But, that same sense of responsibility is lost on her when it comes to holding down a job. That minor detail about her being late to work, I think, speaks volumes about the poor writing of the character. She was not late because of her brother or, really, any important reason. She just was late, then only a few minutes into working, she leaves. That is very irresponsible and entirely at odds with how the rest of the motion picture paints her character. Rework it so that Becca goes over to Rich’s place before work, then is forced to call out given the situation she finds herself in with all the dead bodies and an angry neighbor who literally cannot go anywhere else (side note – this is a slightly inaccurate depiction of events in the movie to avoid spoilers).
Matt’s introduction is that of a whiny person, as there’s no way of knowing how long he’s put up with the loud music and other issues from having Richie as a neighbor. As such, his complaints hold little weight, so he’s annoying. And Richard himself is the worst offender here. At one point, he is wearing headphones and painting all while his sister craves up his bodies and carries them downstairs to the dumpster.
“…eventually allows depth for all three of these people to seep through…”
But, Dead Dicks eventually allows depth for all three of these people to seep through and giving the ending the much-needed dignity to pull off its themes. Matt, seeing Becca lugging these heavy bags to and fore, offers to help her carry them, and even comments how great of a sister she is, as she’s always over taking care of Richard. Becca gets a fantastic moment near the end, about how her life has been on hold for so long, she’s scared of going back to it. Rich’s final act is selfless, as he finally owns up to his mistakes and attempts to right them. It is a long slog to get to these moments, but the movie does reward the patient viewer.
Part of what makes the movie work so well is the cast. Heston Horwin is fantastic as the depressed, suicidal Richie. He overcomes many of the film’s problems through sheer charisma and intensity. As Becca, Jillian Harris plays the put-upon and exhausted sister perfectly. Her love for and frustrations with Richard is perfectly performed, so despite the writing flaws, that aspect, arguably the most central element to the success of Dead Dicks, shines through every frame.
Dead Dicks is a poor choice of title for the movie, and it has several writing flaws that prevent the audience from engaging with it from the start. But thanks to an impeccable cast and a more substantial, interesting second half, the movie is worth watching at least once.
"…I desperately hope that the title will soon be changed..."