BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Sheila Roberts

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Blow The Man Down, first-time feature filmmakers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s vivid New England thriller noir, follows the dark humored misadventures of sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe) whose mother recently died. While Priscilla hopes to keep the family business running, her rebellious sister, Mary Beth, has other plans and can’t wait to escape the boring confines of the small fishing village of Easter Cove. On the night of their mother’s funeral, Priscilla tidies up the house and cooks dinner while Mary Beth heads for the local bar.

Mary Beth’s late night, drug-fueled run–in with a dangerous thug (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) ends with the destruction of a treasured local landmark followed by a gruesome murder which the sisters desperately attempt to conceal. Their botched cover-up inadvertently exposes the many dark secrets of their hometown’s sleazy underbelly.

Cole and Krudy’s cleverly crafted screenplay is witty and suspenseful. It’s filled with smart dialogue, dry humor, and unexpected plot twists and turns that revolve around the sisters’ predicament and the mysterious past of their deceased mother’s best friends played superbly by June Squibb, Annette O’Toole, Marceline Hugot, and Margo Martindale thanks to great casting by Rebecca Dealy and Jessica Kelly.

At first glance, the weather-beaten biddies seem to be supportive friends and upstanding citizens, but there’s something ominous lurking behind that carefully cultivated image that’s been in place for decades and is starting to crack under the strain. Soon, everything quickly starts to unravel and they must scramble to protect each other. The strong supporting cast also includes Will Brittain and Gayle Rankin.

Cole and Krudy helm their meticulously structured story with confidence and style supported by an outstanding production team. DP Todd Banhazi and Production Designer Jasmine Ballou Jones adeptly capture the scandalous mood and low-key look of this seedy coastal enclave with an infamous past where the skiffs are aptly named Chasin’ Tail and No Boundaries. Blow The Man Down features an engaging score by Jordan Dykstra and Brian McOmber. Also, at pivotal moments in the story, a fishermen’s chorus singing sea shanties is used to underscore the film’s deliciously dark irony and quirky sense of humor reminiscent of the Coen Brothers. Don’t miss this cool Amazon Prime crime comedy that releases March 20th.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Blow the Man Down is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for March 20, 2020

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Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts is a Native Angeleno and alum of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television where I graduated with Masters degrees in Producing and Cinema & Media Studies. Over the years, she has written about film and entertainment for Collider, MoviesOnline, Hollywood News Wire, MovieScope Magazine, and Cineplex Entertainment, among other outlets.