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Film Review: 'The Death of Dick Long' Sarcastically Funny, Penetrating

by Todd A. Smith


Andre Hyland (left) and Michael Abbott Jr. star in “The Death of Dick Long” (Photo courtesy of A24).


Likable Country Bumpkin Fiasco



Stereotypes sometime prove true.

People often describe people from urban areas as city slickers, always playing an angle with tricks up their sleeves.

On the country contrary, people often stereotype people from rural areas as bumpkins because of a perceived lack of sophistication, and frankly sometimes a lack of intelligence.

When one takes that lack of sophistication and intelligence and combines it with the most unlikely crime of the century, they get “The Death of Dick Long,” a dramedy the likes of Hollywood probably have never seen before.

In the hood, people laugh at the 40-year-old dude still trying to become a famous rapper.

Who knows if people in rural Alabama make fun of middle-aged men still trying to become rockers, but that is exactly what Zeke Olson (Michael Abbott Jr.), Earl Wyeth (Andre Hyland) and Richard “Dick” Long are striving to do in “The Death of Dick Long.”

Luckily, the rock trio has day jobs.

However, their nights are wilder than a college frat party or high school kegger.

But when the festivities get a litter wilder than usual, the lives of the band mates will never return to the status quo.

Somehow after band practice, Richard gets severely injured.

Not knowing that Richard’s injuries might threaten his life, Zeke and Earl jokingly drop off Richard in the parking lot of a local hospital in their Alabama hometown and burn off.

Leaving after his hospital shift ends, Dr. Richter (Roy Wood Jr., “The Daily Show”) discovers Richard gasping for air in the parking lot and rushes him into the hospital.

Unfortunately, Dr. Richter cannot save Richard’s life after suffering such severe physical punishment.

Richard has experienced blunt force trauma to the head and damage to his rectum as if someone sexual victimized him before killing him.

Dr. Richter even finds traces of semen in Richard’s rectum, but initial DNA results come back inconclusive.

When Officer Dudley (Sarah Baker) tells Sheriff Spenser (Janelle Cochrane) that the DNA tests came back inconclusive, the sheriff openly questions how can DNA come back inconclusive?

The DNA tests initially come back inconclusive because the semen found in Richard’s rectum did not come from a human being.

Apparently, the semen came from an animal.

Therefore, if Richard got raped, an animal must have violated him sexually.

Knowing how Richard got injured, but not knowing that he is deceased, Zeke and Earl try to move on with their lives without seeming suspicious.

Zeke tries to take his young daughter Cynthia (Poppy Cunningham) to school despite the blood soaked backseat of his car.

When Zeke tries to get Cynthia to sit in the front seat on the ride to school, Cynthia informs her father that riding in the front seat is dangerous for children.

After seeing Zeke with a wallet that is not the one she bought him, Cynthia asks her dad where he got the wallet?

When Zeke tells her that he found it, Cynthia tells him he has to turn it in to the police.


Acquiescing to his inquisitive daughter’s suggestions, he takes the driver’s license out of the wallet and carries it with him as he takes Cynthia to the schoolhouse.


But when Zeke decides to stop and get gas, as Cynthia shops in the gas station convenient store, Zeke realizes that the back of Cynthia’s outfit is drenched with Richard’s blood.


Making matters worse, two police officers enter the store around the same time that Cynthia enters the store.


Rushing into the store to hide Cynthia’s blood, Zeke is befuddled when Cynthia informs Officer Dudley that her father found a man’s wallet earlier.


Begrudgingly, Zeke hands over the wallet, without photo identification, to the police officer.

But when the officers finally start putting two and two together, “The Death of Dick Long” produces enough material for 20 segments of “Crazy Azz Criminals” on “Isiah Factor Uncensored” on Fox 26 in Houston.

“The Death of Dick Long” does not produce break out acting performances by the cast members.

However, “The Death of Dick Long” has enough dummies in it that their backwards way of thinking makes up for the lack of Academy Award winning performances.

The sarcastic humor in “The Death of Dick Long” makes the movie stand out because the comedy is not over the top.

When Earl tells Zeke that Jane Long (Jess Wexler) came to see him, Zeke asks Earl what did Jane want?

Earl tells Zeke that she was looking for Dick, not d***, but her husband, Dick.

When Lydia Olsen calls her husband Zeke a cocksucker, their inquisitive daughter Cynthia repeatedly asks what a cocksucker is?

Zeke initially tells Cynthia that calling someone a cocksucker is an insult.

But being the inquisitive child that she is, Cynthia keeps asking him what it truly means until Zeke relents and tells her a cocksucker is someone that puts penises in their mouth.

However, Zeke assures Cynthia that he does not put penises in his mouth despite what his wife says.

Although she plays a supporting role in “The Death of Dick Long,” Cunningham’s precocious personality brings enough innocence to the movie to balance out the vulgarity of the movie.

Furthermore, the blues, rock and hip-hop music that the movie is set to, gives it some added flavor as well.

While the crude language makes “The Death of Dick Long” stand out, that same crudeness might turn off some moviegoers who do not relate to the crass vocabulary of some of the characters in the film.

But to stereotype “The Death of Dick Long” by just its crude jokes would be rude because it has more nuances to offer than just harsh language.








This article was published on Friday 27 September, 2019.
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