Plot: Gordon (Chard Hayward) is a handyman who spends his off hours in some odd ways, such as romancing an inflatable doll and masturbating while spying one of his employers through binoculars. He isn’t just a peeping creep however, as he fantasizes about the rape, torture, and even murder of various women. He does some menial work for Marie (Deborah Coulls), a well known singer and television actress, but to Gordon, she is the object of his current obsession. When he tries to reveal his feelings to her, she balks and orders him to leave, especially since he has tracked dirt all over her clean, expensive carpet. But Gordon refuses to take no for an answer, leading to a brutal rape and when she still won’t cooperate with his twisted fantasy, Gordon accidentally drowns her in an aquarium. While sad that his crush is now dead, he soon faces a new concern, as Marie’s sister has arrived for a visit. Gordon tries to keep things unassuming so that the sister won’t suspect the horrific truth, but she picks up on the various signs that something is wrong. Will she be able to figure things out in time to avoid a similar fate, or will she end up as Gordon’s next victim?
Entertainment Value: Lady Stay Dead is an Australian horror movie that is dark and sometimes brutal, with a wild performance from Chard Hayward. An effective creep can make all the difference in a movie like this one, so Hayward’s unhinged presence really makes the most of the material. Even when he doesn’t speak, he just has an unsettling presence and not just because of his speedo. I just think he conveys the unstable, off the rails madman well, without going totally over the top. Gordon is still an outrageous and super creepy character, but it doesn’t feel like a caricature. His interactions with others are so weird, just awkward and outlandish. The rest of the cast is fine, with Deborah Coulls, Louise Howitt, and Roger Ward all involved, but Hayward steals the show here and is the obvious standout. Once Marie’s sister arrives, the movie turns into a kind of cat & mouse situation, with Gordon biding his time until he strikes. The pace is brisk and there’s no shortage of creepiness or tension. This is not a slasher movie by any means, more of a dark thriller with some horror movie vibes, mostly from Gordon’s presence since he is such a crazy bastard. So we have a out of mind killer, a good amount of sleaze, and ample dread in the atmosphere, giving us a solid thriller. If you’re a fan of serial killer movies, Ozploitation, or you just appreciate unhinged performances, you should check out Lady Stay Dead.
This one starts off with a good amount of nakedness, with a swim scene that packs in breasts, bare ass, and epic level bush. But things are just getting started, as we follow that up with more beautiful breasts and enough bush to populate a dense garden. I mean like seriously, this is massive, epic tier bush on showcase. After the initial rush of naked flesh however, the sleaze gives over to violence and psychological tension, but hey, its fun while it lasts. There’s a good deal of violence involved, but not a lot of on screen gore or graphic moments. There is some blood however, with perhaps the highlight being an especially gushy shooting late in the movie. But we also have a rape scene, drowning, a dog is assassinated, and Hayward battles Roger Ward in quite a back & forth toward the finale. The dialogue is pretty outlandish at times, between Gordon’s nonsense and the strange police officer’s rants, not to mention the common sense, but ignored comments from Marie’s sister. Not a ton of home run level lines, but memorable exchanges and some just odd, odd moments. In terms of craziness, Gordon’s mere presence ratchets up the score, then we have the policeman’s odd stance, speedo music session, inflatable doll sensuality, humping a sand dune, and more. Perhaps not as wild, off the rails insane as some, but some real offbeat moments in this one.
Overall Insanity: 5/10