Director – Dominick Brascia
Cast – Ashlyn Gere, Steven Baio, Tony Griffin, Jody Gibson, Jerold Pearson, Myles O’Brien, Howard Weiss, Karyn O’Bryan, Susan Grant, Gary Hays, Hal Shafer
Release Year – 1988
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I had never heard of Evil Laugh until I read about it while searching cheezy 80s slasher flicks, and after reading the storyline and coming across a review referring to it as “so bad it’s good” fun, I HAD to watch this one, and I am glad that I did. The budget is low, and the acting is bad, but the gore and fun elements reign supreme in this lesser-known late 80s slasher effort, making for an enjoyable experience if you watch with the necessary mindset of gore and cheeze first, everything else later.
10 years after a series of heinous child murders took place over accusations of child molestation, a group of medical students agree to help a friend of theirs turn the home into a day care center. Soon after their arrival they begin to suffer gruesome deaths one by one, bringing them face to face with a vengeful killer bent on making sure no one leaves the home alive.
Fans of uber cheezy 80s slashers should find this one as enjoyable as I did. The storyline is nothing original, although the child murders and child molestation added to the horror given their taboo status. Things get going pretty quickly, with an awesome and hilarious introduction giving the viewer a glimpse of the cheezy, gory horror that will soon infect the screen. Once the medical students make their way into the home, from then on out it is nothing but stalk and kill for the rest of the film, making this a truly simple effort allowing you to turn your brain off and enjoy the goods. We are given quite a few characters, which naturally makes for a heavy dose of deaths and kill sequences, which is definitely the film’s highest selling point. I enjoyed the deaths and found most of them to be of a comical variety, which only added to my enjoyment given the great gore I was exposed to as well. As you can expect, the dialogue is bad, and the story comes with numerous faults, namely bad pacing at times, but for what it is I enjoyed the story and found that it gave me enough of what I wanted.
Director Dominick Brascia, who portrayed Joey the jokester in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, ensured Evil Laugh to be one of the cheeziest slasher flicks I have ever seen, and I love him for that. From the get-go his execution favors the cheezy end of things, with bad acting and shoddy camerawork(editing mainly), but he adds a level of fun that I found very much enjoyable, and added the forgiving feeling I needed to see this as a “so bad it’s good” film instead of a “so bad it’s bad” one. His execution of the kills sequences is awesome as he takes his sweet time setting up the kill, and then delivers gory goodness in awesome full-frontal fashion, with only a few of them coming as off-camera kills. Along with these kills come scenes of gratuitous nudity, which adds a nice level of sleaze to the flick that I did not expect but gladly accepted. The name Evil Laugh is not merely the title of the film, but the calling card for the film’s awesome killer, who not only came donning a mask and nice hacking skills but delivered a truly evil and creepy laugh from none other than Dominick Brascia himself. If you thought “The Laugh”’s laugh in Amusement was creepy, wait till you hear the awesomeness that is Dominick Brascia delivering the goods.
Overall, Evil Laugh is a truly enjoyable cheezy 80s slasher film that despite numerous writing and direction faults gives us a fun and gory slasher experience. If you go into this with the right mindset and knowing what to expect then I am assured you will enjoy this one as I did, making this a recommended watch for fans of cheezy slashers.