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The Last Laugh - Movie Review

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The Last Laugh

The stage.  When you are a comedian, it can be a damn lonely place to be.  Especially when crickets are the only thing heard from out in the void.  The spotlight isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  Ghost lights be damned.

"definitely has the Italian Gaillo on its mind as the blood-soaked kills start piling up behind the scenes of the big show"


But in The Last Laugh - from The October People, Adventus, Cool Productions, Salem Street Productions, and UNLTD Productions - comedian Myles Parks (Steve Vanderzee, who delivers an excellent performance) dares to go toe-to-toe with a killer, threatening his career - which is on the verge of a Pantages Theater opening for comedian Reggie Ray (Lowell Deo) - AND his life.

And Myles, who has recently lost his wife and has turned to prescription drugs for help, really needs the break that his manager and friend Nelson (Eric Stone) has provided him with.  Except . . . Myles might not be up to it, especially if it involves chasing ghosts AND masked murderers.

From the makers of Hunting Grounds and Ayla, The Last Laugh is a haunting thriller that owes much of its atmosphere to its influence - Suspiria being a major one - as empty stages become killing grounds and empty seats get dwarfed with looming shadows.  Locked in on one location, the theater becomes a deadly playground in this thriller.  The scenes in this flick - whether they are killer-focused or not - are executed perfectly as this low budget thriller sets the mood for something deadly to happen inside the theater.

Myles is on the verge of a collapse.  We know this based on his behaviors in the opening few moments of the thriller.  Something BIG is eating at him and being inside the theater - as he works on his routine in front of an empty theater - just invites the spirits that are known to haunt the theater.  Something is amiss here.  

And it is up to us to suss it out.The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh, with a moody electronic score from Jon Bash, is cleverly put together and keeps audiences on the edge of their seats thanks to stirring performances, tightly executed scenes of suspense, and endlessly bloody twists and turns courtesy of some gnarly practical effects from Lisa van Dam-Bates.  We want to wish Myles the best of luck with his performance, but those well-wishes are tossed aside with most of his interactions with the people behind the scenes of the theater.

Written and directed by Jeremy Berg with cinematography crafted by Chris Joseph Taylor, Myles is put through the ringer by his manager, his own expectations, the headlining act, and the pills that he keeps downing as he discovers a dead body in his dressing room and must face a masked killer who keeps stalking the theater, creating more and more madness at almost every turn of this cool as hell thriller which makes the most of its budget.

Co-starring Angelo DiMarco and Jeffrey Arrington, The Last Laugh definitely has the Italian Gaillo on its mind as the blood-soaked kills start piling up behind the scenes of the big show.  Myles wrestles with the idea of even going through with his performances, but he has a lot riding on its success due to who is out in the audience.  

But the bumps and creaks of the theater - not to mention all the violent kills (which are very much in the style of Dario Argento’s work) - are caving in on him.  Truly, he is cracking and, forget about the performance, he might not even survive the build-up to his act as the theater fills with people ready to laugh out loud.  

The Last Laugh is available September 15th on VOD from High Octane Pictures.  Witness a whole new meaning to the phrase knock ‘em dead!

4/5 stars

The Last Laugh

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

Screen Formats:
Subtitles
:
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Discs:
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The Last Laugh

MPAA Rating: unrated.
Runtime:

Director
: Jeremy Berg
Writer:
Jeremy Berg
Cast:
Steve Vanderzee, Eric Stone, Lowell Deo
Genre
: Comedy | horror
Tagline:
Knock 'em Dead.
Memorable Movie Quote: "This theater has a twisted history."
Distributor:
High Octane Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 15, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis:A stand-up comedian on the verge of breakout success must make a terrible choice when he discovers a murderer on the loose in the theater where he’s about to perform his biggest show.

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The Last Laugh

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