The Last Stop in Yuma County

May 22, 202485/1004 min
Directed by
Francis Galluppi
Written by
Francis Galluppi
Starring
Jim Cummings, Jocelin Donahue, Richard Brake, Fiazon Love
Runtime
1 hr. 30 min.
Release Date
May 10th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

The Western Noir is not something we see a lot of. The clearest and recent examples are No Country for Old Men and Hell or High Water. Two bonafide classics. It is a difficult needle to thread when your film is filled with stoic characters, dames, bags of money and double-crosses. All in a relatively modern setting with Old West sensibilities.  What we haven’t seen is one that takes place in the 70’s. The Last Stop in Yuma County aims to add itself to the conversation. By way of knives, guns, a bird, and a piece of rhubarb pie.

A knife salesman (Jim Cummings) on his way to see his daughter, stops at a gas station/motel/diner. After the attendant tells him the tanks are empty and that the fuel truck will be there soon, he heads to the diner. After some casual conversation with the waitress, the knife salesman sees two men enter the diner. They are also waiting for gas with a car that matches the description of a car used in a bank robbery. When they are discovered they reveal their intentions to take the first car that arrives with gas to make their escape with their bag of money. Several cars and customers later, everyone in the diner now has a weapon and is formulating a plan to survive and maybe get away rich.

What I admire most about what Writer-Director Francis Galluppi accomplishes here with Yuma County is the quality his film brings. Especially since its filled with things that we’ve seen before. It has despicable yet casual criminals with a dark sense of humor, well-timed needle drops, unexpected violence, and characters who bend their morality over a bag of money. But the difference between this and all the VOD knock-offs is Galluppi simply nails it. He gets what makes the early work of The Coens, and early Guy Ritchie, and even Tarantino work. And he leans on it in a stylish and intense way. There are what would be throw-away characters that find a way to add to the story in fun and sometimes crazy ways. As Galluppi continues to build and build on the tension, so that it’s both satisfying and surprising every time it’s released either by humor or violence.  The Last Stop at Yuma County is simply a great film that goes all the way, and I loved every minute of it.

 

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