Coming from writer/director Brea Grant and Magnet Releasing is one of the finest looks at dark humor and horror found on a 12-HOUR SHIFT.
It is around 1999 and Mandy (Angela Bettis) is a disgruntled and drug addicted nurse at a local hospital. Preparing for her 12-hour shift, even co-worker Karen (Nikea Gamby-Turner) sends Mandy off to pop a little lift in the back to get through it all. Also on shift that she can all but guarantee will annoy her is Dorothy (Tara Perry) and Janet (Brooke Sequin).
But Mandy has something else on the side when she meets Regina (Chloe Franworth) out on the back platform. When Regina opens her cooler, Mandy places in organs while listening to cousin-only-by-marriage babble away. Heading back inside, it is clear that there is some body part selling going on at this particular hospital and many people are involved.
When Regina arrives at her destination, Nick (Mick Foley) opens the cooler to find two drinks and no kidneys. Making it clear that he would be happy to take hers, Regina promises to go find the kidney and return. Given a short amount of time to make that happen, she panics running back to the hospital to tell Mandy she needs another kidney.
Mandy is in no mood for her and the notorious murderer Jefferson (David Arquette) has been brought in and Mr. Kent (Tom DeTrinis) will not stop complaining. So, Regina decides to take it upon herself to grab a kidney on her own not knowing Mandy is trying to help.
People are being knocked right and left, there is screaming, loads of blood everywhere, a murderer who doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested in returning to prison, cops charming nurses, Nick has sent Mikey (Dusty Warren) in with a gun, and a partner in crime who has had just about enough of all this nonsense.
Join Mandy to see how to survive your next 12-hour shift!
Bettis as Mandy is outrageous, stunning and brilliant and I actually would not mind having her as my next nurse. Perhaps it has something to do with her ability to juggle insanity…yes, but no. Maybe it has something to do with her ability to not take a kidney from Regina without anesthetic…yes, but no. It is that she portrays a character that I would hang out with any day of the week! There are moments where she says nothing but has that look and all I could think was, “I understand you girl, truly I do”. Bettis is just awesome and I loved every moment she is on screen.
Franworth as Regina had me wanting to take drugs! Oh-my-gawd what a nitwit but then again that is the point of the film. We let Bettis show us the medicinal side of insanity and Regina needs absolutely no drugs whatsoever, she is nuts on a whole other playing field. What does that translate to? Frakken good job girl, that’s what! Your portrayal brought me to Mandy’s level of wanting to knock Regina the frak out and take out her kidneys with an ice cream scoop. Oh, sorry, too dark?
Gamby-Turner as Karen is keeping it all together by the grace of God, who she readily calls upon when having a snack break. She does not react as one would expect, and I am okay with that. For me she is actually the stable one out of them all and does it with a smooth coolness. Perry as Dorothy is keeping everything ship shape which is hard to do when all the players keep changing.
Warren as Mikey is sent to the hospital looking for Regina and the kidney. When she sucks him into her plan, poor guy, things go as everything does where Regina is concerned – cockeyed. Sequin as Janet wants to keep her space in the pecking order of nurses and when she thinks Regina is trying to overlap things get ugly. Shout out to DeTrinis as Mr. Kent, I think I have run into that guy in an ER once or twice – minus his soda machine findings.
Now, lets get to Arquette! All pumped up and ready to take a few lives with ease, he does not have many lines but when he is on screen, he cracks me up when the screaming and running start. It is a small part, but I got a huge kick out of it cheering on Jefferson!
Other cast include Kit Williamson as Officer Myers, Dustin Warren as Mikey, Thomas Hobson as Derrick, Julianne Dowler as Cathy, Briana Lane as Cheryl, Taylor Aldsen as Shawna and Scott Dean as Efron.
Magnet Releasing is a part of Magnolia Pictures that specializes in films from the vanguard of horror, action, comedy and Asian cinema. It is also the home of classics like Tomas Alfredson’s LET THE RIGHT ON IN, Ti West’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Andre Ovredal’s TROLLHUNTER, Neil Marshall’s sword and sandals bloodbath CENTURION and Tony Jaa’s ONG BAK trilogy. Recent released include the terrifying anthologies V/H/S and V/H/S/2, Xan Cassavettes’ stylish vampire film KISS OF THE DAMNED, and the sci-fi thriller THE LAST DAYS ON MARS. Upcoming films include Ti West’s THE SACRAMENT and to find out more of what is to come please visit www.magnetreleasingfilms.com.
12-HOUR SHIFT is just an outstanding piece of filmmaking for so many reasons so bear with me while my fangirl comes out and gets giggly. I am a horror fan, but I don’t need tons of body ripping and screaming – this film is the horror I love. I get to laugh, jump a few times and scream at the screen things like, “oh please kill her”, “are you serious?”, “holy sh@t I wasn’t expecting that!”.
The cast is absolute perfection from Mandy’s intolerance of her fellow employees (minus Karen) to calmness in finding donors is flawless, Regina’s outright irritating reasonings for everything to Officer Meyers giving off his best charm – there isn’t one person out of place.
The fact that Grant came up with the amazing originality of this film gives me hope that we can all see more of her work in the future. This film is so much fun that I will be seeing it again and again and will add it to my Horror Halloween list of must-see’s – just because it is so brilliant.
David Arquette is one of the producers of the film along with his wife making it a horror-family affair. The music in the film is from the band Glass as well.
In the end – pull your shift together!