Tag Archives: Jocelin Donahue

Leaving Yuma Is Never Easy

The Last Stop in Yuma County

by Hope Madden

Writer/director Francis Galluppi was chosen to helm the next Evil Dead film. Don’t know him? Wondering what the visceral spew gods Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell see in him? The Last Stop in Yuma County may be your best chance to find out.

The filmmaker’s first feature boasts a collection of genuine talent, each playing a character who shows up one fateful morning at an out of the way diner known for rhubarb pie so good you’ll die.

They’re not there for the pie, though. Gas truck’s late and this is the last station for a hundred miles. They’re waiting: a knife salesman on the way to his daughter’s birthday party (Jim Cummings), an older couple with no place pressing to be (Gene Jones, Robin Bartlett), two bank robbers (Richard Brake, Nicolas Logan), plus Charlotte (Jocelin Donahue), keeping their coffee cups full.

It’s a potent setup, which is likely why so many films have settled into similar booths. While Galluppi works the tension afforded by his premise, he has surprises aplenty in store as well. Most of them spring from the characters that are established quickly and well by his cast.

Brake—reliable as ever in the coolly authoritative villain role—wastes no energy or dialog. He’s a menacing presence in every scene inside the diner. Logan, as his loose cannon younger brother, creates tension and relieves it comically in equal measure.

Characters come and go as we move toward the inevitable standoff, but each actor is able to carve out something memorable. But the one you never forget, no matter how little he does, is Cummings.

No one delivers earnest human weakness with as much awkward tenderness as Cummings, and even when he’s hiding under his table, you know something more is coming.

The Last Stop in Yuma County is a single-location film done extremely well, mining visual details in place of exposition, relying on character to enrich its slight premise, and delivering giddy tension. It’s full of fun, blood and surprises.