Making a Killing (2018) DVD Review: The Mayor, the Priest, and the Mortician Walk Into a Bar…

Making A Killing (2018) is written and directed by Devin Hume; stars Michael Jai White, Mike Starr, Jude Moran; and features Christopher Lloyd and Sally Kirkland. It’s a crime drama, murder mystery based on a true story though names have been changed to disguise the guilty and make a catchier main character name but what’s in a name, right? The movie is better than expected largely due to Michael Jai White and solid performances from the supporting cast.  

Buy Making a Killing (2018) DVD

Arthur Herring (Starr) is a man of many hats: mayor, priest, and mortician in a small town somewhere in New Mexico. Trouble is, Arthur and his brother Vincent (Moran) are not all that they seem and that all starts to unravel when fellow mortician, Lloyd Mickey (Lloyd), is released from jail for being a sex offender. Turns out Mickey left some rare coins and gold tooth fillings with the Herring boys and now he wants them back. The Herring Bros. have other ideas and begin to make shady deals to get rid of weird Mickey’s loot. Soon after those deals and deeds are done, old Mickey turns up dead and that alerts higher authorities. Things get interesting as a special investigator from the state, Orlando Hudson (Jai White), shows up to get to the bottom of Mickey’s murder. Orlando starts hauling in people that he considers suspects right away. His big-city tactics worries the local chief of police, Riley (Jack Forcinito), whose main concern is keeping the peace in his small town. After eliminating a number of citizens by keeping them in the local jail, Orlando narrows it down to the Herrings, slowly uncovering who they really are and the true naughty nature of their relationship. 

Making a Killing starts off very slow and confusing, remaining so for 30 minutes of its 106-minute runtime. It’s not until the appearance of Michael Jai White that the movie picks up and things become a bit more clear. I understand a slow start to build up the story but this just seems pell-mell to me, like a bad imitation of Memento. Once past those initial 30 minutes, a decent movie starts to take hold as this story unfolds. I enjoyed how certain aspects of the plot, based on a true story, played out on screen. I found it smart that the name Herring was chosen, especially once we learn the brothers whole time living in town was a complete hoax, a red herring. Also setting up Mickey’s crime as a foreshadowing to the twist at the movie’s conclusion was clever. 

Making a Killing, although not bad overall, is totally saved by Michael Jai White and his no-nonsense yet relaxed, tough guy role. Jack Forcinito was a good choice as Chief Riley, who acts as a counterbalance to Orlando’s city cop ways and provides him with a different perspective on “to protect and serve.” Christopher Lloyd’s role is brief and strange but that perfectly fits the character he plays. Sally Kirkland does fine in her very short time on screen. Besides a name on the marquee, her part could have been handled by anyone’s mum. Mike Starr is always entertaining and gives a solid performance here as Arthur Herring, the brains behind the whole scam. Jude Moran as Vincent does well as the meek, overlooked “brother” who bears the brunt of Arthur’s hustle in the end.

Posted in ,

Joe Garcia III

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search & Filter