Lady Stay Dead/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Lady Stay Dead

Marie Coleby (Deborah Coulls) is a beautiful, if spoiled and petulant, young singer living in a villa on the ocean in Sydney, Australia. She’s a busy woman—along with her top-selling album whose song “Loving From a Distance” is a hit, she’s currently filming a commercial for a product called “Sheena,” and preparing to leave for a month long film shoot. Will she make the trip?


Unbeknownst to Marie her gardener Gordon (Chard Heyward) is good at more than taking care of her grounds. He’s a serial killer who enjoys taking photos of his tortured victims before he murders them! There’s another problem: Gordon has become obsessed with Marie; playing her album constantly, decorating his small apartment with posters and photos of her, and sleeping with a life-sized “Marie” doll/mannequin.

Writer/producer/director Terry Bourke is clearly a fan of women-in-distress thrillers and this homebound brew is topped off with a second female lead—Marie’s sister Jenny (Louise Howitt), a curious young woman who arrives to take care of Marie’s estate while she’s away.


Kooky music, flashbacks, a boat explosion, violence, female nudity, and a handful of murders—one victim is drowned in a giant fish tank—punctuate this story with a surprise twist in the final reel.

Overwrought (wait to you hear Jenny’s anguished wails), Lady, Stay Dead—there’s a scene that explains the unusual title, is a cat-and-mouse actioner whose psychotic, romantic-obsessive main character just might sing a song, buy you groceries, and present you with a bouquet of flowers before killing you!


Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.

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