The Death of Dick Long

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I’m going to hate saying this title when I review it on the air. It’s like you’re saying the name of a porn flick. And after you see the movie, the title will have multiple meanings.

The first 30 minutes of this had an interesting set-up. A bunch of rednecks in a garage band in Alabama, drinking and acting crazy after a rehearsal. A spoiler alert isn’t needed to say one of the guys dies. Hell, it’s in the title. The bandmates do that move where they drop the injured guy in the hospital parking lot, that way they don’t end up in trouble.

A doctor leaving work (Roy Wood Jr., who is great on The Daily Show), brings the victim in but can’t save him. 

As the band members try to clean up the mess, I told my wife, “This is reminding me of Pulp Fiction.”

A few minutes later, one of the guys in the movie tells his friend it reminds him of Pulp Fiction!

Later in the movie, when a few female sheriffs (Sarah Baker and Janelle Cochrane)  get involved, it had more of a Fargo vibe. Especially since it went from this dark comedy, to more of a noir picture. And sure, the Coen brothers might have done a better job with this story; but hey, director Daniel Scheinert (who also plays Richard Long) gave us the bizarre Swiss Army Man, so things could’ve been even weirder.

Zeke Olsen (Michael Abbort Jr., who reminds me of a slightly hipper Steve Zahn) gave me about three anxiety attacks, as I watched him make one bad decision after another. He’s got to take his girlfriend’s daughter to school, but he has a car full of blood. Each lie digs him deeper into a hole.

Zeke’s buddy Earl (Andre Hyland) seems a lot less concerned. He makes bizarre quips, while constantly vaping.

Zeke’s wife Lydia (Virginia Newcomb) is confused at first, but gets angrier the more she finds out about the story.

Dick’s wife (Jess Weixler) starts fishing around, assuming the guys are covering for her husband, who she’s sure is having an affair.

The only character I couldn’t figure out was the neighbor played by Sunita Mani, who knows Earl is up to something, but still seems interested in him.

This is an interesting screenplay by Billy Chew, and the cinematography from Ashley Connor is perfect.

Of course, there’s a barfing scene because 90% of all films have them now (I’m still baffled that “Judy” didn’t have one, with the amount of drinking and drugs she ingested, but I digest).

This isn’t the type of movie you can recommend to everyone. I still remember seeing movies like Pulp Fiction, Headhunters, Fargo, Boogie Nights, or The Art of Self Defense a few months ago…and those were “too weird” for folks. And those are some great movies. Now, this isn’t quite that good, but it’s certainly clever enough. My wife was disturbed by it, but also found it funny.

It’s an indie gothic noir, that if you can handle disturbing subject matter, is worth a view.

3 stars out of 5.




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