Dante suffers from a dangerous psychological disorder that he was cursed with from birth, a diagnosis known in the medical field only as “a missing funny bone.”
It isn’t until Dante is house sitting with his polar opposite, Joseph, that he finds himself trapped in the hot, sweaty grip of his humorless conscience.
What ultimately nudges Dante closer and closer to the septic edge of his own self delusions is, in fact, a Punchline.
Directed by Joseph R. Redl
I was never really a fan of Poe’s, everything he did seemed too bleak and without much imagination. Moreover The Tell-Tale Heart, to me, is too dull. For something that is supposed to epitomize horror, and dread, it seems the text was too plain for my taste, or my palette too narrow.
Now before the judging and preconceived notions begin just because I don’t like something does not mean I don’t see the preciseness and accuracy of its storytelling and themes. When Dante came to me with the script, my closed mind immediately opened. I grew up on Hitchcock and Kubrick so sometimes text could not have the same effect as Cinema. My palette is just not as stretched for it. However, what I do enjoy about the story is how psychologically gripping it can be.
This is something all on its own. Along with the paranoia and hysteria involved throughout the film, it is about the testing of one’s patience in a day where patience is still, and more so than ever before, a virtue. Something that is as much a theme on screen as it was offscreen. Shooting this film in the dead of winter, in a frat house after a New Year's Eve party, and taking the time, and abundant amount of clorox, to completely transform it into the eerie, clean home pictured on screen.
With all that in mind, the takeaway, while viewing this film, should not be just about the cleanliness of the location, nor the hours and days many put into making this movie possible (their hard work leaves me indebted for many years to come.) If anything is to haunt you after watching this picture, it should not be and image, but rather a sound. It’s leaving the theatre and still hearing that awful, haunting laugh on the drive home or on your way to dinner. That is what is so great about “Punchline”.
This is a film that I want audiences to laugh at, and then be overcome with fear and hate themselves for even giving this film. With this I hope you enjoy what we have put together for you.