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Fantastic Fest 23' "The Last Stop In Yuma County" - movie review

Fantastic Fest this year had its fair share of standouts, and one gem I had the pleasure of watching before the festival is Francis Galluppi's uproarious dark comedy, "The Last Stop in Yuma County." The narrative unfolds at a diner where a diverse group of travelers gathers, all waiting for a gas truck to arrive. However, this seemingly ordinary situation takes an unexpected turn as a local robbery, relationship troubles, and a series of bizarre mishaps transform these strangers into characters straight out of an old Western-style showdown.

Packed with hearty laughter, an exceptional ensemble cast, and an array of remarkable automobiles, "The Last Stop in Yuma County" might just be one of the finest dark comedies of the year.

Filmed in a desolate, remote location, Galluppi and his crew skillfully capture the beauty amid the barren wasteland. The setting itself becomes a pivotal element in the film, shaping the characters' development. Speaking of characters, the film boasts a colorful ensemble. Jim Cummings delivers a standout performance that aligns perfectly with his distinct mannerisms, showcasing some of his finest work. It's been a while since we've seen Faizon Love on screen, and his presence is a delightful treat. In truth, there are no small roles here; each character contributes significantly to maintaining the story's impeccable pacing.

In an era where non-linear storytelling is all the rage, a film must have a strong underlying narrative to tie everything together. "The Last Stop in Yuma County" excels in this regard. The setting plays a crucial role as every decision made by the characters can lead to utter chaos within the group. And when chaos ensues, it's an absolute blast. I found myself doubled over with laughter (often thanks to Jim's antics), and the film doesn't skimp on the violence, making it a genre hit from start to finish.

"The Last Stop in Yuma County" is a delightful blend of action comedy and spaghetti western, a film that will leave a lasting impression. Furthermore, it has broad appeal, catering to a wide audience. Personally, I relished the diverse array of vehicles featured in the film, including a rare Toyota Corona driven by Cummings—a sight you don't encounter every day. There are countless charming details to savor in this mischievous feature.

For Francis Galluppi, the world of filmmaking holds boundless opportunities if he continues to craft movies like "The Last Stop in Yuma County." From the opening scene to the closing credits, I was thoroughly entertained—an increasingly rare feat in today's cinema landscape. The film strikes a perfect balance, never veering into excessive intellectualism, violence, or "wokeness." Instead, it's simply a damn good movie with countless moments worth revisiting. Keep an eye out for "The Last Stop in Yuma County" when it becomes available, and remember the name Francis Galluppi—a rising filmmaker to watch!



from writer-director Francis Galluppi features Jim Cummings, Jocelin Donahue, Richard Brake, Nicholas Logan, Faizon Love, Michel Abbott Jr., and Alex Essoe.

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