Despite being billed as a horror comedy, Dead Dicks begins in a confusing way with a very serious PSA about suicide followed by a man killing himself with a plastic bag. Yet somehow, the team of Chris Bavota (Minutes Past Midnight 2016) and Lee Paula Springer (Even The Darkness Has Arms 2017) turn this darkness around and into a charming, heartwarming tale of depression, self-sacrifice, shared trauma and sibling loyalty.
Have no fear, dear viewers: Richie (Hestin Horwin: Rock Steady Row 2018) WAS attempting to commit suicide… but simply as an experiment. Okay, so he meant to kill himself the first time. However, due to the weird vaginal hole in the wall above his bed, his multiple suicide attempts leave copies of his corpse in his apartment while he remains alive and buck-naked. Having no recollection of just how he survived, Richie leaves multiple messages with his sister, Becca (Jillian Harris: Love or Lust 2017), to witness and report on the event.
Becca is a bartender with immense potential who has just been accepted into a prestigious Neuroscience Nursing graduate program far from home. However, keeping an eye on her mentally unstable brother has kept her from living a truly full life. In fact, the day she receives the acceptance letter, she is forced to leave work because of numerous alarming voicemails on her phone. She arrives at his apartment to find his hung dead body in the living room… and a very alive naked brother.
Of course, caring for Richie is a tiresome labor of love, and we find out he is no longer taking his medication. Also, as an artist, he is known to create some crazy art installations, which could actually explain the corpse. Frantically, he presents Becca with his findings. He films the hole in the wall each time, but the recording cuts out consistently. After convincing his sister that these multiple corpses are, in fact, copies of him, she witnesses his “rebirth” from the vagina in the wall (though she thinks it looks more like an asshole). Realizing that he may be damaging his brain and that the nosy neighbor, Matt (Matt Keyes: Dark Phoenix 2019), suspects something is amiss, she reluctantly helps Richie dispose of his bodies and research the mysterious portal in his apartment.
Despite the dark undertone of the film, the magnificent sibling banter of Becca and Richie allow for some hilarious and poignant scenes in Dead Dicks. Most of the film takes place in Richie’s small apartment with just the two sibling, so their chemistry is necessary to elevate the film beyond a statement about depression or just a silly comedy. The film garnered three awards at the 2019 Blood in the Snow Film Festival including Best Screenplay and Rising Star Award for Bavota and Springer as well as Best Actor for Horwin. With this kind of talent behind the film, Dead Dicks intelligently ponders the question, “Can you create a better version of yourself?”