be a better choice. Plus, a musical theater camp could be really fun, a bit of a laugh... all the singing and dancing. Let's see, shall we, in Stage Fright (2014). 


Stage Fright is not only the most recent film curated in the series, but it is also the only one from the comedy horror camp genre. 

The story surrounds The Swansons. It all begins when actress and star of The Haunting of the Opera (basically The Phantom of the Opera), Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver ) is murdered backstage by an unknown assailant wearing the Opera Ghost mask. Ten years later Swanson's twins Camilla (Allie MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith) are working at the musical theater camp run by Roger McCall (Meat Loaf), a former lover of Kylie's, who raised the children after her unsolved murder. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was at this very camp that her mother, along with The Haunt of the Opera, started out. 

Camilla, ever since she was a little girl, wants to sing and perform like her mother. Whereas Buddy just wants to get away from the camp. Both are firm in their opinions when they hear that this year's musical will be a kabuki version of The Haunting of the Opera. Camilla sets out to audition, even though, as staff, she is not allowed. The fact that she is beautiful aids in not only getting passed the checklist guy, Joel Hopton (Kent Nolan), but also the director and male lead, Artie (Brandon Uranowitz). It is horror, however, not a fairy tale. She ends up tying with an actual camper, Liz Silver (Melanie Leishman), and Camilla's "casting couch" capability is dangled constantly to determine if she will perform opening night - when all the big time producers and agents, like Victor Brady (James McGowan), are said to show up.

As you can imagine, as the opening date gets closer and closer, an accident happens. Roger convinces everyone that the show must go on and with it a string of deaths by the hand of a kabuki mask wearing, heavy metal singer à la Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. As a viewer, you get to learn a bit about the characters and may even feel a bit sad to see their demise, especially when they have overcome certain obstacles. 

There is music, dancing, homage to previous horror movies, not to mention over the top bloodshed. This also means it is not for everyone, but for those that enjoy the mishmash of horror, absurd comedy, and rock musical, then you should definitely give Stage Fright a chance. The trailer is below and for those with Netflix you can currently stream it online. For those who are up for at least one more camp, tune in next week for the final installment of Happy Horrific Summer, Campers!