I don’t think any words could honestly describe The Death of Dick Long to anyone other than uniquely strange and very funny. That could be my entire review and to be honest, it probably should be as the beauty of this film is that it works so well if you know absolutely nothing going in. The movie is full of characters that are weird and mesmerizingly stupid caricatures of people in the deep south of the
Two idiots (played by Michael Abbot Jr. and Andre Hyland) try to hide the fact that their best bud died on a night out with them. The central mystery is of course, how he died, why they’re hiding it. You’re totally involved with the ridiculousness from the get-go. We see their party and cut to them driving their friend Richard to the hospital, he doesn’t make it, and you’re left wondering what the hell happened.
Every single encounter they have the next day has some hilarious comedy in it. They go through and try to cover all their tracks to hilarious effect. The humour is the kind you’d expect from one-half of the directors of Swiss Army Man, and it is inescapable and utterly hilarious. I laughed harder than anyone in my screening, which may not be a good sign overall, but, the film just worked for me.
On top of the more physical and prop-based stuff, there are also some ridiculous throwaway one-liners as replies to the smart people. They seem genuine thanks to the performances which just turned the comedy up to eleven for me.
The cops assigned to the case are equally as dumb but in a slightly more heart-warming way. Their dynamic makes every scene they’re in excellent but the stand-out of the pair, Sarah Baker. Baker manages to steal the already stolen scenes, she plays a beat cop that gets to help out on the murder case, and because of this achievement, is very excited.
The mystery is there too. It is best not to read a lot about this film. You’re already playing with fire by reading this but hey, thanks for the click. It wouldn’t work if the comedy weren’t paired with some great mystery writing, which it is. Some very intriguingly hilarious twists and turns are present here. It isn’t quite Knives Out levels of whodunnit as the reveal and fallout of the twist are very much covered in the film.
Could you look at it as a possible takedown of people from that part of America? I mean yeah, probably. The number of confederate flags, a couple of vague references to politics. If you want to get into it but I feel the film should only be looked at as a just a very well written comedy full of interesting characters. I honestly cannot recommend it enough. Admittedly, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Still, the film is worth a watch if you know you like watching cringe-inducing idiots try to cover up a dead body.
Glasgow Film Festival is running 26th February – 8th March.
There is no UK release date for this movie right now.