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Film / Frightmare (1983)

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There is no escape, not even death...

Frightmare is a 1983 American Horror Comedy Slasher Movie featuring the horror film debut of Jeffrey Combs.

Conrad Radzoff was a character actor best known for his horror roles, considered among the likes of Boris Karloff. After his death, some film students decide to steal his body as some sort of tribute to his legacy. Unfortunately for them, Conrad had black magic cast over his grave. Now, Back from the Dead, the horror star is out to make some horror of his own...

The film was released on DVD by Troma.

Not to be confused with the 1974 film.

This film contains examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Everyone Conrad kills, from his two-faced director friend to the fans who steal his body, has it coming.
  • Big Bad: Conrad Radzoff, the undead actor killing everybody.
  • Booby Trap: Conrad has his tomb rigged so that anybody who breaks in will be sealed in forever.
  • Celebrity Crush: One of the victim pool has been attracted to Conrad ever since she was a child.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: All of Conrad's killings are based on petty slights, such as criticizing his performance, insulting him or breaking into his tomb.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Conrad's wife is the one who resurrects him, and is a distraught woman who wants the people who stole his body murdered. Though as it turns out, it was merely for his cash.
  • False Friend: Mrs. Rohmer, a medium friend of Conrad and his wife, is this. She brings Conrad back to life for revenge, but later steals jewelry and money from his dead body. He kills her by choking her on the wad of money she stole from him.
  • Grave Robbing: Conrad's corpse is stolen by some drunken fans. He rises from the tomb to kill them.
  • Loony Fan: The victim pool is so into Conrad Radzoff's films that they steal his corpse after he dies. Naturally, this leads to his vengeful revenant coming after them.
  • Off with His Head!: How Stu is killed. In fact, Jeffrey Combs was cast because the crew needed a brunette that matched the prop head.
  • Only Sane Man: Meg as she’s the only one who objected to stealing the corpse. She’s the only one of the seven left alive at the end.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These are fully sapient revenants resurrected by Black Magic and who retain their exact personalities from life. They have Psychic Powers, up to and including pyrokinesis.
  • Pet the Dog: Conrad leaves Meg, the fan who gave him CPR and the only one who objected to stealing his body, alive at the end.
  • Playing with Fire: Revenants in this universe can generate fire with their minds.
  • Portmantitle: "Fright"+"Nightmare"
  • Robbing the Dead: Conrad's medium friend, apparently his ex-wife as suggested by a line of dialogue, tries to rob his corpse at the end of the film, before he kills her and implies he'll rape her in Hell.
  • Shout-Out: A poster for The Hills Have Eyes (1977) is seen in the background. of the main set. We also see a poster with stills from Frankenstein (1931).
  • The Sociopath: Conrad Razkoff, who has spent his life murdering people for minor slights, and continues in death.
  • Too Dumb to Live: EVERYONE. They steal a corpse of an actor they’re a fan of and believe that no harm can come to them. They all end up dead, except for the one who objected.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Conrad kills a commercial director who criticized his performance.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Conrad Radzoff, aside from his acclaimed horror work, also performed plays written by William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. By the end of his life, he's reduced to filming commercials but still acts like a prima donna film star.