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Evil Laugh

Part Four of Teenage Wastedland

      "It NEVER makes sense! Why does the masked killer only go after Jamie Lee Curtis? Why do those kids keep going back to Crystal Lake? All I do know is we've gotta get out of here!"

-- Barney's awfully familiar notions on horror clichés   




Gonzoid Cinema




See! This is what happens when you don't allow time to cool before serving!


Watch it!



Sights &
 Wildfire Productions /
 Cinevest Entertainment

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The Official


Total Suspects :: 3

The Body Count :: 11

Death By:

Unwilling Organ Donation

Power Drill

Throat Slashed

Multiple Stab Wounds x 2

Machete Crotch Shot

Axe to the Head

Broken Neck

Multiple Gunshots

Scissors Skewering

The Most

Death Scene:

Death by Microwave Oven

And the "What

the Hell Are
You Doing in
this Movie?"
Award Goes to:

Kim McKamy a/k/a Porn Queen Ashlyn Gere


We open near a lonely adobe house on a secluded hill ... You know, I once saw an adobe Wal-Mart in Taos, New Mexico. In fact, every building in Taos was made out of adobe. But I digress, on with the film! We spy a sign in the front yard, proclaiming this adobe abode to be for sale; closer inspection shows the sign has a 'sold' snipe attached to it, and then things take an ominous turn as we decipher what's also been sloppily painted across it: a scrawled warning to stay away. Closer inspection shows the house itself has been paint-tagged with this warning, too -- several times. And when the realtor arrives, a frantic Mr. Burns (Howard Weiss) threatens to fire the house’s absent caretaker for allowing this act of vandalism. 

On the verge of closing on the property, Burns moves quickly to remove all evidence of the graffiti before the new owner shows up. A delivery boy arrives next with a load of food, who informs Burns they didn’t have some of the more exotic items -- like the bull’s heart, liver, or monkey brains -- that the new homeowner requested. Seems the buyer is a doctor, who plans on turning the old house into a clinic and shelter for abandoned and abused children. He’s also invited his girlfriend and several of his doctor and intern friends up for the weekend to whip the place into shape. Busy cleaning up, Burns tells him to just put the groceries in the kitchen and clear out. By the time Jerry (Gary Hays) arrives, Burns has removed all of the graffiti. He turns the keys over, leaving Jerry alone to explore the old house. As the soundtrack tells us there’s dirty work afoot already, Jerry enters the kitchen, where he finds those groceries left on the counter. He takes stock and goes ballistic because his exotic food order is incomplete. While he rants, someone dressed in black, wearing a pair of blue latex living gloves, sneaks up on him -- and then repeatedly stabs him in the back! Rolling the body over, the killer starts to cackle (-- and this will have you cackling, too, because the killer's evil laugh sounds just like the chain-smoking Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons). This cackling crescendos as the killer guts Jerry and deposits his internal organs into a porcelain basin by the rest of the groceries. [Making the mysteriously disappearing grocery boy Suspect #1.] And raise your hands if you see where this is going...

While brother Scott Baio was making Joannie Loves Cha-Chi, and cousin Jimmy Baio was breaking training with the Bad News Bears to pitch in the Astrodome, Steven Baio was teaming up with Dominick Brascia to make a horror movie. Fans of the Friday the 13th series will probably remember Brascia as the chubby, mentally-challenged Joey, who liked to Bogart his chocolate bars before getting chopped to pieces with an axe in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning -- the one without Jason if memory serves. And having been killed off so early in that film, Brascia must have hung around and picked up a few tips on how to make a really bad horror movie. 

Brascia and Baio initially met at an acting class, and, both being from back East, hit it off. And together, as most out of work actors are wont to do, they decided to make their own movie to star in; a comedy about two guys from Brooklyn called, wait for it, Two Guys from Brooklyn, and began hitting up their friends and family for financing. When those efforts failed to raise enough money, Brascia hit upon a familiar, Ed Woodian plan to take that seed money and invest it in cheap horror movie for the booming home video market, and then make their dream project from the expected profits. Alas, after filming began there still wasn't enough money to finish the film, but the Brascia / Baio family came through with enough completion funds and a little onset catering to boot. Also of note, while trying to scrounge completion funds, Brascia screened what footage he had for a couple of video distributors, who were so impressed they ponied up even more completion funds. 

And so, with the financing firmly set, filming began in earnest to finish the Evil Laugh as the novice filmmakers did their best to hide the fact that they really didn't know what they were doing. And this inexperience shows up pretty badly in just about every aspect of the film. However, this ineptitude would prove somewhat fortuitous as we rejoin their adventure as a drum-machine and Casio-powered travelogue tune cranks up; then a Cyndi Lauper wannabe warbles about being overworked while the credits roll. (Ah, nothing says the 1980’s like synch pop!) All the while, three men -- who we assume are some of Jerry’s guests -- make their way to the house. When a flat tire slows them down, Johnny (Steven Baio) and Mark (Myles O’Brien) fix it while the unhelpful Barney (Jerold Pearson) reads the latest issue of Fangoria magazine. (And is anyone else disturbed by how much shirtless Mark and Johnny flaunt their pecs?) Next, we get an inkling at the quality level of the script when Barney, chastised for not helping, replies "Who are you calling a dip-[expletive deleted], asshole?!?"

As a general cinematic rule of thumb, if a script contains this line -- or any other lines equivalent to -- "Who are you calling asshole, asshole?" means, baton the hatches, Boils and Ghouls, it’s gonna be a long movie.

Heading to the side of the road to relieve himself in the ditch, Johnny, clumsily fighting off every natural instinct to look where he’s draining the lizard, urinates on a biker and his old lady catching some sack time below. (Hah-hah, hilarity.) In deep doo-doo, Johnny rushes back to the car and Mark floors it, leaving the irate and soggy biker in the dust ... Also on the road to the house are Jerry’s girlfriend, Connie (Kim McKamy), and Tina (Jody Gibson). When their jeep stalls out, like any other mechanical illiterate (-- myself included), they pop open the hood and pray that just staring at the engine will somehow cause it to heal itself. When that doesn't work, Connie starts poking around the motor while Tina continues to try and start it. But it’s a no go until Tina kicks the dashboard, magically bringing the engine to life. Hey, it worked for the Fonz -- and I do believe Mr. Baio, the co-scriptwriter, is showing his sycophantic roots. Bringing up the rear and rounding out the group is the snobbish Sammy (Tony Griffin) -- we know he’s a rich snob because he’s wearing a v-neck sweater, driving a Mercedes with a built in phone, and is using it to talk to his daddy (... and we gather that daddy has him on a short leash) -- and his girlfriend, Betty (Kathryn O’Bryan), who's upset because they canceled a weekend in Palm Springs to go and clean some stupid old house. Once again, Sammy explains how he and Jerry are good friends, and he owes him a favor; besides, the house has an enormous pool, and Jerry is a first rate gourmet cook. And then we get more back-plot as Sammy tells Betty a secret about the old house -- a secret he didn't tell the others in fear it would scare them away, that, around ten years ago, a terrible murder took place there. [Plot Point!]

Meanwhile, at the house, our first suspect is tied to a chair. Circling the hapless grocery boy, we see the killer's face is covered with a mask as he rummages through a tool box. Finding what he wants, the killer produces a power drill with a wide, wood boring bit locked in place; and then the evil laugh cackles up again while he drives the drill bit into the man’s guts. (Thus eliminating him as a suspect.)

When Mark, Johnny and Barney arrive at the house, they find no one home but do here some kind of gibberish coming from somewhere (-- gibberish that sounds like a Jawa in heat). You can almost make it out as a warning, to get away, and something about children, when they trace the sound to a closet. They open the door and *gasp* -- find it empty. Finding an air vent in the back of it, Mark thinks maybe some kind of breeze caused the noise. But Barney thinks the house is haunted and goes all paranoid. Then, Mr. Burns pops up out of nowhere and scares them. (And where's he been?) The realtor scoffs at the claim of phantom voices, saying his cousin heard voices and is now committed. [Mysterious disappearance and family history of mental illness? Aha! Suspect #2.] As he leaves, when the others ask where Jerry is, Burns claims he hasn’t seen him since the first arrival; it’s a big house, the realtor assures, so he’s bound to be around somewhere.

Outside, Burns runs into Connie and Tina and introduces himself and his wife, Sadie (Susan Grant), who anxiously waits in their car. Sadie can’t believe he would even set foot in that evil house, and the sooner they vacate the premises the better. Inside, Johnny tries to calm Barney down, telling him about the pool and how they can all go swimming later. When Mark says he has every intention of getting Tina naked and in the sack, Barney, aware that their situation is starting to resemble a horror movie, hopes Jason Voorhees doesn’t show up and kill them all and is promptly told to pinch that kinda talk off. With Jerry absent, Connie thanks them all for coming. The others aren’t very receptive when they realize the unlikable Sammy is coming, too, but all promise to keep the peace just as the culprit in question shows up.

The first order of business is room assignments, and so Connie shows them all to their quarters for the weekend. Jerry is still a no show but his car is in the driveway, which is a consternation to all. Assured that Burns saw him earlier, Connie calls the realtor anyway to see if Jerry told him where he might be going. But the ever surly Burns still insists it’s a big chunk of real estate and Jerry is probably just wandering in the woods nearby. Remarkably unconcerned, Connie gathers the troops and reiterates Jerry’s plans to convert the house into a shelter. And with a little elbow grease, they can get it whipped into shape in no time. With that, they start cleaning -- and not just any kind of cleaning, but an '80s Synch-Pop power-ballad cleaning!!! Gah! Inspired by Connie’s pep talk, Mark cranks up his boom-box, causing men in short shorts to do disturbing things with brooms and dusters as a mind-numbing montage of sweeping and sliding down banisters follows. And when they’re not cleaning, they’re dancing with an abandoned glee. (I shudder just thinking about it.) Uninspired, Barney retires to the kitchen, comments on how fresh the meat is, and starts cooking while the others merrily clean. Then, while cleaning around the fireplace, Mark finds a cassette tape wrapped in plastic, kills the music, and pops it into his player. This brings everybody together, complaining about the lack of tunes. Even Barney comes from the kitchen, asking where Jerry went because his car just roared off. Confused, they all head outside just as the mystery tape queues up: a distressed voice screams that all the children are dead, and to get out of the house, pronto; but alas, no one is there to hear these warnings.

Night falls, and after a hard day of musical montage cleaning, the crew relaxes throughout the house. Johnny heads to the kitchen, looking for Barney, but he isn't there. We cut to a bedroom and spy a large knife cutting through the mattress from underneath the bed. Quickly, the hand and knife withdraw before the door opens and Mark and Tina spill into the bedroom. Tina, wanting to find out if what they say about urologists is true, tells Mark to strip down, promising she'll take care of the rest. (It's t'woo! It's t'woo!) When they go for a roll on the sheets, he winds up on top, and, as they start smooching and fondling, unknown to them, another hand emerges from underneath the bed, through the hole, and joins in on the groping by fondling Mark’s butt -- much to his delight, until Tina says it's not her doing it. Then who’s touching his butt? (The killer? I don’t think so.) They both jump out of bed with a scream, bringing everyone else busting into the room to see Barney come out from under the bed -- cackling away. He apologizes to Mark, saying he was aiming for Tina.

I’d call the horror movie nut a suspect, but he was with the other two while the first murder took place. So he’s in the clear, which makes him Red Herring #1.

When dinner is served, Barney apologizes; he isn’t as good a cook as Jerry, but he did his best with what he had. As they all compliment him on the liver (-- yes ... they’re eating Jerry’s liver. Icky, icky, icky!), between bites, Sammy announces his father pulled some strings and got him a prestigious internship at some high-ranking hospital. This really upsets Johnny because, due to a lack of money, he had to drop his dream of being a doctor and is now a lowly X-Ray technician. Sammy knows this, and, being a prick, constantly tweaks Johnny over it; and as their barbing grows more belligerent it gets to the point where Sammy asks Johnny to step outside to settle it once and for all. But Connie steps in and makes peace; and the situation is further diffused when Mark compliments Barney on the fine potatoes he's been gorging on -- but they aren't potatoes; they're Rocky Mountain Oysters. Mark still doesn’t get it until Betty whispers the Oysters true origins into his ear, and then proceeds to spit his last bite back out. 

Hah-hah! Testicle humor! Wait. Maybe a couple of them were Jerry's. Bleauuuurrrgh! Icky! Icky! ICKY!

Suddenly, their lively meal is interrupted by an abrupt knock at the door. It’s the Sheriff, and he’s out looking for the missing grocery boy. Told they haven’t seen him, and after looking around for a few silent moments, Sheriff Cash (Hal Shafer) cackles a bit before declaring he never thought he’d set foot in this sinister house again. With that, after Cash leaves, Barney really goes paranoid bonkers, demanding to know why everyone’s being so cryptic about this place. Telling him to calm down, Connie promises that after they finish dinner she'll reveal the sordid history of the house ... Meanwhile, outside, Cash radios Fred, his deputy. Now Freddie (Johnny Vance) definitely went to the Barney Fife Academy of Police Training and is stationed up on the hill with a pair of binoculars to watch the house. He promises to keep an eye on those pesky kids, and, if they start smoking pot, he’ll bust them all. But Cash tells him to leave them alone and to just keep and eye out for the house’s old caretaker -- who they want to question about something. [Nope... They want you to think that the caretaker is Suspect #3 but we're getting too smart for that; so we'll call him Red Herring #2.] As Freddie roger-wilco’s that order he trains his binoculars on the Sheriff’s patrol car and asks Cash who is in there with him. Alas, Freddie's report that someone’s in the backseat of the car comes too late; and when he hears Cash gurgling over the radio our boy springs into action! Racing to the car, he finds Cash, dead, with a slashed throat. In turn, he's grabbed from behind, spun around, and is stabbed repeatedly.

Inside, blissfully unaware of the massacre in the driveway, Connie has gathered everyone together to give them the history of the house. Since Sammy already knows the story, he and Betty retreat upstairs for a promised "spanking." (Uh-oh, I think this is going to start getting kinky.) Finding the hot water is out, the indignant Sammy calls up that no good real estate agent. At Burn’s house, he and Sadie are in bed but she refuses his pitiful advances. And as she claims her first husband never begged for sex [Plot point: Who’s this first husband?], the phone rings. Answering, when Burns promises to take care of the hot water in the morning, Sammy demands action immediately. Grumbling about firing the as of yet unseen caretaker, Burns gets dressed. But before he leaves, Sadie warns him to be careful because the house is evil.

Back at the very same "evil" house, Connie confesses that ten years ago, the house used to be an orphanage. And when the owners hired a teenager named Martin to help out, Martin wound up being so cruel and nasty to the kids several of them conspired to accuse him of molesting them. Martin was arrested on those charges but was later acquitted at trial. During the trial, though, his father hung himself in shame. After the verdict, Martin snapped, returned to the orphanage and killed all the kids and then torched the place. And since his body was never found, it’s been said that "Mad Martin" still roams the woods around the house, killing whoever comes near. 

Making Mad Martin, who may or may not be the caretaker, or Burns, our Suspect #3.

When Connie finishes, that’s enough for Barney, who announces he’s leaving ASAP. But the others aren’t so sure, allowing Connie to rally the troops to stay and help her and Jerry make something good out of something evil. It works. Everybody decides to stay -- except Barney, but no one will give him a ride into town. And I think they’d all leave if they knew a cackling, rogue POV-cam was stalking them right outside the window! 

With Barney reduced to a nervous wreck, Johnny offers they're all going swimming later and invites his nervous pal to come along to get his mind off things. But Barney’s convinced the only way he’ll survive the night is to get the hell out of there. He wants to ask Sammy for a ride but Johnny says to leave them alone because they’re probably already asleep. But Sammy and Betty are far from sleeping: they're playing bondage games upstairs. Already tied to the bed, when Betty laughs at her beau's S&M outfit, he gags her. He then brings out a can of whipped cream but it quickly spurts empty. Cursing his luck, he tells her not to go anywhere (-- Hah-Hah! Bondage joke!), 'cuz there’s more whipped cream in the kitchen. On the way he runs into Barney, who begs for that ride until he notices Sammy's get-up and grows even more paranoid, warning him not to have sex or he'll be killed -- just like in the movies. As he raves, Sammy believes Barney has finally lost it -- but the guy is asking some pretty logical questions: Where’s Jerry? And the delivery boy? Convinced they’re both already dead, Barney warns they’ll all be dead if they don’t get out of there. But Sammy brushes him off, saying he’s seen one too many horror movies, and moves on into the kitchen, where Johnny and Mark are making plans for the pool party. Ignoring their "compliments" on his outfit, whipped cream in hand, Sammy heads back to Betty -- where, unknown to him, the cackling killer has already entered the room, but, due to the gag, Betty can't warn him or scream for help.

Back in the kitchen, Mark tells Johnny he should go after Connie but his friend is reluctant. He likes Connie alright, but she’s Jerry’s girl, right? Well, maybe. And with a little prodding and coaching from Mark, Johnny’s willing to try and woo her away. Then, Mark says Connie goes nuts for a man with a good body, who rubs himself seductively (Uh... okay...), and convinces his gullible friend to test this theory at the pool. Meanwhile, Sammy has returned to Betty, who screams through her gag, but he can’t make out what she’s saying until it’s too late; the killer comes out of the closet and takes a machete to Sammy, covering Betty in his gore. (We cut away but I’m going to assume the killer dispatches Betty, too.) Several rooms away (-- and out of earshot?), as Connie and Tina work in the old nursery, Connie goes into all kinds of morbid details on how Mad Martin slit the throats of all the babies in the ward -- one even had its tongue cut out. [Again... I think we’re supposed to consider her a suspect but it’s impossible that she did it, so Connie is Red Herring #3.] Downstairs, Barney, armed with a baseball bat (-- ya know, I’m really starting to like Barney), cautiously answers the door. It's only Burns, come to fix the hot water problem, and Barney is relieved when the realtor agrees to give him a lift back to town after he’s done. Heading to the basement, Burns starts tinkering around with the furnace. (Hey, Einstein? The hot-water-heater is over there in the other corner.) Outside, around the pool, Mark pulls Connie aside and asks her to check on Johnny. Claiming his friend has a skin rash, and is too embarrassed to ask for help (-- that sneaky little matchmaker), Connie falls for this and agrees to examine him more closely. In the basement, Burns appears to have fixed the problem, when suddenly, the lights mysteriously go out. After turning on his flashlight, Burns quickly realizes he’s not alone down there. From out of the darkness, when the killer appears and takes off his mask, Burns recognizes whoever it is, but then takes a machete in the crotch that skewers him all the way through and comes out between his buttocks!

Out at the pool, Mark encourages Johnny to make his move and reminds him to stroke himself. Approaching Connie, rubbing his chest vigorously, he mistakes her close examination for a rash as being turned on. And when she invites him up to her room because she has something for him (-- some ointment), Johnny mistakes it as an invitation for some bed activity and can’t believe his luck. When they head inside, Barney tells them he’s hitching a ride with Burns and apologizes to Connie for his cowardice. (Where’s your baseball bat son? Didn’t those horror movies teach you anything? Stay armed!) Outside, Mark (-- who is turning into an A-1 creep --) finally convinces the suddenly chaste Tina to jump into the sack with him again. Eventually, she agrees -- but only if he promises to check under the bed first. (And the myth of blue balls is just myth people.)

Back inside, and heading into the darkened basement to see what’s taking Burns so long (-- again, son, where is your bat?), Barney's quickly back in full panic mode when all he finds is Burns’ hairpiece. Suddenly, the killer pops out of the shadows, runs by him, up the stairs, and locks Barney in the basement.

I assume he didn't kill Barney because he couldn’t get his machete dislodged from Burns? Also, you should know by now, through process of elimination, who the killer really is. Have you figured it out yet?

Upstairs, Johnny gleefully rubs his pecs while Connie roots around for some ointment. Signals skewered, when he tries to kiss her, she quickly pulls away. She's very upset, but they quickly figure out that Mark has set them up. Speaking of Mark ... He and Tina have retired to the bedroom and are going at it hard until Tina stops him, saying he forgot to check under the bed. Mark pitches a fit, but she’s adamant. So, he makes a big production out of it but there’s no one under there. He then pulls the window curtains back, and without even looking, proclaims no one's out there, either. Next, he moves on to the closet, opens the door and, without looking again, is about to say no one’s in there, either, when the killer comes out and plants an axe in his head. Thinking it's Barney playing another morbid trick ( -- and that was some trick with the axe), she asks the killer if she's supposed to be scared. And is she supposed to die next? Fine, she’ll play the part and mocks in protest while the killer closes in and grabs her by the throat. And as Tina continues with the fake choking noises, until the killer breaks her neck, that final look on her face, I believe, is genuine surprise.

Back in Connie’s room, she tells the mortified Johnny it’s OK what he did; they were both duped. But Johnny is really embarrassed and beats a hasty retreat. Heading downstairs and into the kitchen, Johnny runs right into the killer. He, too, makes the mistake of thinking it’s Barney and gets cold-conked with a hammer. The killer then ties him up and -- get this -- drags him over to a microwave oven that's sitting on the floor. Sticking the victim's head into the machine, over Johnny's protests, the killer sets it to cook on High for about ten minutes and hits start. (With the door open? Will that even work?) As his brain slowly cooks, Johnny starts flashbacking to his childhood until his head explodes.

Couple that with the fact that his voice gets higher and higher as he’s being cooked alive, and that scene is as goofy as it sounds and will have you spitting beer out your nose.

The only two people left alive -- three if you include the killer, and you really should know who it is by now -- hear Johnny’s head go pop and the microwave chime. Barney’s still locked in the basement, but Connie is free to investigate. And as we get the final girl’s tour of the carnage, her hysteria grows as she bounces from room to room filled with gore -- but no bodies. Managing to get to the phone, she calls the Sheriff and tells him to get there pronto because Mad Martin is back and running amok. (Waitaminute. Isn’t the Sheriff dead already?) Then suddenly, the line goes dead. Unfazed, Connie opens a drawer and produces a .357 Magnum! Checking the chamber, she’s loaded for bear, and then Connie cautiously enters the kitchen, finds the smoking and bloody microwave, but Johnny’s body is gone. Following the blood trail to the basement door, she opens it and peers into the darkness. Where’d Barney go? (No, he’s not the killer. We saw him still locked in the basement while Johnny was being microwaved.) Pressing on, she gets to the bottom of the steps, turns the lights on, but the basement is empty -- except for several large tarps over in the corner. 

Pulling back the first tarp back, revealing several bodies, including Jerry, Connie then hears a familiar cackle behind her. Turning to face the killer, Connie watches, frozen, as he closes the gap between them. [Uhm ... Ma'am? You have a gun in your hand! It’s a .357 Magnum; the deadliest handgun ever invented! It could blow the killer's head clean off! Use it you ninny!] Snapping out of it, she raises the gun and puts two slugs into the killer. (Thank you.) The killer falls to the floor, but quickly recovers and manages to knock the gun out of Connie’s hand. (You dope. I told you to shoot him in the head.) Pulling out a knife, the wounded killer backs Connie into a corner before finally removing the mask, revealing that the killer is none other than -- all together now -- Sadie!

Sadie? The realtor's wife? Really? Sure it’s Sadie, she’s the only one left. Relax ... let her explain.

Sadie reveals she was Mad Martin’s mother. Remember? She said Burns was her second husband. This also might explain why she stabbed Burns in the crotch. Anyways ... She also reveals it was she, not Martin, who killed all those kids the first time. Not wanting anyone in the house where her son was brought to shame, that's why she had to kill all the others. Now, as Psycho Sadie closes in for the final kill -- wait! Who's that climbing out from underneath the other tarp? It's Barney! (Yeah, Barney!) Picking up the gun he puts two more bullets into Sadie, who finally falls dead. The killer revealed and vanquished, Connie runs to him and he consoles her: like in all horror movies, Barney knew if he pretended to already be dead, the killer would eventually reveal themselves to the final victim and then he’d spring into action. Hearing sirens approaching fast, the survivors rush upstairs. After they're gone, we do a slow pan back to Sadie -- and her eyes pop open! She lifts her head and starts cackling again, but it's her last laugh as she immediately falls back dead. For good.

And I’ll say it right now: the movie should have ended right here. But no, they had to tack on a really stupid ending. So take my advice and stop the DVD / tape right now. No? Fine...

Some time later, Connie finishes a shower. On the radio, a couple of DJ's inform that it's been almost a week since the mass murder spree at the old orphanage. And as the Morning Zoo Crew have fun talking about the grisly nature of the killings, including how some of the bodies were eaten, Connie dries off. There's knock at the door, and when she opens it up, expecting Barney, she instead comes face to face with the masked killer! When Connie screams and retreats back into the apartment, the killer stalks her all the way back to the bathroom; but when he stabs her, nothing happens; the knife is a fake. Then, the attacker takes off the mask; it's Barney. He leaves the bathroom, laughing at his own sick little joke; but Connie spies some scissors on the counter, and the look on her face tells us she definitely isn't joking. Snatching the scissors, the screen goes black as we hear Barney scream as he's stabbed to death. 

The End

Shot and slapped together in just nine days, Evil Laugh's budget is lacking but the amateur filmmakers were amazingly up to the task to cover up that fact. A lot of carnage is implied but seldom scene. The deaths were gruesome but not very graphic. And they saved money on the gore F/X with some quick editing and turning on the fake blood fountain to full blast -- often with hilarious results. And it is funny, but as the genre was dying out, the deaths started to get more and more creative to keep the audiences interested. Each successive film had to have a bigger and bloodier body count. Most of these latter efforts had the standard death by sharp objects, but held its trump card for the last victim: a death that was so over the top that it would be the only thing the audience would remember. Johnny’s death by microwave is one heck of a trump card, and it was the only thing I really remembered about the movie after I saw it many a year ago. And that gonzoidal death is why you’re reading about it here.

The aligned distributor was also impressed with their finished product, and, after a few mandated additions, Evil Laugh even garnered itself a limited theatrical release, which was a big deal at the time. Most films in this genre by 1986 went straight to video. Even the bigger franchises, like Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween, and even Friday the 13th, were running out of gas and favor with their respective studios; the end of the Stalk 'n' Slash was near. And by the time Evil Laugh came out, the genre had run its course and was starting to fall into parody. It didn’t matter whodunit, but howtheydunit, how many they dunit to, and, most importantly, with what unique gardening implement.

The script tries hard to throw you off the trail of the real killer, but it has a bad habit of killing off suspects as soon as they’re introduced! There are a lot of red herrings, but unless this is a Chandler novel, where the killer is killed by someone, who is then killed by someone else etc., then it’s obvious that Sadie has to be the killer because she’s the only one we've met who wasn't dead or accounted for, making the deduction rather simple.

...Waitasecond? A slasher movie with multiple slashers who keep bumping each other off with only one innocent bystander in the whole bunch? Someone get my agent on the line!

But the script doesn’t bog down and chew itself up like House of Death did. Brascia and Baio were smart enough to keep the murder and mayhem coming by introducing ancillary characters to keep the audience interested until the final blood bath starts. This movie should also put to rest any doubts some people have on where Kevin Williamson got all his "original ideas" for his Stalk 'n' Slash revival. Again, I like Scream a lot, but it’s hardly original; just a well done homage. Barney’s rants and being aware of the horror clichés sound an awful lot like Randy’s speech on the rules of surviving a horror movie. (And Tina's death scene is stolen almost verbatim by Rose McGowan's character.) But no one listened to Barney, either, and see what happened? I actually cheered when Barney crawled out and off'd the killer, waiting for her to reveal herself, as he knows she will, beating Sadie at her own game. But then they had to stick on that stoopid ending, which, according to Brascia, was one of those additions the distributor demanded that didn't make a whole lot of sense.

One funny note on the cast: Kim McKamy used a body double for her nude shower scene. Why is this a funny note? Well, McKamy adopted the stage name Ashlyn Gere and went on to quite a career in the hardcore porn market. So at some point, she lost her bashfulness for starring roles in Sorority Sex Kittens 3, Aroused 2 and the unforgettable Stripper Wives. Also of note, co-star Jody Gibson stepped up to the fill the void as the new Hollywood Madam when Heidi Fleiss got busted. 

So, in the end, Brascia and Baio have a nice little parody on the Stalk 'n' Slash genre. But this question remains: Was this what they had originally intended? Or was this some kind of divine cinematic accident? Regardless of the answer, Evil Laugh should be tracked down and watched for it marks a distinct change in the genre. The fright was out and the laughs were in. It's the Stalk 'n' Slash’s last hurrah, but the genre's first -- forgive me -- guffaw.

Evil Laugh (1986) Baio-Brascia-Venokur Productions :: Wildfire Productions :: Cinevest Entertainment Group / EP: Arthur Schweitzer, Krishna Shah / P: Johnny Venocur, Steven Baio, Dominick Brascia / D: Dominick Brascia / W: Steven Baio, Dominick Brascia / C: Stephen Sealy / E: Brion McIntosh, Michael Scott / M: David Shapiro / S: Kim McKamy, Steven Baio, Tony Griffin, Jody Gibson, Jerold Pearson, Susan Grant

And the Body Count Continues...

More Teenaged Wastedland.

Originally Posted: 03/04/02 :: Rehashed: 08/31/2010

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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