When we first meet Herbie Duck he’s wearing a bathrobe and sitting on a bed, thinking. Should he take a nap? Maybe he should get something to eat? He’s a little depressed. He feels a little old. He’s having one of those days. However, he’s determined to be cheerful no matter what; determined not to let setbacks interfere with his enjoyment of life. He’s a forty-something African American man with a gentle fatherly face whose thoughts come to us in a pleasing mellow narration. The type of guy you just can’t help but confide in or seek advice from. We can tell right away that Herbie reads a lot of books about self-help and the power of positive thinking. He’s filled with positive energy. He’s got the vibe of a man who sees the glass half full, never half empty. This is the type of guy who tells people “Let a smile be your umbrella.” and means it. Oh… and he’s also a serial killer and a cannibal.
“Herbie!” is one of those happy accidents where an actor has the perfect personality to play a certain type of character and the writer/director is savvy enough to invent a role that functions like a twisted funhouse mirror to the man and then milks it for all it’s worth. Herbie, as played by Reggie De Morton, could be reading the phone book and be entertaining. I really can’t tell you what it is about him or why he’s so mesmerizing. All I know is that all these elements gel together wonderfully.
We follow Herbie throughout the movie as he stalks the inhabitants of a lonely suburban house with his trademark lackadaisical serial killing style. He’s in no real hurry to catch anyone and all he really wants is a friend… or at the very least lunch. Drew Barnhardt has written some awesome dialogue and narration, which comprises the meat of the running time. I hear that Herbie might get his own full length movie someday. I certainly hope so and encourage anyone with the power to make this happen to jump at the chance.
Impossible not to enjoy, Herbie is a must see from director Drew Barnhardt It’ll be the best 18 minutes you’ll ever spend. Guaranteed.