Frightmare (1983)

aka The Horror Star
Article 3480 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-18-2011
Posting Date: 2-23-2011
Directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane
Featuring Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot
Country: USA
What it is: Undead horror actor movie

A hammy horror star with a penchant for killing his directors dies and is buried. Fans of the star kidnap his corpse and bring it to a mansion for a party. The corpse revives, and soon the fans are dying in horrible ways.

The movie starts out interesting as kind of a cross between MADHOUSE and CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS. And there’s no doubt that the movie has a certain affection for old-time horror. But ultimately the call of the slasher film proves a bit too strong, and once the star revives, it’s largely an exercise in the various fans being stalked and knocked off by the corpse of the horror star. The movie also tries way too hard to ride on atmosphere; it’s so heavy on the swirling fog and the scary/creepy sound effects/music that it becomes downright laughable. But I think the saddest problem with this one is that the movie is sadly lacking in wit, and when your horror star is supposed to be something of a cross between Vincent Price and John Carradine, that’s a definite shortcoming. Some of the murders are quite ridiculous as well. Chalk this one up as a well-intentioned piece of bungling. As a side note, the existence of this film forced the identically titled 1974 movie to be released as FRIGHTMARE 2 on video to avoid being confused with it.


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