The Death of Dick Long
Dick and his best buds Zeke and Earl “got weird last night”. Just how weird is unknown, but now Dick (Daniel Scheinert) is dead and the two remaining friends have to desperately eliminate evidence and cover up the twisted events that resulted in Mr Long’s accidental demise. This is not an easy task in their small Alabama town, especially when Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr) is a stoned-out moron who ends up making all the wrong moves, and his clueless but inquisitive wife starts to sense that something very strange kicked off at her hubby’s regular “band practice” last night. Will fellow moron Earl (Andre Hyland) stick around and help his pal hide the kinky truth from Sheriff Spenser (Janelle Cochrane) and Officer Dudley (Sarah Baker) or will he just bolt with his neighbour and potential love interest?
After the runaway success of festival favourite Swiss Army Man, Scheinert takes solo hold of the directorial reins for The Death of Dick Long. Though still centring around a corpse, the humour in this movie has a distinctly different tone and manages to find some real emotional ramifications among the scandal and ridiculousness, mainly in Zeke’s loving but dysfunctional family life and marriage to Lydia – Peacock star Virginia Newcomb giving a brilliant performance as a spouse who must somehow hold it all together after the deviant bombshell is exposed.
Debuting at Sundance in January, most of this black comedy from first-time screenwriter Billy Chew presents a bunch of white, crass stereotypes in their hick backwater town, and while it’s entertaining to watch our two dudes’ wacky antics – along with the terrific chemistry of unconventional Sheriff Spenser and engaging Officer Baker as they ineptly try to solve how their John Doe kicked the bucket – you feel halfway through that this is basically a rehashed, clumsy, Fargo-esque tale. Thankfully, however, that is not the whole story, and after a few startling twists, this intriguing film finds its bizarre stride and really gallops into life.
The Death of Dick Long does not have a UK release date yet.
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