It's not unheard of to meld the seemingly incongruent worlds of musical theater and serial killers ("Sweeney Todd"), but the lame horror-show tune mashup "Stage Fright" — about a psycho wreaking havoc at a "Glee"-like camp — is only likely to inspire much exiting stage left and right.
After a blasé prologue in which the star (Minnie Driver) of a "Phantom"-style operetta meets a bloody end in her dressing room, the action shifts 10 years later to a bustling performing-arts camp, where the dead singer's teenage children (Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith) work in the kitchen while the beleaguered camp director (Meat Loaf, burnt) yearns for Broadway success.
When MacDonald's Camilla angles to try out for the main production — yes, the same "Phantom" show (a weak pastiche of Andrew Lloyd Webber-style singathons) — she ignites a camp-wide controversy.
Meanwhile a masked killer who shrieks his laments in the form of unfunny '80s-hair-metal solos begins knocking off the talent. None of it works, really, as either musical satire or genre Chex mix.
Writer-director Jerome Sable embraces obviousness, character clichés and overacting too readily, leaving the bulk of the creativity to songwriter Eli Batalion, whose words and music just aren't clever or memorable enough to give "Stage Fright" even a cult-like panache.
MPAA rating: R for bloody horror violence, language and sexual references.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes.
Playing: At the Arena Cinema, Hollywood.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times