“Guys Book Club” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!

guys book club

A group of disenchanted married men attempt to recapture their manhood by using a Book Club as an excuse to get away from their wives. Bringing together a variety of misfit Chicagoans, ranging from the on-line college student to the veteran retiree, the Guys Book Club takes on an aggressive, often confrontational life of its own. With the rent past due, the group will go to extreme lengths like robbing a bank, in order to insure their safe haven condo is not lost. Warped views and precarious judgments often lead to a myriad of uncomfortable situations, but in the end the Guys Book Club is greater than the sum of its self-destructive parts.

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“Best of Both Worlds” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!

Best of Both Worlds Poster

Charlie wants to find a normal woman. When he goes to the bar that night, he meets Michelle. She's perfect. She's wonderful. She's everything, except in the morning she turns into a guy named Michael. This story is about Charlie's struggle to accept the best of both worlds if you can have a beautiful, sexy woman during the night and have your best friend to play video games and softball with during the day.

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“Retrocognition” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!


'Retrocognition' is simultaneously a filmic archeology and a social critique. The film re-contextualizes found assets and animated techniques into a decaying narrative that critiques the meme of the “nuclear family” found in sitcoms. By exploiting the lingering residue of found assets and spectator expectations of animations, cartoons, and sitcoms, 'Retrocognition' discovers unconscious intent and cultural bias in its treatment of the nuclear family. Whether the pop-culture myth of the family is found in 'Ozzie and Harriot' in the 1950s or a soccer mom in the 1990s, the traditional family is still put forth in US society as an ultimate goal.  The soundtrack for the film was composed first by collaging together bits of performances from early radio dramas. The soundbites were juxtaposed to reveal unexpected dialogue that borders on the schizophrenic. Because of these collisions, the timbre and emotion of the voices are fluid—jumping between elation, fear, rage, passion, detachment and melancholia.  Visually, 'Retrocognition' is animated in a mixed media style, with the main characters constructed from animated photographs of real humans, and the sets and props constructed from a collage of photographs and mixed media. The photographs are cut up and collaged in a way that mirrors the cut up and found nature of the audio track. This approach leads to an unsettling experience of watching something that has the aesthetic of vintage media sitcoms, yet appears and sounds like it has been hacked to pieces and put back together to reveal a dark alternative to the initial intent.

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“Goose” **WORLD PREMIER** – Laugh or Die Official Selection!


Josh finds out that his potential boss, Phillip Krause, was the nerdy kid he used to excessively pick on throughout school. When Josh and Phillip meet face-to-face, Phillip still seems to hold a grudge and reminds Josh of a bad experience he caused him in a game of Duck Duck Goose. In order for Josh to prove he wants this job, Phillip, and the rest of his board members of KrauseSoft, Inc. challenge Josh in a game of Duck Duck Goose.

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“What Do I Say?” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!

What Do I Say

A girl gives advice to her male friend about picking up girls.

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“Doctor Spine” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!


DOCTOR SPINE is a Comic Book-Styled Horror/ Comedy hybrid film. Sometimes the past is best left forgotten. Meet Doctor Spine, a meek chiropractor with a very dark past that comes back to haunt him! Watch as a life spent helping other spirals downward into a miasma of madness! Experience the horror, the exhilaration, the simple joy of seeing a mild mannered health professional go wacko!


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“Ladies With Problems” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!


A film about the modern problems that modern women face.

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“Roundabout American” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!


Alex Montrieux is lonely. When he meets an American girl online, and the two fall in e-love, it's only natural that he comes for a month-long visit. But minutes after he lands, the young lady changes her mind and dumps him at a rundown suburban motel. Alex is on his own in America. During a night of despair and cheap whiskey, he meets Ron, a good-natured, overweight Burger King junkie who spends most of his waking life in his parents' basement. Ron cheers up Alex with a tour of Chicago—its hot dogs its skyscrapers, its weed, and the bustling life on the street. But later in the week, desperate and alone again, Alex meets a surprisingly complicated girl named Helena that suddenly makes his trip worthwhile. Faced with the prospect of returning home, Alex decides to stay and build his own business in the States—based on a simple premise: offer enough pleasure and you can charge any price. Along with Ron and Helena, Alex partners with Bob, Ron's best friend, a dim witted ex-convict with political aspirations, and Reza, an Iranian entrepreneur who owns a small pizza shop. The business explodes and Alex quickly finds himself something of an underground kingpin, despite being increasingly conflicted between the two sides of his relationship with Helena, his girlfriend and employee. When Bob's greed and jealousy raise the stakes to a dangerous level, Alex is faced with a choice between a better self and his high rolling life.

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“Match.bom” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!


This short comedy tells the story of Brooke, a 33 year old acupuncturist, and her struggles with on-line dating. The movie weaves together nine dating tips based on the frustrating experiences that Brooke has had to endure on many bad dates. Her housemate, April, tries to help her sift through some of the insecurities and frustrations that come with the world of on-line dating.  A woman that laughs, lasts. This story had to be told.

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“The Dark Companion” – 2013 Laugh or Die Official Selection!

Dark Companion

Howard (a puppet) has an existential crisis and nervous breakdown when he, and only he, can see his puppeteer... a featureless, humanoid shape that always looms over him, that he calls his 'Dark Companion'. His relationship with his wife and friends quickly breakdown, when no one believes him, forcing Howard to take drastic measures.

The Dark Companion - Official Trailer from Darrell C. Hazelrig on Vimeo.

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