I love films that take place in a single night like After Hours, Miracle Mile, Adventures in Babysitting and many others. 12 Hour Shift lives up to the expectations of my love of this subgenre. It has a great cast and I love the use of its hospital location. This film is an amazing comedy thriller that works so well it makes you root for people that are not nice.
12 Hour Shift takes place in 1999, Arkansas in a small hospital. Nurse Mandy (Angela Bettis) is a drug addict, she needs to make some extra money on the side to fund her addiction. This is the reason she has a side gig of harvesting human organs from the dead patients in her hospital. Helping in her in this scheme is her inept cousin Regina (Chloe Farnworth) a character that thinks she is smarter than everyone else. She is the greatest source of comedy and trouble in the film. During this night Regina loses a kidney she is supposed to deliver to a dangerous criminal organization. They need this kidney desperately. They threaten Regina that if she doesn’t get them the kidney they need before the night is over; they will take hers. This starts a race to get a kidney at the hospital before the end of the night. The only problem is the hospital is full of odd patients, cops and criminals; they won’t make things easy for them.
The film has amazing cast; but here are a few of the standout actors. Angela Bettis is always amazing. Her character is always emitting strength and calmness even during the worst moment of this night; but at the same time displaying a weakness due to her drug addiction. I love the complexity of the character. Chloe Farnworth as Regina, she is walking disaster. The funniest moment in the film were thanks to her. If Harley Queen was a person in real life it would be her. She may look cute; but she is dangerous. She is a vicious when trying to get her way. Her only weakness is being incompetent at her job. Another great actor in the film is Nikea Gamby-Turner as nurse aware of organ scheme that might know more that she lets on.
There are also small appearances from famous wrestlers Mick Foley and David Arquette. Mr. Foley gets a small part as the leader of the criminal organization that needs the kidney. I want Mick Foley to get more acting roles. He is both threatening and funny. I implore filmmakers to give him more work. David Arquette also does a great job as a convict that finds himself in the middle of the mess while being watched at the hospital. David is can now play an intimidating character with his new wrestling physique. He should get more tough guy roles.
The director of 12 Hour Shift Bea Grant does a great job balance the thrills and comedy. This film features visceral violence; but it doesn’t feel grim. There were moments I went from laughing out loud; to yelling “Oh, My God! Once the plot gets going; the story moves as lightning speed as the characters appear to be jumping from one fire to the other.
If you like great thriller, dark comedies or both you will love 12 Hour Shift. It has amazing cast that would get your attention. This one of the best films I saw at Fantasia Film Festival. Bea Grant is a director to be on the look out for her future projects.
12 HOUR SHIFT is an official selection of the 2020 edition of Fantasia Film Festival. Follow the adventures at www.fantasiafestival.com!