Movie Mainline Pick: Subtletly Reigns Supreme In Suspense Laden ‘The Death of Dick Long’

Movie Mainline hosts Eric Holmes, Bruce Purkey, and Greg Srisavasdi give an in-depth review of "The Death of Dick Long."

Every Tuesday I get to hang with my Movie Mainline buddies Bruce Purkey, Eric Holmes and Luis Lacau for our podcast, and several weeks ago Purkey was singing the praises of The Death of Dick Long. I trust his recommendations without fail, and right on cue both Eric Holmes and I absolutely loved The Death of Dick Long. Check out our hour long video as well as a few reasons to check out this movie in the following post!!
The Death of Dick Long. Andre Hyland and Michael Abbott. (A24)

The Death of Dick Long centers on Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr.) and Earl (Andre Hyland), lifelong buddies who are also bandmates (they call themselves Pink Freud). Their other pal Dick (Daniel Scheinert, the film’s director) rounds out the trio, but unfortunately he ends up dead after a night of heavy partying (which includes fireworks and shooting beer bottles).

Zeke and Earl attept to cover up Dick’s death, and since both of them are not exactly the brightest bulbs (personally I can relate!) their actions lead to a continuous trail of suspicion. Lydia (Virginia Newcomb) and their daughter Cynthia (Poppy Cunningham) know something is amiss, as Zeke’s guilt is written all over his face (the blood stained back seat of his car doesn’t help either).

Sheriff Spenser (Janelle Cochrane) and Officer Dudley (Sarah Baker) are heading up the investigation over Dick Long’s unusual death, and since this is Dudley’s most high profile case, she is more than ready to give up her quiche dinner for a few extra hours on the job. Sunita Mani (GLOW) is Lake Travis, Earl’s next door neighbor who takes a shine to him.

Andre Hyland has the funniest lines in the film, with Newcomb and Baker delivering nuanced performance in their respective roles. That said, it is Michael Abbott, Jr.’s layered performance as Zeke which anchors the feature. Director Daniel Scheinert, blessed with a first rate screenplay from Billy Chew, could have actually ramped up the campiness, violence, and comedy in the feature, but he thankfully decided to tell a more (if you can believe it!) grounded story.

Virginia Newcomb in “The Death of Dick Long” (A24)

The biggest surprise of The Death of Dick Long lies in Scheinert’s extremely subtle approach to the story; he actually pulls way back when he could have gone for low hanging fruit style entertainment. Instead, we are ultimately treated to a tension filled drama that never fails to hit the right note.

I purchased The Death of Dick Long on VUDU (it’s just a $1 more than the rental), and I will definitely buy a Blu-ray (or several) to give away to listeners of the CinemAddicts and Movie Mainline podcasts. It’s one of those rare films that actually merit several viewings, and I am so f**king glad that Bruce Purkey recommended the movie.

Daniel Scheinert, Andre Hyland, Michael Abbott Jr. in “The Death of Dick Long” (A24)

There is no official soundtrack for The Death of Dick Long but there is an “official” Spotify playlist featuring songs from Staind, Creed, Nickelback, and an original score. Personally, I’m playing the living you know what out of these selections (don’t judge me!!!):

Fair warning, as there is a major twist in The Death of Dick Long which will either really piss you off or make you completely jump on board. Obviously I’m all in on this film, but the feature has its fair share of detractors. My take is this is a deceptively layered story that is much darker and complex than I envisioned (and it’s also funny as well)

In the video below, Eric Holmes, Bruce Purkey go in depth about our love for The Death of Dick Long, and the spoiler stalk starts at the 30:37 mark. Enjoy and if you have already seen The Death of Dick Long, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film!!