CAPSULE: A diamond thief and occasional killer lives with no emotions or humanity after having been abused as a child. He daily lets himself be berated by his memory of his boyhood tormentor. He is however intrigued by a woman he meets accidentally and who seems to want him for a friend. William Forsythe plays a man who has lost his humanity and wants to get a piece of it back. LAUGH KILLER LAUGH (no commas in the punctuation) is a dingy film with a portrait of a man emotionally dead who finally reaches out for his last chance at life. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10
The aptly-named gangster Frank Stone (played by William Forsythe) has the emotions of a stone behind a stone face. With one exception he has no human relations with another human being. The one human he talks to or more accurately he listens to, is the vicious headmaster (Tom Sizemore) of the orphanage where Frank grew up. The headmaster's verbal, sexual, and sadistic abuse haunts the man and dominates him. The headmaster rides and haunts Frank all through the day. Frank can partially channel his callousness to be useful in his job. His job is diamond thief. And occasionally he is called upon to kill people. None of this bothers him as his conscience had long since been deadened.
Frank leads a dismal, humorless, and grim existence. One day Jackie (Bianca Hunter), mistakes Frank for a classmate from her creative writing class. Frank is intrigued and follows her to see her class, all the time behind the same impassive face. Next thing, he has enrolled in the class. The writing teacher has Frank writing about his own experiences. This may be a good way to write, but there are definitely people who are worried that some of Frank's experiences will be a little too revealing.
William Forsythe is a familiar face from a multitude of films as a character actor. He rarely if ever has gotten a lead role. That is certainly not from a lack of acting ability. But he has very ordinary looks and so rarely gets a chance at a lead role in a film. Here he must express his emotion (or lack thereof) through a fixed facial expression. That calls for some acting chops. It is an acting task similar to the one that Conrad Veidt had in THE MAN WHO LAUGHS. Admittedly this is not nearly so taxing a part, but it still must be a challenging role. There are only two actors in LAUGH KILLER LAUGH with much of a name, Forsythe and Sizemore. The apparent budget has been kept low. The writer/director is Kamal Ahmed, former member of the comedy group The Jerky Boys.
Do not infer from the title and the writer/director's history with humor that this film is in any way a comedy. It is a grim, dark, and sometimes violent gangster film. I rate it a high +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10. LAUGH KILLER LAUGH will be released to theaters and VOD on April 24, 2015
Film Credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3326880/combined
What others are saying: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/laugh_killer_laugh/
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2015 Mark R. Leeper