Evil Laugh (Sordid Skeleton Kink Slasher)


By 1986, the slasher subgenre had all but run its course. After the one-two punch of Halloween and Friday the 13th raked in serious box office, every major and indie distribution company had to take a stab at the formula, thus creating a surplus of largely forgettable junk. The “Law of Diminishing Returns” set in and what seemed like a sure thing was the beginning of the end. While Evil Laugh does nothing to change the game, it’s a lot of fun if you go in expecting absolutely nothing special. Ashlyn Gere and Scott Baio’s brother are among a group of med students who agreed to help fix up a run down house for their friend Jerry, who makes his exit from the film in the first five minutes. While this plot point pops up here and there, it doesn’t stop our wacky gang of kids from drinking wine, dancing to God awful synth pop and engaging in kinky sex games. The house has a deadly secret and a killer is stalking the grounds. You will not be shocked or surprised by any of this.


Complete trash from start to finish, Evil Laugh is impossible to criticize because it’s obvious that everyone was having way too much fun making it. Director Domenic Brascia (“Joey” from Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) keeps the action moving at a swift pace, as the 87-minute running time goes by like a breeze. The introduction of things like ass play and S&M into the slasher formula is novel, yet the backstory is probably the most troubling part given Brascia’s alleged involvement in the molestation of Corey Haim. Not the biggest issue in the world, but the references to pedophilia and the apologism inserted (“The kids admitted they were all lying”) is vaguely troublesome. That sordid business aside, Vinegar Syndrome do wonders with a very hard title to work with. Scanned in HD from the only surviving 16mm elements, Evil Laugh looks way better than it should with very nice grain structure and sweet color reproduction. The extras come nice and thick on this release, starting with an exhaustive feature-length documentary on the making of the film. Not to be outdone, my old friends at The Hysteria Continues supply another fun and informative commentary track. All in all, another Grade-A effort. In closing, if you’re in the mood for some slasher trash you haven’t seen before, give Evil Laugh a check-out. It’s not going to change the world but you’re bound to have a good time. Stay away!


Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Evil Laugh (1986, 2023 Blu-ray)
Director: Dominick Brascia
Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
4 / 5