‘12 Hour Shift’ Is An Off-The-Rails Black Comedy And Bloody Good Fun
‘12 Hour Shift’ is full of murder, mayhem and Mandy.
Mandy (played by Angela Bettis) is a nurse in Y2K-era Arkansas who also helps run an organ-harvesting ring out of the hospital she works in. ‘12 Hour Shift’ wastes no time at all in establishing that Mandy doesn’t give a shit about minute details and small talk—and that we’re in store for a crazy story as the viewer. Mandy (who starts the film snorting lines just to make it through another mundane night) and co-worker Karen (Nikea Gamby-Turner) are part of the organ smuggling operation and answer to crime boss Nicholas (Mick Foley), who isn’t subtle at all when he informs Mandy’s “cousin” Regina (Chloe Farnworth), also part of the operation, about what will happen if she doesn’t recover the kidney she lost.
Very much a departure from the ‘Saint Mick’ and ‘Have A Nice Day’ guy fans might be used to, Foley makes the most of his limited screen time and is very believable as a guy who doesn’t appreciate excuses, or screw-ups by the not-too-bright Regina. Foley is cold and ruthless, swearing enough times in a short span to make you blush. (Foley has worked the ‘F-bomb’ into the punchline of his stage show, but when we spoke he noted that he doesn’t “make people wait 90 minutes for the F-bomb in this movie, I hit ‘em with it right away.”)
Maybe that’s what you’re good for… parts!
Regina’s mistake sets the story in motion, as she must come up with another kidney to bring to Nicholas since the first one is missing. As if a black market organ stealing scheme isn’t enough, Mandy and Karen have to figure out the best patient to kill while they are on shift so they can not only get the goods but do it without getting caught. While they try and keep things running smoothly, impatient dimwit Regina really steals the show as she sneaks into the hospital to deal with things herself.
Part slapstick, part thriller, ‘12 Hour Shift’ doesn’t let up until the very end, providing laughs, frights and musical numbers. (Yep.) One of the highlights in the film involves a roller skating scene interspersed with an unfortunate trip to the morgue, and there’s plenty more dancing and gore. To be frank, ‘12 Hour Shift’ is batshit crazy from the start and the wild story is very much complicated by the superb cast. Bettis and Farnworth are the stars here, with help from a fantastic supporting cast. Kit Williamson is featured as the blockhead Officer Myers, who is on-site to watch death row inmate Jefferson (played by David Arquette, also a co-producer on the film).
While it’s not a wrestling movie, the wrestling ties are here with Foley and Arquette, plus there’s plenty of carnage to keep fans entertained. Writer/director Brea Grant does a great job of making sense of the story as the felonies and bodies pile up, providing an exciting journey until the very end. By the time we get to the final scenes of the film, it’s pretty easy to ignore just how insane and improbable a few points might be, but it all makes sense in context since we spend nearly 90 minutes establishing how impulsive and wild everything is. “12 Hour Shift” is a nice escape from the current state of affairs and a bit of a reminder to show appreciation for your healthcare workers—or else!
‘12 Hour Shift’ is available on video-on-demand services including Amazon now. Click the link below to listen to our new interview with Mick Foley about his role in the film, his wrestling career and more.