The Death of Dick Long

Smart movie about dumb people

One night after garage-band practice, three good ol’ Alabama boys opt to “get weird.” Cut to scene of Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr.) and Earl (Andre Hyland) dumping the unconscious title hick (director Daniel Scheinert – Swiss Army Man) at a hospital and scampering away in their blood-drenched car. They really don’t want anyone to know what happened to Dick. Trouble is, they are richly incompetent at covering their tracks, and soon a local sheriff’s deputy (Sarah Baker) is asking all the wrong questions. 

Scheinert, exhibiting excellent storytelling skills, finds substance in the silliness and distinguishes his movie from a mere laugh-at-the-hayseeds romp by making it a surprisingly compassionate character study. It’s amusing and suspenseful, sweet and melancholic, and benefits from a pervading, down-to-earth humanity. 

Virginia Newcomb stands out as Zeke’s way-too-good-for-him wife, and Roy Wood Jr. has fun in a minor role as an incredulous ER medic.

(100 min)