Writer/Director Francis Galluppi’s debut feature film Last Stop in Yuma County is a thrilling piece of nasty crime fiction starring Jim Cummings. Playing Fantastic Fest 2023.
There’s a difference between inspiration and homage in film. Homage feels like a Xerox copy, though not authentic. Then there’s inspiration, an idea germinated authentically from a love of material. I mention this because writer/director Francis Galluppi’s Last Stop in Yuma County takes inspiration from the gritty crime dramas of the 1970s. Everything from Charlie Varrick to Badlands to The Friends of Eddie Coyle the result is a lean and mean bit of pulp crime fiction that will make any fan of the genre smile ear to ear.
Galluppi’s film takes its time in setting the table. Characters are put into place. Motivations are not telegraphed but are within earshot. There’s a confidence in the way everything is put in place including geography – an important piece of any film and especially one that deals with action. The film is so breezy in its acidic characterizations and dialog that once the film explodes into an eruption of violence we’re strapped in and best of all we care about what happens.
Last Stop in Yuma County’s second half is what separates it from any similarly made films. What separates Galluppi’s script is relishes every moment in the aftermath of the violence rather than the violence itself. Like any good noir or crime thriller the film excels in the details and continual pile-up as a character attempts to figure out how to get out of this situation unscathed with a pile of cash.
Anyone who has seen crime thrillers of this nature knows that it’s all in how the film ends that makes the film worth the venture. Last Stop in Yuma County has an ending so ripe and perfect that it made this review laugh as it’s daring. This one is not to be missed by fans of crime films.