Actor Andy Rossi makes his feature-length debut as a writer and director with the madcap comedy Dead Body. Jason (Aaron Massey) is staying at his best friend’s place as he’s going through a divorce. Said pal, Craig (James Edward Shippy), just got engaged to Krav Maga instructor Angela (Danielle Dallaco). On this particular day, Craig and Angela head out to their respective jobs, leaving Jason alone by himself.
Shortly after the couple leave, there’s a knock at the door. It’s a process server giving Jason the divorce papers from his perpetually drunk soon-to-be-ex, Tiffany (Natalie Canizares). To ensure he signs, the person Tiffany cheated on Jason with barges in as well. A fight ensues, with the man winding up dead. Then the process server, R.J. (Andy Rossi), walks back in, realizing he mixed up and gave Jason the wrong package. Unsure what else to do, Jason calls Craig, and now the trio must figure out how to dispose of the body before it gets too late.
Dead Body is a bit hard to get into at first. A lot of characters run in and out quickly during the opening few minutes. Their connections and relationships to each other are not always immediately evident. It’s especially difficult to figure out why Craig and Jason are friends, as it appears Jason is a lazy mooch (he’s not going into work today because). But, once the narrative really gets underway, with the appearance of the dead body, the script finds its footing.
“…the trio must figure out how to dispose of the body before it gets too late.”
The story goes to some ridiculous places, and the more the absurdity is embraced, the better the overall product becomes. This extends all the way to the ending, which is excellent. Rossi even includes some little moments for minor characters, such as Tiffany’s dad (might be stepdad), who is a cop. The more frantic they all get, the more interesting they become.
Everyone in the cast shares excellent chemistry, selling their relationships in a way the script can’t always. Rossi is quite entertaining as the laid-back man with a plain R.J. His demand for a straw is hysterical. Shippy is the straight man in the group, and he plays the put-upon every person well. Massey turns what starts as a frustrating character into a truly empathetic one, while Canizares and Dallacco make the most of comparatively brief roles.
Dead Body is amusing from start to finish, even if it feels a bit rushed in the opening. But thanks to the ridiculousness of the plot and the cast giving it their all, the jokes mainly land, and there’s fun to be had. As such, sit back and prepare for 70-minutes of silliness.
"…amusing from start to finish..."