DIE LAUGHING (a.k.a. Road Kill) *** U.S.A. 2017 Dir: Mark Mannschreck 69 mins
A filmmaker places an unusual ad on Craigslist asking for people to come forward and tell their stories of committing homicide for his latest documentary. An angry and bitter comedian named Bob answers this ad and regales us with his tales of past victims. The intrepid filmmaker then goes to visit him at his family home and out on the road as Bob goes about his business touring his show across the country to various casinos performing his comedy act and ends up on an impromptu killing spree as Bob’s anger issues get the better of him.
Co-written and directed by Bob Golub, who’s stand up career began in the 1980’s, teamed up with Mannschreck to create a semi faux (in that the back story to this is actually Bob’s life) found footage documentary of a man on the edge trying to get on with his life and provide for his family but believing everyone around him is out to get him and bring him down so he needs to teach them all a lesson in respect. Everyone from disgruntled hecklers, grumpy venue managers and careless dog walkers face the wrath of “The Polish Mad Man”. The first couple of kills are fairly simply done and are over relatively swiftly but it is quick to bring a sense of discomfort and as the film progresses the severity of the kills’ ramp up, with one poor chap meeting a sticky end by having a mic stand repeatedly rammed up his anus. With humour reminiscent of shows such as CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM it’s designed very cleverly to make you chuckle but also squirm a bit as well. On trying to dispose of a body in the desert by digging a shallow grave Bob says to the filmmaker “God darn it……did I leave the car running?” obviously more concerned on fuel consumption then the job at hand. It’s awkward yet endearing. I have to admit to finding it a bit dull in the middle when he picks up a hitchhiker and having to endure a rather drawn out flirtation but it does pick up again. It has a small main cast and is well acted. I liked the way it was filmed and, as it is low budget, the way they dealt with the kills and the effects worked really well. Another thing I enjoy about movies like this is the sparse soundtrack that again I found worked to great effect. In conclusion this is a good fun movie with some great lines and interesting kills but awkward at times, possibly not one to watch on a first date.
Review by Sarah Budd