mike macabre

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The Last Laugh

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

When you think about it, Slashers have been around for more than half a century! Influences of Slasher movies like the giallo films, 60’s classics Psycho and Peeping Tom etc. paved the way for the subgenre we know today. In that time, we’ve seen it all; wide varieties of masks/disguises, every motive imaginable, the twists and turns and urban legends brought to life. It’s pretty much impossible to make a Slasher these days without incorporating one or more countless stereotypes that we’ve come to know and love. Fortunately, this doesn’t deter new, upcoming filmmakers. Jeremy Berg is the latest director to give us a Slasher offering with his latest flick The Last Laugh.

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 theatre where he’s about to perform his biggest show

Starring Steve Vanderzee, Eric Stone, Lowell Deo, Angela DiMarco and Meranda Long.

The Last Laugh

Review

The movie started out fairly well. Myles (Vanderzee) is clearly a struggling comedian. Stood on stage, he goes through his repertoire to a near-empty venue with barely a snigger from the audience. His manager then informs him of a make or break gig in the Pantages Theare. His act will be the undercard to popular comedian Reggie Ray (Deo). Throughout the movie we see flashbacks of Myles’ wife who has died; a strong indicator of his poor, recent performance. However, before Myles takes to the stage, people start getting murdered by a masked killer. With the bodies piling up, will the hapless comedian live to see the curtain rise? You’ll have to watch to find out!

There are really only two locations in The Last Laugh (the bar and the theatre) but Berg makes it work. The theatre is more like a labyrinth with twists, turns and dead ends. The perfect location if you want to start slicing and dicing folk. The whole theatrical concept isn’t lost either. Despite the same method of murder (for the majority), the humble knife doesn’t get old with some creative kills along the way.

The Last Laugh

Acting

The characters are hit and miss. Vanderzee does a good job portraying the struggling comedian and his afflictions with mental health. Yet, the character isn’t really likeable. In fact, besides Bethany (Long) and Andy (Marcus Leppard) most of the characters aren’t likeable at all! This kind of takes away the fun of a Slasher. You’re not really rooting for anyone, just waiting for them all to die. However, having said that, there are a fair few kills so you won’t be disappointed on that front.

Speaking of kills, the acting could’ve been a bit better with those. I mean, when you get stabbed it HURTS! Yet, there seems to be a reluctance with some of the actors to scream, cry out or even whimper. Not all of them, but enough to raise eyebrows. We also don’t get much character development, which is a shame as there’s potential there for pretty much every role.

The entire movie has a bit of a Scooby Doo feel. The whole ‘whodunnit’ theme starts from the outset and as more and more people are killed, the list of suspects starts to dwindle. I was half expecting the killer to be caught in an elaborate trap, then being demasked to reveal the butler or something. However, the ending doesn’t quite play out that way…

Check out the trailer for The Last Laugh below

Conclusion

Overall, it’s not a bad flick. There are a lot of stabby murders, some decent effects and a sinister score that’s played throughout. Perhaps the deaths could have been a bit more convincing and maybe the character storylines explored a bit more. But, in my opinion, the big issue is the Marmite ending. You’re either going to love it or hate it. For me, I wasn’t a fan. But then again I was waiting for the butler to be demasked…

What do you think of the The Last Laugh? Like the sound of it? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

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Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

Anyone who knows me will testify to my love of the 80’s. The camp, cheesy effects and the synth-tastic soundtracks just give me a buzz. I mean, after watching indie fave Knock Knock I was riding the nostalgia train for weeks! 80’s cheese AND comedy? I’ll take that all day long. Imagine my delight when I discovered Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers had all of that AND more!

The horror/comedy, starring Ryan Barton-Grimley, Ari Schneider, Jana Savage, and Richard Gayler, is currently making its world premiere at the Dances with Films film festival in Los Angeles. But, we got a sneak peek of the flick and let me tell you – Festival-goers will NOT be disappointed!

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers

Synopsis

Philip “HAWK” Hawkins doesn’t just dream about killing vampires… He eats, sleeps, drinks and freakin’ breaths it. After getting kicked out of the Army for staking a fellow soldier with a blunt two by four, Hawk almost dies of boredom. He’s working as a night security guard at a deserted warehouse in his hometown of Santa Muerte, California… USA. Just when it looks like all Hawk’s options in life have expired, filthy blood-sucking vampires appear and of course… Nobody freakin’ believes him! With his back up against the wall, his sweaty Karate Kid headband tied on tight, real tight, and hordes of blood-thirsty vampires closing in, Hawk enlists the help of the one person who kind of believes him… Revson “REV” McCabe, a dimwitted, vegan-pacifist groundskeeper. Together they join forces to save the whole entire freakin’ world. Well… At least their hometown anyway.

Quote

Grimley, who is also the Writer/Director, had this to say;

“So why the heck did I make my film Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers? Honestly… The world is just so serious. It’s exhausting being tapped into media and technology 24 hours a day. It’s really intense how many issues are happening around the world. There are so many problems everywhere and I was looking for an escape… I was looking for a laugh and something heartfelt. I was looking for some much-needed levity and humor and I was looking for a break.

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers is quite simply a love-letter to my childhood and a more innocent and clueless time when everything seemed possible and like it would turn out okay. It’s a love letter to goofy weirdos with big dreams and ridiculous ideas. It’s just plain old fashioned escapism. Sure, there are themes and morals and critiques of the 80’s, specifically toxic masculinity and homophobia in there too, but at the end of the day, I really just hope you enjoy the ride and leave with a nice heartfelt feeling and the knowledge that maybe… just maybe… we’ll all be okay. “

Review

Dumb and Dumber meets Van Helsing in this hilarious 80’s throwback!

So, let’s just come out and say it. This movie is ridiculous, corny and I absolutely loved it! There wasn’t a single scene that allowed my attention to wane. From hilarious dialogue, slapstick comedy and a whole load of OTT gore. This movie had it all. The acting was superb with each character bringing their own individual comedy element to the scene.

One of the best things about this movie is it doesn’t take itself seriously… at all! CGI gore and bad prosthetics were used in abundance with the hilarious results just adding to the comedic aesthetic. Now, I know for sure it’s not going to be to everyone’s tastes, thus is the diversity of humour. However, if you like goofball comedy, wacky storylines, hilarious actors with great supporting characters (I’m looking at you, Terry!) then this is the movie for you.

Check out the trailer here!


HAWK AND REV : VAMPIRE SLAYERS will be the ‘midnight movie’ on the opening and closing night of the festival, playing August 28 and September 5.

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