Hijinks and chaos ensue at a funeral role in this dark comedy from filmmaker Steven Perkins.
Three employees at the Houlihan’s Funeral Home are gearing up for another day of grievances but soon they are in for the shock of a lifetime when funeral director Declan dies of a heart attack while preparing. Ann, Jason, and Raymond are stuck in a major predicament. When Declan’s lawyer meets with the trio, Ann, who is white and has worked less than Jason, is given the business much to Jason’s chagrin. Jason, who feels he should have gotten the business but didn’t because he’s black, starts to resent Ann, who harbors guilty feelings towards her.
Meanwhile, Raymond, who is bi-racial and gay stands neutral between the two. When Ann has to set up two funerals, she finds herself in a world of chaos. One funeral involves two brothers, one of who harbors feelings for Ann and seems to bond with her. The other involves a couple who want a “green funeral” for their loved one, in which Ann is willing to do research to make sure it goes as planned. However, guilt and remorse slowly begin to sets in for Ann as she begins to worry that Jason will constantly resent her for getting the business.
A black comedy about white privilege, this film from Steven Perkins is quite interesting as there are a series of hijinks that occue among the core plot of a power struggle between two funeral workers, one Caucasian and the other African American. The biracial LGBTQ character of the film is more of the one who keeps them both grounded in some manner, although later in the film it is revealed that he has a little issue involving the work he does as the embalmer.
The core cast is great in this as we see them go from co-workers to rivals and the emotions really show. Lisa Sorenson’s Ann is dealing with having gained a business that she just started a few years ago much to the detriment of longtime worker Jason, played by Chris Burnett. We see these two both interact and question how everything came into play with at one point, the race card being played out. As for Lester Neal’s Raymond, he sometimes comes off as the comic relief, but as the film goes on, we see there is more to them. These three are the heart of the film as there are some interesting “stories” that help drive the story along quite well.
A main subplot features two brothers going to the funeral home to prepare for their mother’s funeral, which could be the title reference, and one of the brothers having a crush on Ann with the other brother constantly egging him on to take the shot. There is also another subplot in which Ann discovers a pair of siblings want to do a “green funeral” for their father and she decides to delve into research as there are certain rules that go with performing such a funeral. The final one involves a couple who reveal that since their mother died and was buried in the nude, their father who recently departed should also be buried in the buff, leading to a shocking reaction from all comers.
Dead Mom Card is a good comedic and emotional piece that consists of some hijinks, a power struggle, and a realistic look at what happens when a business may go one way but ends up on a different route.
WFG RATING: A-
An OriginalMind production. Director: Steve Perkins. Producer: Steve Perkins. Writer: Steve Perkins. Cinematography: Anthony Vasiliadis. Editing: Zachary Linkow.
Cast: Lisa Sorenson, Chris Burnett, Lester Neal, Paul Bright.