Evil Laugh (1988)
I give an evil laugh at that date. This thing was obviously filmed at least 4 years before that. (And after doing some research, I was right.)
Here’s a little background, before we get started:
Directed by Dominick Brascia.
Never heard of him? Obviously you are not a Friday the 13th fan, my friend. Bracia was the adorable, yet annoying kid that got killed near the beginning of F13 pt.5. You know. The one who foolishly offered his chocolate bar to the angry guy (Who was in Return of the Living Dead) that was cutting wood.
Bracia was taking acting lessons and ran into STEVEN BAIO in said class. Eventually they decided to make a movie, with STEVEN BAIO producing and acting.
They shot it for $100,000 and it actually did play theaters. So, congrats, guys.
The movie: Whoo. Here we go….
A nervous man with a bad toupee flits about the yard of a house with really bad graffiti MAGIC-MARKERED on the “For Lease” sign. The ingenious graffiti says: “Stay Away”.
Toupee guy is scared by a hand that touches his shoulder. And here is the best actor in the film: The stoner delivery guy.
Toupee over-acts like you wouldn’t believe when Stoner-guy explains why he’s here (to deliver the groceries for the new tenant), nearly shouting “Well don’t give them to me! Put the supplies in the kitchen!” Seriously, he acts like he’s allergic to food, or something. And the delivery guy just kinda looks around randomly.
The histrionics of the realtor and the dazed reaction of the delivery guy are unintentional comedy gold. (Nix of the future: I have to say, this is the most entertaining scene in the whole movie. The hysterics of the toupee nicely shows how much better an actor the stoner is. Perhaps they really just hired an actual burnout, but he’s Paul Newman compared to the realtor. I must have watched this 60 second exchange 20 times and laughed my ass off each and every time. I know. It’s pitiful, but once you see this film, you’ll understand why I took what little entertainment I could get.)
Now we get our plot. A young man arrives and talks with the living toupee. He’s a med student who wants to buy the abandoned place. The toupee leaves, and Med boy checks out his food products. He begins yelling and bitching about how there’s no cow heart or liver and he is promptly attacked. He’s knifed to death (very lamely, btw) and has his heart put into a bowl (and the heart is steaming!)
Start the credits, movie. And don’t forget to include a bland, yet terrible 80′s song about being overworked and needing a break, or something.
Oh, god, here come the rest of the cast. We’ve got 2 jock types, including STEVEN BAIO! These two have their shirts off, so we can admire how buff they are as they excitingly change a tire. And we also meet the “nerd”, who just so happens to be reading a copy of “Fangoria” with F13 pt5 on the cover. Yes. They went there.
After the show-stopping “finishing changing the tire” scene, STEVEN BAIO states that he has to “drain the lizard”. Did we really talk like this in the 80′s? If I’m gonna call my privates something, I doubt it would be a scaly, cold blooded creature. Anyway, he pisses on a napping biker couple (Funny! Or not.) And there’s our introduction to the future male corpses.
And here come the girls. Hey, we’ve got the sensible girl, who is brunette, of course. And the ditsy, bubbly blond. Imagine that. (She’s a med student? WTF?) Oh, and I get the feeling that the blond is NOT acting. I found myself tuning out her delivery and admiring the superior acting ability of her nipples poking through her shirt.
Oh, I forgot about the rich, snotty girl and guy. No bad horror flick would be complete without them, right? And this girl is also, blond, but as she seems to have some sort of human intelligence, she’s actually attractive. (Time-traveling Nix: It gets better. She eventually gets tied up on the bed. Oh, sorry.)
We finally get back to some good acting when we find out where the hell the delivery guy disappeared to. He’s tied to a chair in a basement. And our “mysterious” killer gets a drill and laughs. About that laugh: It doesn’t sound evil, at all. It sounds like a retarded person getting tickled. (Nix 2 Hours From Now: But any scene with the stoner-guy is 100 times better than anything else in this “movie”, so enjoy while you can!)
So, all of our wonderful characters have shown up to help…oh, yeah…Jerry, who we know has already been slaughtered. But, but..look at that! His car is still there!!!
This begins one of numerous. And I really, really mean NUMEROUS conversations that go like this:
“I wonder where Jerry is?”
“Oh, it’s a big house. We’ll run into him.”
“He probably needed supplies from town.”
“But his car is still outside.”
“He probably just decided to walk.”
or, after his car disappears
“He probably forgot something at the school.”
You get the picture.
Anyway, all the kids get ready to clean the house.
It was this sequence that made my eyes bulge, mouth drop and cigarette burn down to my fingers. They put on a very BAD 80′s song about “partying all night long” and begin to DANCE AROUND THE HOUSE WITH FEATHER-DUSTERS WHILE SMILING LIKE IDIOTS!!!! What the?? I was so stunned, I couldn’t even laugh. It included close ups of shaking butts, but it was in no way sexy (Unless you’re Bi or something.), because you couldn’t tell if said butt was male or female!!! (It was at this point that I started screaming: “Hey! Let’s talk about where Jerry could be! Please!!!!”)
What about that heart? They mistake it for a cow heart and eat it. Hope I didn’t spoil the movie for you.
So then we find out about crazy Martin who was falsely accused…blah blah blah…died in a fire, or maybe not… blah blah blah. You know the drill.
Everyone dies the most bland of deaths and the gore is minimal. There’s even a death by microwave that was incredibly ridiculous. STEVEN BAIO even tells the killer that you can’t turn on a microwave with the door open, but IT STILL WORKS!!
Oh, and the realtor has a blade shoved into his groin that actually comes out his ass. Seriously. And it’s not as funny or cool as what you’re seeing in your head.
Now, the cover says: “Friday the 13th meets The Big Chill” according to Teen Set.
The synopsis for The Big Chill at the IMDB says this: “A seminal Thirty-Something movie in which a group of old college friends who are now all grown up and hardened by the big wide world come together for the funeral of Alex, a barely glimpsed corpse, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them, and yet who never managed to achieve half as much as any of the others. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other and to speculate as to what happened to their idealism which had been abundant when they were younger.”
All I see in Evil Laugh is a bunch of bad actors talking about nothing, besides where the hell Jerry could be.
But F-13 eventually had the killer wear a mask, right? So this killer does, as well. But WTF kind of mask is it? I don’t know. It looks like a mexican wrestling mask.
And if you’re going to rip off Friday the 13th you might as well go all out and make the killer a pissed off mama! Oh, did I give the big “mystery” away? Sorry. But I’ve just saved some of you 90 minutes of your life. The burning question of who the killer is has been answered. So, if you’d like to send me the 3 bucks you would have spent on this piece of shit as thanks, I wouldn’t refuse.
The best thing was Barney. The aforementioned Fango reader. He predates Scream by telling a friend not to have sex because people that do in horror films die. That was refreshing. (Up yours, Williamson!) This movie should have just been Barney and the Stoner sitting back and watching all the “cool” kids do their thing. Meaning, walk around looking good and dying well-deserved deaths.
So, yeah. It was entertaining in a “so bad it’s good” way. But I don’t think I’d ever do it again.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Nix Says: Thanks STEVEN BAIO! Thank you so much for having shaking-butts shoved in my face.
Virus Contagion Level: 4 out of 4
Break out the beer and ridicule the shit out of this thing. Hey, you could even get up and dance along with the actors, hand out feather-dusters and wear tight, horrible 80′s shorts.