The Last Laugh (2020)

Originally known as Killing Joke, this is the story of Myles, a comedian who has never properly dealt with the loss of his wife. Yet his manager believes in him enough to get him booked for one last shot at the big time. The show will take place in a gorgeous theater instead of a seedy comedy club and booking agents will be on their way. The staff is helpful, too. Everything seems to be going Myles’ way until the blood starts dripping down the walls.

You may think that Myles has lost his mind, but there’s also a slasher killer murdering everyone in the venue, turning this into the stand-up version of Soavi’s Stage Fright. I say that as they’re both set in a small theater that has a killer on the loose and not because this movie has the visual flair of that 1987 slasher. Don’t take that as an insult — it’s one of my favorite films and a hard bar to leap over.

Writer/director Jeremy Berg does a fine job here of keeping things tense and moving at the same time, which is quite a feat. He has a good lead in Steve Vanderzee, who lends Myles the right mix of humor, pathos and outright terror in the face of the realitization that his comeback may be his last night ever.

You can get this movie on demand from High Octane Pictures. We were sent a review copy by the film’s PR company, but that has no bearing on our review.

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