Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 6 Trailers For The Fourth Tuesday In October


Halloween City by Karl Pfieffer

Since today is Pumpkin Day (yes, they get their own day!), it only makes sense that today’s edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse trailers should feature just that!

Without further ado, here are today’s pumpkin-centered trailers!  Happy Pumpkin Day, everyone!

  1. Pumpkinhead (1988)

Hey, I reviewed this movie earlier this month!  The monster’s impressive, though I wish his head was a bit more pumpkin-like.  This movie gave Lance Henriksen a rare starring role and we will always be thankful.  Lance is the best!

2. Pumpkinhead II (1994)

Eventually, Pumpkinhead returned.  Consider this proof that you can’t keep a good pumpkin down.

3. Pumpkinhead 3 (2006)

After the first sequel, Pumpkinhead took a 12-year hiatus from appearing in the movies.  It’s rumored that he blew all of his money on cocaine and it was either make a third movie or go to jail for tax fraud.  For whatever reason, he eventually returned in yet another sequel.

4. Pumpkinhead 4 (2007)

To date, this has been the final Pumpinhead movie. Hopefully, Pumpkinhead is doing a better job managing his money and his lifestyle now and he won’t be forced to do a Pumpkinhead 5 just to pay the rent.

5. Pumpkins (2019)

Just when I was getting worried that I might have been too hasty when I decided to devote this edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse Trailers to movies about pumpkins, I discovered that there literally is a movie called Pumpkins. And here’s the trailer!

6. Trick ‘r’ Treat (2009)

Hey, that kid is dressed like a pumpkin …. kind of. And there are pumpkins in the trailer so, a far as I’m concerned, close enough!

What do you think, Pumpkin Trailer Kitty?

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Mulberry Street (dir by Jim Mickle)


Rats are the freaking worst, aren’t they?

Seriously, I can see the good in almost all of the creatures of the world but I hate rats and I hate cockroaches and I hate both of them for the exact same reason. They’re just so dirty! I mean, they are two of the filthiest animals on the planet. Look up the source of any plague that nearly wiped out humanity in the pre-modern era and rats are somehow going to be to blame. I’m very proud to say that there has never been a single rat or a mouse in any home in which I’ve ever lived. (When I was in college, however, I did once see a mouse running from classroom to classroom. Consider that. I keep my home cleaner than the average college.)

Mulberry Street is a horror film from 2006 that gives us an entirely new reason to dislike rats. Not only do they spread the Bubonic Plague but they also turn people into human/rat/zombie hybrids! At least, that’s what happens in this film. Set in New York City during one very long and very hot summer day, Mulberry Street imagines a world in which the rats get tired of hiding in the subways and they finally take over Manhattan. People are bitten. People are transformed into humanoid rats. People go crazy and attempt to infect other people. It get wild out there. They say you can see anything in New York and apparently, you can. Unfortunately, the cost of seeing is turning into a rat. That kind of sucks.

Casey (Kim Blair) has just returned from serving her country in Iraq and she would rather not be turned into a rat. Her father, Clutch (Nick Damici), is an ex-boxer and he would also rather not turn into a rat. In a world dominated by rats, what are the ratphobic to do? Clutch, Casey, and a handful of others barricade themselves inside their apartments and they try to survive the night while the rats scratch at the door.

Yes, Mulberry Street is yet another zombie film. I mean, they may be rat hybrids as opposed to being the undead but, in the end, they might as well be a zombies. However, Mulberry Street works better than the average zombie film because it was shot guerilla-style on the streets of New York City. There’s a raw authenticity to Mulberry Street, with its jittery camerawork and it’s cast of talented but unknown actors. The threat feels real. The struggle to survive feels real. The fears feels real. At no point are you confident that Casey, Clutch , and their friends are going to survive the night. Mulberry Street feels as real as any film featuring human/rat hybrids can. Even before the rats attack, Mulberry Street presents us with a New York that feels sick and dying. In the end, the rats are just the next logical step. The city has devolved to such an extent that an attack of zombie rats feels predestined.

Mulberry Street was well-directed by Jim Mickle. Mickle would go on to direct Cold in July, one of the best modern noirs to be released over the past few years. Be sure to check out both films.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Parents (dir by Bob Balaban)


An odd little film, 1989’s Parents is.

It takes place in the 50s of the pop cultural imagination, with neatly laid out suburban neighborhoods and perfectly mowed lawns and big cars driving down the street.  Nick (Randy Quaid) and Lily (Mary Beth Hurt) seem like the perfect couple.  Lily stays at home and spends a lot of time in the kitchen.  Nick is an engineer who works for a company called Toxico and who is helping to develop what will become known, during the Vietnam War, as Agent Orange.  Nick and Lily are friendly, well-mannered, and they love to eat meat.  Lily explains, at one point, that she didn’t really love to eat meat until she married Nick and he showed her how wonderful it could be.

Their son, ten year-old Michael (Bryan Madorsky), is a bit less conventional.  He’s a quiet boy who never smiles and who, when asked to draw a picture of his family, freaks out his school’s guidance counselor (played by Sandy Dennis).  Michael has frequent nightmares.  Michael doesn’t like to eat meat and, in fact, it’s hard to think of a single scene in the movie where Michael is seen eating anything.  Michael is haunted by the sight of his parents making love in the living room.  He’s also haunted by a growing suspicion that his parents are cannibals.

Are they?  Perhaps.  It’s hard to say.  The first time you watch the movie, it seems deceptively obvious that Nick and Lily are exactly what Michael says they are.  The second time, you start to notice a few odd things.  For one thing, we never see Michael actually going from one location to another.  Instead, he just seems to magically show up wherever he needs to be to hear something that will confirm his suspicions.  When his teacher and his guidance counselor discuss his home life, Michael just happens to be in a nearby closet.  When his mother is preparing something that looks like it might be a human organ, Michael just happens to be standing in the pantry.  Are we seeing reality or are we just seeing what Michael thinks is reality?  When Nick starts to threaten Michael and later claims that there’s no way Michael is his son, is he really saying that or is Michael just imagining his fatherr confirming all of Michael’s insecurities?  How much of the film is real and how much of it is in Michael’s head?

It’s an odd film, Parents.  It’s also the directorial debut of character actor Bob Balaban.  Balaban has spent the majority of his career playing shy, slightly repressed characters.  Parents, with the withdrawn Michael as the main character, is a film that feels autobiographical.  That’s not to say that Balaban’s parents were cannibals but the scenes where Nick goes from being a loving father to an abusive monster are too intense and suffused with too much pain for them to be anything other than personal.  Balaban’s direction is heavily stylized.  At times, it’s a bit too stylized but ultimately, it works.  The final 30 minutes of the film feel like a nightmare that has somehow been filmed.

A satire of conformity and suburbia, Parents is also a portrait of an alienated child struggling to figure out where he fits into his family.  He’s given the choice of either indulging in his family’s sins or living life alone.  Except, of course, it really isn’t a choice.  Nick expects Michael to do what he’s been told, no matter what.  Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt are both terrifying as the parents but, at the same time, Balaban makes good use of the fact that both of those performers — at least at the time this movie was made — were naturally likable.  You want Nick to be the perfect father that he pretends to be and you share Michael’s anger and disillusionment when he turns out to be something very different.

Parents may be a strange film but it’s not one that you’re going to forget.

Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 6 Trailers For The 3rd Thursday in October


Well, here we are! It’s the third Thursday in October and that means that it’s time for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!

Since today is Boris Karloff’s birthday, I thought I would devote this edition to everyone’s favorite reanimated corpse, Frankenstein’s Monster! Over the years, there’s been a lot of movies about the Monster. Here are the trailers for six of them!

  1. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Believe it or not, there was a time when it was felt that the story of Frankenstein and his Monster has been played out. With the Universal films bringing in less and less money, many felt that the Monster’s days were behind it. Then, Hammer, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee came along and said, “No! This is what Frankenstein is all about!”

At least, I assume that’s what they said. I hope they did.

2. Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1965)

You can’t keep a good Frankenstein down as Jesse James discovered in this 1965 western.

3. Lady Frankenstein (1971)

In this Italian film, the Baron’s daughter continues her father’s scientific experiments! I guess Jesse James wasn’t the only one to meet Frankenstein’s Daughter!

4. Flesh for Frankenstein (a.k.a. Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein) (1973)

Udo Kier is the Baron and Andy Warhol may have been the producer of this film. Or he may have just lended his name out for the money. It depends on who you ask.

5. Blackenstein (1973)

Of course, following the success of Blacula, there was a blaxploitation take on Frankenstein.

6. Frankenhooker (1990)

And, of course, who can forget Frankenhooker?

I hope that your Halloween is full of the type of creativity and scientific curiosity that made the Frankenstein family legendary!

The TSL’s Grindhouse: John Carpenter’s Vampires (dir by John Carpenter)


Wow, there certainly are a lot of vampires in New Mexico!

Well, I guess I can understand the logic behind it.  My family used to visit New Mexico frequently.  We even lived there for a few months when I was a kid.  If you’re looking for a place to hide out, New Mexico is a good place to do it.  You can drive for hours without seeing another car or another person.  Add to that, New Mexico is state where people respect your privacy.  No one’s going to show up at your house demanding to know why you only come out at night.

Of course, if I was a vampire, I might avoid New Mexico because of the bright sunlight.  Seriously, if you’re trying to escape being touched by the sun, the New Mexico desert might not be the ideal place to hide out.  I don’t know, though.  I’ve never been a vampire.

In John Carpenter’s 1998 film, Vampires (actually, John Carpenter’s Vampires because everyone know the power that the Carpenter name holds for horror fans), Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) is the world’s oldest vampire and he’s looking to perform a ceremony that will take care of that whole sunlight issue.  If he can perform the ceremony, he’ll be the most powerful creature in the world.

Fortunately, the Vatican has put together a team of ruthless vampire exterminators.  Led by Jack Crow (James Woods), these guys have no problem tracking down vampires and riddling their undead bodies with bullets that have probably been dipped in holy water.  Unfortunately, with the exception of Jack and his second-in-command, Tony (Daniel Baldwin), the vampires hunters aren’t too smart because Valek gets the drop on them while they’re partying at a hotel with a bunch of prostitutes.  The only survivors are Tony, Jack, and Katrina (Sheryl Lee), a prostitute who was previously bitten by Valek.

After teaming up with an enthusiastic but inexperienced priest named Father Guiteau (Tim Guinee), Jack tries to find a way to stop Valek. Meanwhile, Tony finds himself falling for Katrina despite the fact that Katrina will soon be transforming into a vampire and he and Jack have pledged to destroy every vampire that they come across.  It leads to several chases, several bloody shootouts, and a lot of panoramic shots of the New Mexico desert.

The first time I ever watched Vampires, I thought it had its moments of demented fun and I thought that James Woods gave a wonderfully frantic performance as Jack Crow but overall, I got a little bit bored with the film’s constant violence.  There’s only so many times that you can watch people die in slow motion before you get tired of it.  The second time I watched the movie, I was able to better appreciate the film’s self-awareness.  As directed by John Carpenter, it’s intentionally over-the-top in just about every regard and it’s definitely not meat to be taken seriously.  It’s a mix of a western and a vampire film and Carpenter is basically saying, “If we’re going to do this, let’s go crazy with it.”  The film still has its flaws, of course.  Daniel Baldwin seems lost in the role of Tony and the film is oddly paced,  It ends awkwardly, with the promise of a direct sequel that was never made.  (There were sequels, don’t get me wrong.  But Jon Bon Jovi is no substitute for James Woods at his most nervy.)  But the important thing is that, on a second viewing, those flaws were overshadowed by John Carpenter’s kinetic direction and the performances of James Woods, Sheryl Lee, and Thomas Ian Griffith.  

The first time I watched the film, I thought it was just another movie about modern-day vampires killing people while being hunted by unconventional extrerminators.  However, the second time that I watched it, I found myself considering that Vampires is actually a movie about Catholics kicking ass!  Yay!  The lesson here is to always do a second viewing.  Flaws and all, Vampires was far better than I remembered.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Slumber Party Massacre (dir by Danishka Esterhazy)


This weekend, SyFy premiered Slumber Party Massacre, which was billed as being a re-imagining of the original film of the same name. The original film featured a creepy loser with a drill and the latest version features a creepy loser with a drill. The original film featured a group of friends being menaced at a slumber party and the latest version features not just one group of friends but three groups of friends, all being stalked. The original film was a sneakily subversive satire of the genre while this new version is a satire that’s neither sneaky nor particularly subversive.

This new version takes place at a lakehouse. Years ago, the drill killer attacked a slumber party and was apparently killed by the party’s sole survivor. Now, the location has become a hot spot for people who are obsessed with true crime podcasts. The daughter of the sole survivor of the last slumber party massacre goes to the house with a group of her friends, all of whom are looking forward to possibly being attacked by the drill killer so that they can kill him. Meanwhile, there’s a group of boys who are also at the lake because they love visiting murder houses. The boys are constantly screaming and having pillow fights. The girls are fully armed and they frequently comment on the absurdity of the film’s plot while pointing out all of the slasher movie clichés.

There are a few things that I liked about this new version of Slumber Party Massacre but, in the end, it’s hard not to feel that the movie just tries too hard. The film’s approach is a bit too heavy handed to really be effective. Perhaps if I had never seen a horror film that specifically poked fun at the conventions of the genre, I would have been more impressed with Slumber Party Massacre‘s attempt at humor. But the thing is …. I’ve seen Cabin In The Wood. I’ve seen Scream. I’ve seen Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I’ve seen countless Asylum mockbusters. Like most horror fans, I am beyond the point where I can simply be impressed by characters in a movie pointing out the conventions of the genre. The first Slumber Party Massacre was a satire that worked specifically because it played out its absurdity with a mock seriousness. The new version, though, is constantly pointing out its own cleverness. At times, the entire production feels a bit needy. Instead of trusting the audience to figure out what it’s saying, this new version continually tells us. This new version doesn’t trust its audience.

That’s not to say that the film itself doesn’t have a few good moments. For instance, I liked the character of Alix (Mila Ranye) and there is a nice bit where the group debates whether or not killers always come back to life. The murders are gruesome without being sadistic and, just as in the first movie, that drill leaves us with no doubt as to just what exactly the killer’s main issue is. (Slumber Party II also gets a shout out, as one potential victim, when told to get a weapon, grabs guitar.) Towards the end of the movie, there’s an effectively tense scene involving a nail gun and, for a few minutes, the film’s danger actually feels real.

The film has its moments but, for the most part, this re-imagining of the original Slumber Party Massacre was just to heavy handed to work for me.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Dead in Tombstone (dir by Roel Reine)


In the 2013 film, Dead in Tombstone, Danny Trejo plays Guerrero De La Cruz, an old west outlaw who is loyal to his family, who has no problem robbing banks, but who also is not a fan of unnecessary bloodshed. Even though the film opens with Guerrero and his gang gunning down a posse of men, that’s just because they were saving the life of Red (Anthony Michael Hall), who just happens to be Guerrero’s half-brother. No sooner than you can say, “In what world could Danny Trejo and Anthony Michael Hall possibly be related?,” Red is asking Guerrero to help him pull off a daring robbery.

Guerrero helps Red because Guerrero is all about family. Unfortunately, Red is all about money and, not wanting to share the loot after the robbery, he promptly guns Guerrero down. Not only does Red shoot Guerrero but he insists that each member of the gang shoot him as well, implicating all of them in the crime.

Guerrero dies and promptly goes to Hell, where he’s met by Lucifer (Mickey Rourke). Guerrero doesn’t want to go to to Hell. He wants to get revenge. He offers to send a lot more souls down to Hell if Lucifer gives him a chance to return to the world of the living so that he can kill Red and the former members of his gang. Amused, Lucifer agrees but with a condition: Guerrero only has 24 hours to kill all six of his killers and Guerrero has to do all of the killing himself. He can’t hire someone else to do it or ask anyone for help. Guerrero agrees.

Unfortunately, as Guerrero soon discovers, he’s not the only one who wants Red dead. He’s going to have to move quickly if he’s going to kill all the members of the gang before Calathea (Dina Meyer), the wife of a sheriff killed by Red, gets a chance to do it herself!

Dead In Tombstone is one of those films that sounds a lot more interesting than it is. The concept behind the film is actually a pretty neat one and I like the idea of Guerrero actually having competition. This isn’t one of those westerns where everyone patiently waits their turn to go after the bad guys. The entire world wants these guys dead! Plus, who wouldn’t be excited about the idea of watching Danny Trejo and Mickey Rouke act opposite each other? With his weathered features and stoic demeanor, Danny Trejo is the perfect choice to play an outlaw and, for that matter, Rourke’s gravelly whisper and permanent smirk are put to good use in the role of the Devil. And while Anthony Michael Hall might seem like an odd choice to play Danny Trejo’s half-brother, he’s still properly villainous and loathsome in the role of Red.

And yet, the overall film itself is a bit uneven. The film looks good (especially for a straight-to-video project) but it never really seems to develop any sort of narrative momentum and there’s more than a few slow spots. At times, the film seems to be unsure of just how seiously it wants to take itself and, as a result, the story exists in a kind of limbo between being a straight western with supernatural elements and send-up of the whole genre. The end result is pretty uneven but the dream combination of Rourke and Trejo still makes it worth watching.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Nightstalker (dir by Ulli Lommel)


The 2009 film, Nightstalker, opens with a drifter named Richard Ramirez (Adolph Cortez) lying on his back in what appears to be an alley.  He’s obviously been beaten.  He appears to be only half-conscious.  As he lays there in that filthy alley, we’re treated to several negative-filtered flashbacks of Ramirez shooting people.  This is followed by a series of blurry shot that were apparently filmed by someone driving down a street in Los Angeles.  Discordant music plays on the soundtrack.  If you listen carefully, you can hear someone mumbling in the background but good luck figuring out what they’re actually saying.  This is a low-budge film and sound quality was not a concern.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the unique aesthetic of director Ulli Lommel.  As I wrote in my review of Son of Sam, Lommel started his career as an association of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s before he eventually came to America, got involved in the New York art scene, and made a handful of decent films.  Unfortunately, after he divorced the heiress who was responsible for funding the majority of his early films, Lommel spent the rest of his career making zero-budget, direct-to-video films about serial killers, like Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez.  Lommel always claimed that there was a political subtext to his serial killer films and I don’t doubt that he was being honest.  You have to be sincerely committed to make a film as inept as Nightstalker.  At the same time, it’s not easy to figure out just what exactly it was that Lommel thought he was trying to say.

Nightstalker is undoubtedly one of the worst of Lommel’s serial killer films.  Usually, I try to make sure that all of my reviews include at least 500 words but it’s really difficult to think of much to say about Nightstalker.  The film is frequently out-of-focus.  The sound quality is atrocious.  The actor who plays the Nightstalker comes across more like a male model than a homeless serial killer who was known for having bad teeth and disagreeable odor.  Because there’s already been multiple films and documentaries made about Richard Ramirez, the Lommel version fails to add anything new to the story.  Instead, the film is a collection of scenes of Ramirez aimlessly wandering around Los Angeles, sucking on a lollipop and occasionally flashing back to his abusive El Paso childhood.  The film moves slowly and Ramirez’s inner monologue is vacuous.  The real Ramirez’s thoughts were probably pretty vacuous as well so give Lommel some credit for not trying make the the guy more interesting than he actually was.

Watching the film, you do get the feeling that Lommel was sincrely trying to say something about being on the fringes of society in America.  Lommel’s true crime films often implied that American serial killers were the direct result of American culture and its obsession with violence and wealth.  As I said, I think Lommel did think that he was making an artistic and political statement with these films, in much the same way that Lucio Fulci insisted that The New York Ripper was actually a critique of capitalism.  (Oh, if only Lommel had possessed just an ounce of Fulci’s talent….)  Son of Sam, for instance, actually does have a few moments where Lommel’s hallucinatory approach is somewhat effective.  But Nightstalker shows the limits of Lommel’s zero budget, semi-improvised approach.  It’s a chore to sit through and it’s a shame that, due to the continuing infamy of the mercifully late Richard Ramirez (Netflix aired a documentary about him earlier this year that had him trending on twitter), this is probably one of Lommel’s most-viewed films.  Hell, I watched it.  But I think this is going to be my last Lommel true crime film for a while.

Halloween, after all, is meant to be a joyous time.

Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 6 Trailers For The Second Thursday In October


We are rapidly reaching the halfway mark of our October horrorthon here at the Shattered Lens. By the time we reach the end of the first half at midnight on Saturday, we will have published over 200 posts. During the second half, we’ll publish …. well, let’s not speculate. You never know. The world could end tomorrow and, as a result, we might never post again. What’s important is that I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and I look forward to seeing what we accomplish during the rest of the month!

(That said, I’m hoping for another 250 to 300 or so posts. 500 FOR OCTOBER! It seems like a reasonable go. We’ll see!)

Anyway, today seems like a good time for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse Trailers! And, since today is Jack Arnold’s birthday, it only seems appropriate that today’s edition deals with giant creature features!

  1. Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

From director Larry Cohen, it’s Q The Winged Serpent! I’ve seen this movie and it’s undeniably entertaining. On the one hand, you’ve got the serpent flying around and looking all dangerous. Then you’ve got David Carradine and Richard Roundtree kind of sleepwalking through their roles. And then, suddenly, Michael Moriarty shows up and gives this brilliant, method-influenced performance. It’s an odd film but it’s hard not to like that Claymation flying serpent.

2. The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

From Wisconsin’s own Bill Rebane, here’s the trailer for The Giant Spider Invasion! This is probably Rebane’s best film. If you’re trying to frighten your audience, you can’t go wrong with a giant spider.

3. Empire of the Ants (1977)

What’s the only thing scarier than a giant spider? A giant ant, of course! This film is from Bert I. Gordon, a director so obsessed with films about giant monsters that he was actually nicknamed Mr. BIG. (Of course, it also helped that those were his initials.)

4. Food of the Gods (1976)

Speaking of Bert I. Gordon, he was also responsible for this film, Food of the Gods. Like Empire of the Ants, it was based (however loosely) on a novel by H.G. Wells. Two old farmers feed the food of the Gods to the local animals and things do not go well. For some reason, a football player played by Marjoe Gortner decides to investigate. Shouldn’t he be practicing for the big game? Gordon missed an opportunity here by not having a giant-sized Marjoe Gortner.

5. Night of the Lepus (1972)

As frightening as those previous trailers were, can anything prepare you for the terror of killer rabbits!? This movie is proof positive that rabbits look cute no matter who they’re killing.

6. Village of the Giants (1965)

In the end, though, the greatest monster will always be man. By the way, this is another Bert I. Gordon film. Beau Bridges turns into a giant and plots to conquer the world. Only a young Ron Howard can stop him.

I hope you’re having a wonderful October! Never stop watching the shadows!

The TSL’s Grindhouse: The Last Laugh (dir by Jeremy Berg)


Myles (Steve Vanderzee) is a once-hot comedian whose career has been going downhill ever since 1) his wife died in a car accident and 2) he started taking medication to control his moods. Myles has now gone from playing packed comedy clubs to appearing in sleazy dives where he’s regularly cheated out of getting paid.

However, it appears that Myles finally has a chance to get back up on top! He’s been booked as the opening act for an egotistical comedy superstar! All Myles has to do is deliver one good set and his life will no longer be a joke. The only problem is that there’s a dead body in Myles’s dressing room and the staff of the theater is disappearing one-by-one. There’s a murderer stalking the theater and, at times, it seems like only Myles can see him. Is Myles — who hasn’t taken his pills — losing it or is there really a killer in the wings?

That’s the question asked by 2020’s The Last Laugh. It’s an intriguing question and the premise has a lot of promise but, unfortunately, the execution leaves even more to be desired. Not only are the victims rather generic but you also never really feel as if you know Myles. The film doesn’t show us much of his act so you really don’t know if the guy’s even all that funny. Since a lot of the movie hinges on whether or not Myles is willing to blow his shot at stardom in order to expose the murderer, it would be helpful to actually care about whether or not Myles becomes a star or not. Unfortunately, Myles isn’t really that likable or interesting of a character so who cares?

I did like the fact that the people behind The Last Laugh paid homage to some classic Italian horror films. Several of the shots of the killer creeping through the theater appeared to pay homage to Michele Soavi’s StageFright and there’s also a clever shout out to the Short Night Of The Glass Dolls at the end of the film. Unfortunately, there’s not really enough to the plot of The Last Laugh to make it memorable and the ambiguous ending will probably leave most viewers angry rather than intrigued. (Personally, I usually like ambiguous endings but, in this case, it just felt a little lazy.)

The Last Laugh has promise but it doesn’t really live up to it.