Movie Review: ‘Red Right Hand’

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Greetings again from the darkness. Regardless of how attractive the real estate prices seem, it’s usually best to avoid small rural towns controlled by a violent crime boss nicknamed Big Cat. Especially when she doesn’t hesitate to make an example of those who cross her, and she ‘owns’ the local Sheriff and runs drugs throughout the area. Even those who break away from her organization are likely to get dragged back in, ‘do this or else’ style, if Big Cat wants them back. It’s a self-perpetuating cesspool of control and being controlled.

The SMALL TOWN CRIME (2018) directing team of brothers Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms re-team to direct this surprisingly engaging backwoods crime thriller, with a screenplay from Jonathan Easley (his first). What’s surprising about this is most movies of this genre are pretty simple and easy to predict. In this one, there are certainly some familiar tropes, but the depth of characters and the against-type performance by Orlando Bloom make this one quite a bit of fun. Also going against-type here is Andie MacDowell as Big Cat. It’s her darkest role yet, and she seems to embrace the evil.

Mr. Bloom stars as Cash, a greasy, tatted, ripped dude with a Kentucky accent who is diligently working to keep his life on a good path. His past includes a beloved sister who passed away, severe alcoholism, and a life of crime while working as Big Cat’s henchman. His life motto is “God-Family-Survival”, and he’s dedicated to his struggling brother-in-law, Finney (Scott Haze) and whip smart ninth grade niece, Savannah (newcomer Chapel Oaks). When Cash discovers that Finney has mortgaged the family farm to Big Cat, he quickly realizes he must cut a deal with his former boss to save what’s left of his family. As Michael Corleone says, “they pull me back in.”

Big Cat values Cash’s cool head under pressure – especially as compared to her other redneck lackeys. Her one misjudgment is in underestimating Cash after she has attacked his family. This leads to a blaze of violence and one crazy shootout on the grounds of Big Cat’s estate. Supporting work is provided here by the always excellent Garrett Dillahunt (here as a rehabilitated preacher), Brian Geraghty as the Sheriff, Mo McRae as the good-intentioned Deputy, and Daniel David Stewart as Big Cat’s ponytailed corrupt banker son. Johnny Derango adds some quality cinematography to this surprisingly intricate and well-developed crime thriller.

Magnolia Pictures will release the film in theaters and on VOD February 23, 2024

David Ferguson
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