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Release Date: 05/10/24 [Cinemas / VOD]
Genre: Crime. Thriller.

Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment. 

"While stranded at a rural Arizona rest stop, a traveling salesman is thrust into a dire hostage situation by the arrival of two bank robbers with no qualms about using cruelty-or cold, hard steel-to protect their bloodstained fortune." 


The annals of crime fiction run deep with the elusive allure surrounding a bag full of loot; the troubles that were caused in obtaining it and the heartbreak that surely follows. Most of these stories end tragically, yet, they are remembered and retold. Add Francis Galluppi’s name to those tomes along with his stylish, feature debut The Last Stop in Yuma County, a gut-punch of a movie filled with sweat, dust, rhubarb pie, and plenty of bullets. 


A traveling knife salesman pulls into a forgotten gas station in Nowheresville, Yuma County. He’s outta luck, outta time, and, pertinent for this story, outta gas. The attached diner staffed by the dutiful Charlotte (Jocelin Donahue) offers a modicum of respite, albeit with the air con on the fritz. The nervous salesman (Jim Cummings) begins to wait for the eternally-late gas truck to arrive and is soon joined by tourists (including the veteran character actor Gene Jones), Bonnie and Clyde wannabes, and, of course, the real-deal criminals: Beau (Richard Brake) and Travis (Nicholas Logan), fresh off a score but rotten with their petrol.


At first, Beau and Travis play it as cool as their sweaty bodies permit. But tension builds. And secrets spill. 


Eventually, so does blood.


Galluppi’s The Last Stop in Yuma County might not advance the art of confined pot-boilers but he certainly has fun playing with the established cliches. Galluppi, along with DP Mac Fisken, beautifully makes the hostile environment inviting and the creepy cast engaging. While key relevance of some of the characters’ plight is subtly revealed - Charlotte’s husband, the salesman’s daughter, the sheriff’s misery  - Galluppi is firmly committed to starting the action by turning up the heat on these disparate personalities. 


They all flop around real good, too.


Additionally, Galluppi expertly makes use of music to set both scene and tone. Roy Orbison’s mopey love ballad “Crying” is devilishly used for prophetic means and pops a punch as memorable as Mr Blonde dancing a jig to “Stuck in the Middle with You” in Reservoir Dogs. Brake’s Beau is psychotically hammy as Michael Madsen’s Blonde, too.   


Eventually, choices need to be made - complete with drastic consequences. Innocence is shattered, the weak struggle to become strong, and vigilant justice abides in a peculiar manner. After the dust settles, the question remains: what would you do for a bag of cash that suddenly drops in your lap? Or, as is the case here, slides into your car? 

Galluppi apparently wants crime to pay, but he also generously shares that invoice with just about everyone. For many, The Last Stop in Yuma County turns mortally literal. And honestly? You wouldn’t want it any other way.


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