Action / Comedy / Horror

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 22%
IMDb Rating 4.2 10 677


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June 26, 2016 at 09:52 PM


Leon Askin as Wolfgang
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 5 / 10

Death by floating coffin!

Not to be confused with the 1974 Pete Walker horror film of the same name, Norman Thaddeus Vane's Frightmare is a goofy little film, the strange plot, weird atmosphere and offbeat performances resulting in a film that, while not particularly effective as a horror (genuine scares are in short supply), almost demands cult status.

The silly story sees ageing horror star Conrad Radzoff (Ferdinand Mayne, doing an amusing pastiche of Christopher Lee) bumping off two of his directors, one past and one present, before finally shuffling off this mortal coil himself. Soon after, Conrad's eternal peace is rudely interrupted by members of the local horror film society, who break into the actor's mausoleum and steal his corpse, treating it with a considerable lack of respect. When the horror star's wife is alerted to the fact that Conrad's body has gone missing, she hires a medium to contact her husband's spirit, and instructs him to return from the dead and teach the impudent scallywags a valuable lesson.

So what makes this film so batty? Well, for starters, Conrad's mausoleum is a high-tech marble monstrosity that makes bleepy computer sounds and comes complete with a neon sign, a motion activated video screen, and a vent that spews toxic gas. And when the crazy film kids get Conrad back to theirs, what do they do? Well, they invite him to dinner, dance with him and pose for photos with their idol. The death scenes are also a mite strange, the weirdest one seeing Conrad levitating his coffin to bash in a girl's head.

Without a doubt, the best thing about the whole film is Mayne's performance: whether it be alive as a hammy horror actor, or stone cold dead and motionless as a cadaver, he is utterly convincing and quite beguiling. Unfortunately, whenever Mayne is off-screen, the film is almost as lifeless as his character's corpse.

4.5 out of 10, rounded up to 5 for the brief topless nudity from Donna McDaniel and the nice and bloody decapitation of a young Jeffrey Combs.

Reviewed by richieandsam 7 / 10

Good B-Movie

Aaaaahhh, the classic B-movie horror films of the 70's and 80's... they don't make them like that anymore.

I had never heard of this film before my lovely lady bought it for me while she was away. Yesterday I decided to sit down and watch it... I loved it.

Now it has everything you can expect from a cheesy B-movie horror: Cheap gore, Lots of murders, Topless women, Bad acting, Terrible effects.

But the last 2 are not negative remarks... if the acting and the effects were good, it would not feel right.

The film is about an old horror actor, which i believe was an imitation of Christopher Lee, that dies and has his grave made into a crypt where people can go and see his body and see video messages from him. Some teenagers decide to steal his body from the crypt to have a party with it, but little did they know that when they took the body some black magic happened thanks to his widow and he comes back to life to take revenge on his kidnappers...

It is a great film... and it even has a young Jeffrey Combs in. He made this 2 years before he made Re-Animator. The only other face I recognised in this film was Scott Thomson. And I mainly know him for playing Chad Copeland in a couple of the Police Academy movies.

I will give this film 7 out of 10.

A really entertaining film which is comedy gold.

For more of my reviews, please like my Facebook page: Reviews/456572047728204?ref=hl

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 7 / 10

Do people have no respect for the dead?!?

Writer and director Norman Thaddeus Vane here creates an interesting little horror film that makes the most of its meagre budget. It comes highly recommended to those horror fans that crave atmosphere, because for Vane the atmosphere takes priority over the gore.

It's a nice melding of 60s and 80s styles, and gives a juicy lead role to an actor who definitely deserves to be better known: Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne. Mayne shows that he had what it took to be a major genre star a la Lee, Price, and Carradine, not that he did too badly for himself, appearing in things like "The Vampire Lovers" and "The Fearless Vampire Killers". He brings dignity and theatricality to his role as Conrad Ragzoff, an egotistical horror star who passes away. Unfortunately, some dopey, foolish film students get it into their heads to make off with his corpse and have some fun. Unfortunate for them, as Conrad's widow Etta (Barbara Pilavin) uses a medium (Nita Talbot) to allow Conrad to come back to "life" to terrorize and brutalize the kids.

One thing that really hurts "Frightmare" (alternately titled, appropriately enough, "The Horror Star") is sluggish pacing, but otherwise Vane does a creditable job at building up some tension and menace. The music score, by Jerry Mosely, is especially effective. The deaths aren't terribly imaginative, but they're still entertaining; highlights are a decapitation and a human torch sequence.

In addition to capable veterans like Mayne and Talbot, other familiar faces include Leon Askin, as a bitter film director, Luca Bercovici (director of "Ghoulies"), Scott Thomson (a cast member of same), and Chuck "Porky" Mitchell as an investigating detective. Jennifer Starrett, daughter of film director Jack Starrett, is appealing as the character of Meg. But "Frightmare" will definitely be intriguing to the genre fan for featuring an early film appearance by future "Re-Animator" star Jeffrey Combs, who's basically just one of the gang here.

This movie is good enough to warrant more attention, and in the end it's hard to resist any film that shows vintage Christopher Lee footage to stand in for the clips from the Conrad Ragzoff filmography. All in all, it offers a fair amount of fun.

Seven out of 10.

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