English Title: StageFright (aka Aquarius and Bloody Bird)
Starring: Barbara Cupisti, Clain Parker
Directed by: Michael Soavi
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: A theater troupe finds themselves locked in a soundstage with a crazed killer.
Featured Feline: The film opens with a cat yowling under the opening credits. A black cat is featured prominently in many scenes of the film (actually the cat, whose name is Lucifer, appears to be a tabby cat which has been tinted black). The cat first crosses the stage as the actors are rehearsing a play.
The director, Peter (David Brandon) later grabs Lucifer roughly and hands him to a stage hand named Mark (Martin Philips), directing him to “Get this damn cat out of here.”
Lucifer belongs to the building’s caretaker Willy (James Sampson), who reaches for him when he crosses the path of actress Alicia (Barbara Cupisti) and seamstress Betty (Ulrike Schwerk) as they head out for medical help for Alicia’s sore ankle. Alicia is nervous and Betty asks if she is superstitious.
The girls go to a psychiatric hospital for help and unwittingly bring back a crazed psycho killer named Irving Wallace (Clain Parker) in their car. As Betty later sits in the car, she is startled by Lucifer who jumps at her in true spring-loaded cat fashion from the back seat. After Betty is killed, Alicia hears Lucifer meowing around the car and looks for him. Lucifer is not seen but Alicia finds Betty’s body next to the car.
Lucifer is not seen again until later in the film when the majority of the theater troupe has been killed, leaving only Alicia to witness the gruesome scene of Wallace, wearing an owl’s head that was a prop from the play, arranging the mutilated bodies around the stage. Lucifer emerges from beneath a chair and starts to gnaw on part of one of the bodies.
The cat then hits an electrical cable on the stage, turning on a fan which blows feathers everywhere.
Lucifer then becomes Wallace’s lap cat, enjoying pets as the crazy man sits in the chair in the middle of the stage, surrounded by his carnage.
Alicia spots the key to the door stuck in the stage and crawls beneath the floor to try to pry it loose. Lucifer notices the nail she is using coming up through the boards and investigates, tipping Wallace off to Alicia’s location.
Lucifer is only seen one more time following Alicia down the steps of the stage as she runs to the door.
Final Mewsings: If you are stupid enough to go to a psychiatric hospital for a sore ankle, don’t blame the cat for your bad luck!
Many thanks to Dr. Jimmy and Bob for letting us know about the cat in this movie.