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"The Death of Dick Long" dares you to love the men who love Nickelback

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28.09.2019

Daniel Scheinert, who under the moniker “Daniels,” co-directed the cult hit “Swiss Army Man,” has gone solo for his latest project, “The Death of Dick Long.” This nifty offbeat comic crime film, set in Alabama, has two friends, Zeke (Michael Abbott, Jr.) and Earl (Andre Hyland), trying to cover up the death of their buddy Dick Long (Scheinert).

While the cause of death is revealed over the course of the film, it befuddles Sheriff Spencer (Janelle Cochrane) and Officer Dudley (Sarah Baker) who pull the case. As Zeke tries to cover his tracks, he makes a series of increasingly bad decisions. His wife Lydia (Virginia Newcomb) soon realizes something hinky is going on and tries to get to the truth. Meanwhile, Earl is planning to skip town, not wanting to be found—or found out.

“The Death of Dick Long” is clever, not just in its plotting, but also in how it creates tremendous sympathy for Zeke even after the truth of Dick’s death comes out. (Abbott gives a truly remarkable performance). Scheinert deftly balances the humor, the tension, and the weirdness as the story unfolds.

The filmmaker spoke with Salon about his interest in corpses, intensely personal secrets, and “The Death of Dick Long.”

It seems you have a penchant for movies about misadventures with corpses. Dare I ask what’s up with that? I’m honestly afraid of your answer.

[Laughs.] I have a couple answers. I was wondering why I have such a morbid sense of humor. I’m scared to share every movie I make with my family. But my aunt Vicki collects funny obits, and my family thinks that’s dinner conversation, so gallows humor is part of my upbringing.

The funny thing I’ve learned about making a film with a corpse is that it is about mortality and how bodies are weird.

Can you talk about playing the corpse and the physicality of that role in this film? I’m guessing you’re not a method actor here.

Definitely not method. That would have made directing and acting hard! I laid on the ground between takes. The first scene I was half naked on the table holding........

© Salon