‘The Death of Dick Long’ Shines With Impeccable Dark Humor And Storytelling

Virginia Newcomb in "The Death of Dick Long" (A24)
The Death of Dick Long is the sophomore feature by director Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man). This films opens as three buddies, Dick (Daniel Scheinert), Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr.), and Earl (Andre Hyland), spend a weeknight partying a bit too hard. Before long, Zeke and Earl are rushing to dump Dick at the ER entrance. As the title suggests, Dick doesn’t make it.
The Death of Dick Long. Andre Hyland and Michael Abbott Jr. (A24)

The rest of the movie is a jet-black comedy that would be right at home in the Coen Brothers universe. The overall plot is fairly simple. How are bumbling friends Zeke and Earl going to hide their involvement in Dick’s death from their friends, family, and the police. Scheinert mines a surprising level of comedy, wry dialogue, and dramatic tension from this simple premise.

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Abbott Jr.’s performance as Zeke and Virginia Newcomb, as Zeke’s wife, Lydia, both shine in several crackling scenes that elevate this above the level of simple, burnout comedy. Be warned, some might find the nature of Dick’s death a bit disturbing. 

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