The Last Stop In Yuma County Image

The Last Stop In Yuma County

By Bobby LePire | May 28, 2024

The Last Stop In Yuma County is the feature-length debut of writer-director Francis Galluppi. The noir thriller is set in the 1970s at an outlier of a gas station in the middle of the desert. The kicker is that on this particular day, the refueling truck for the pumps has not yet shown up, meaning there’s no gas.

This is not good news for The Knife Salesman (Jim Cummings), who is traveling from selling in a nearby town to see his daughter for her birthday. After discussing his predicament with the gas station’s proprietor Vernon (Faizon Love), The Knife Salesman holes up in the restaurant next door, awaiting the fuel truck. Charlotte (Jocelin Donahue) waits on him and gives the stranded father a slice of her famous rhubarb pie to take to his kid once he can be on his way again.

As time ticks on, more wary travelers almost out of gas enter the diner. This includes Beau (Richard Brake) and Travis (Nicholas Logan), who just knocked over a bank. For obvious reasons, they don’t necessarily want to wait too long, though nobody knows who they are yet. The deputy eventually stops by for some coffee to go, raising the ire of the criminals. Shortly after that, The Knife Salesman and Charlotte figure out who they are. And that is when things become fatally violent. Is anyone safe from the easily angered bank robbers? Who is The Knife Salesman exactly, and why is his sales pitch so awkwardly timed?

“…[when] The Knife Salesman and Charlotte figure out who they are…things become fatally violent…”

The Last Stop In Yuma County won’t win any awards for originality or depth of character. Everyone, even when they have secrets, is exactly what they appear to be. While a few surprises are in store, the narrative and its characters are relatively straightforward. But that isn’t exactly a bad thing.

The film is a visual treat, a masterclass in style and tension. The 1970s era is vividly brought to life through authentic costumes and vintage cars. The production design of the gas station and diner, with its dingy yet inviting atmosphere, adds to the allure. Matthew Compton’s music heightens the tension, while Mac Fisken’s cinematography elegantly captures the action and unease of the characters, drawing the audience deeper into the narrative.

Cummings delivers a stellar performance as The Knife Salesman. His ambiguous nature ably keeps viewers on their toes. Donahue is endearing, making everyone root for her survival as things begin to take a deadly turn. Brake embodies his character’s sleaziness perfectly, while Logan’s portrayal of the brash brother is despicable and annoying, just as it should be. The supporting cast, including Barbara Crampton, also shines in their roles, adding depth to the narrative.

The Last Stop In Yuma County is a stylish, great-looking noir with an excellent cast. Sure, the story has been seen in one way or another before, but that’s beside the point. Galluppi proves he understands the show part of the golden rule of cinema, “show, don’t tell.” As such, this is an engaging and fun watch, especially for lovers of modern noir.

The Last Stop In Yuma County (2024)

Directed and Written: Francis Galluppi

Starring: Jim Cummings, Jocelin Donahue, Richard Brake, Nicholas Logan, Faizon Love, Barbara Crampton, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

The Last Stop In Yuma County Image

"…a stylish, great-looking noir with an excellent cast."

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  1. Joe Kanuck. says:

    That review is pretty much bang on. The plot doesn’t exactly follow your first guess, but nothing that happens will surprise you…but that’s ok. Sometimes you just want to hear a story well told, even if you’ve heard it before…and that’s what this is. It is well crafted, filmed, directed, written and acted story telling.

    This was a hell of a debut for Francis Galluppi. He has a great eye for detail and an above average feel for pacing. Every character was unique but realistic without being boring or dull. Every shot worked. There wasn’t a lot of needless chatter. People spoke when they had something to say.

    He has a great future in film making if he manages to dodge the grubby paws of the studios.

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