12 HOUR SHIFT (2020) Reviews and overview

 

‘Pull your shift together’

12 Hour Shift is a 2020 American dark comedy thriller feature film about a group of nurses who are stealing organs and selling them on the black market.

Written and directed by Brea Grant (actor in The Stylist; After Midnight; Bad Apples; Dead Night), the movie stars Angela Bettis (Carrie; May; The Woman), David Arquette (Scream franchise; Spree; Ravenous), Mick Foley, Chloe Farnworth, Kit Williamson, Tara Perry and Nikea Gamby-Turner.

Matt Glass composed the quirky soundtrack score and also photographed 12 Hour Shift

Plot:

1998: Nurse Mandy (Angela Bettis) is just trying to make it through her double shift alive, but her nasty drug addiction, annoying coworkers, needy patients, and devious cousin are making it pretty tough, not to mention organ-stealing criminals and an injured convict…

Reviews:

“Grant stacks macabre situations on top of each other to create a wild journey through a criminal enterprise. Holding down the center is Angela Bettis, in a turn that’s sharp and deviously funny. Even if you’d never want Mandy taking care of you in the hospital, spending eighty-six minutes watching her adventure is a pleasure.” The Aisle Seat

12 Hour Shift is stuck between genres. Had it leaned more in the direction of bizarre comedy, it could have had an Adult Swim vibe to it. Had it gone more in the crime direction and sprinkled in some laughs to defuse the tension, it could have been something in the vein of the Coen Brothers. Instead, the movie tries to be a bit of everything, leaving everyone just a bit disappointed.” Awards Circuit

“Is this going to turn off some diehard horror fans? Admittedly, maybe. Will its marketing be received with disgust or disinterest from non-horror fans? It might. But it’s a damn funny film, so if one can look beyond the genre labels for an hour and a half, they will find themselves highly entertained by this ensemble cast and the film’s grimly funny yarn.” Crypt Teaze

12 Hour Shift’s last third comes together much better than the first third does. Several inclusions that initially appear random spontaneously boomerang back with payoff punchlines. Grant proves some seeming non-sequiturs are actually cool setups for stingers.” Culture Crypt

“I wasn’t quite as excited as some other reviewers about this film, but there’s an overall atmosphere of sleaze and anarchy which is tightly controlled by Grant’s assured direction, And Bettis is uncomfortably watchable as the nurse struggling to keep it all together.” Dark Eyes of London

” …my only quibble with the film is that I would have enjoyed seeing more from that storyline incorporated into the overall narrative, but I don’t think it was enough of a misstep to take away from everything else that 12 Hour Shift gets right. Without a doubt, Grant has crafted an acerbic screwball crime caper that has its razor-sharp tongue planted firmly in its cheek, and I absolutely adored every single madcap minute of it.” Daily Dead

“How funny you find it may depend on how much you believe it overreaches the boundaries of good taste. But despite its story being of dubious social value, there are no boring moments, it’s very funny, it’s well-made and it’s wacky.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“Since all but a few scenes take place within a hospital, Grant is able to take advantage of the camera and production design to make the viewer feel like they are legitimately a part of the moment. Ultimately, Brea Grant’s 12 Hour Shift is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some very fun moments, but had a few of the inessential subplots been trimmed…” Disappointment Media

12 Hour Shift is intensely aware that is a B-movie thriller, but has fun within the confines of the genre — not pretending to be anything more or less than it is. Grant even taps into the innate Coens Brothers-esque humor of dumb people getting involved in bad things. It all works thanks to Bettis’ stellar, weather-beaten, perpetually exasperated performance as a nurse who picked up the wrong shift.” /Film

12 Hour Shift also loses impact because so much of the dialogue is repetitious, since characters are so often angry and exasperated. Though somewhat charming for her world weariness, Mandy is part of the problem […] There may be viewers out there who will be taken by its outlandishness. Many of us, though, will finish the film just as weary as Mandy.” Film Forward

” …Grant shows she’s as strong of a creative mind behind the camera as she is in front of it. With its frantic plot, well developed characters and clever stylistic choices (including a surprisingly effective musical number),12 Hour Shift brings enough to the table to warrant a recommendation from me.” Film Pulse

12 Hour Shift is a dark comedy that’s eloquent and bold in its storytelling. Gory elements, a chaotic narrative, and one crazy cousin elevate a rather basic story about a nurse who has a problem with drugs. If you’re a fan of bloody horror films and a dry sense of humor, Grant has made something you will enjoy.” First Showing

“It’s all over the place and never quite comes together, but there’s also no denying the fun of its deranged genre thrills. There are one or two great surprises, the violence is off the charts, it’s dumb in all the right places, and it accomplishes the bold goal of making us want to spend time around such horrible people.” Flickering Myth

“Bettis is what makes the movie go, as someone who actually looks like she could be a nurse in Arkansas, while Farnsworth is also very good, whose exit from the film is especially memorable […] Whenever 12 Hour Shift surfaces, it’s worth a look for anyone who enjoys a horror-comedy that’s funny as it is creative.” Goomba Stomp

“Somehow, Grant manages to distract viewers from her characters’ appalling crimes through her screwball pacing. Even the film itself seems to lose track of its body-count. However, her periodic attempts at hipster stylization fall embarrassingly flat. Still, it is worth watching Bettis do her cynical thing.” J.B. Spins

“The blending of seriously dark humor and bloodshed makes for squeamish laughs and bloody bodily harm. Maybe if we treated medical workers better, they wouldn’t have to resort to such medical malpractice atrocities. And yet, we wouldn’t have this fun as hell film.” Killer Horror Critic

“The ghoulishness of comedy really feeling like something that wouldry funny. take place in a hospital… after all, comedy (no matter how dark) has to be the perfect antidote to all the death and disease that nurses see on a day-to-day basis.Where 12 Hour Shift really succeeds however in its characters. Bettis is always guaranteed to deliver a great performance and her character, despite the drug problem and organ-harvesting tendencies, still manages to generate empathy.” Nerdly

“There’s a gruesome frivolity to 12 Hour Shift — with Bettis as the troubled but resourceful centre of this rapidly devolving nightmare scenario — but all the hijinks and death scenes ultimately don’t have much point beyond their sheer outlandishness. As a result, the film starts to feel mechanical as Mandy must keep one step ahead of her cousin, the crooks, the hospital administration…” Screen Daily

12 Hour Shift is a film that is anchored nearly entirely on the lead performance by Angela Bettis as Mandy, who is a very flawed individual, yet still a competent nurse […] Add on scene-stealing cameos by both former professional wrestler Mick Foley and David Arquette, the latter of whom is also the film’s producer, 12 Hour Shift is altogether one crazy night in a hospital.” Sean Kelly On Movies

12 Hour Shift is certainly a strikingly assured feature— and a slick, despairingly funny piece of dark comedy that left me wanting more. Pitch black humor, abundant originality, a brilliant visual style, and an over-the-top third act make 12 Hour Shift, one of the best indie films of 2020.” Tilt

“Being a low budget feature, it needed a more creative cinematic touch or memorable characters to elevate the material. However, it just goes through the motions and doesn’t ever stand out aside from the performance of Bettis, who is perfect as a nurse at her wit’s end. It didn’t ever strike the right tone to make this more of the sort of bananas pulpy delight that it’s striving for.” We All Want Someone to Shout For

12 Hour Shift is bone-dry and darkly funny, but it’s far from joyless […] Grant makes a lot of brave, interesting choices here. As a filmmaker, she’s not afraid to take chances, whether it’s casting Dewey Riley as a bad guy or peppering her sharp screenplay with lines about not liking it “when people call women ‘nuts.’” Wicked Horror

Release:

12 Hour Shift was set to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival prior to its cancellation. It was released online on October 2nd 2020.

Choice dialogue:

Mandy [Angela Bettis]: “I sometimes have too much faith in humanity.”

Cast and characters:

Angela Bettis … Mandy
David Arquette … Jefferson
Chloe Farnworth … Regina
Mick Foley … Nicholas
Kit Williamson … Officer Myers
Nikea Gamby-Turner … Karen
Tara Perry … Dorothy
Brooke Seguin … Janet
Dusty Warren … Mikey
Tom DeTrinis … Mr Kent
Thomas Hobson … Derrick
Julianne Dowler … Cathy
Briana Lane … Cheryl Williams
Taylor Alden … Shawna
Scott Dean … Efron

Filming locations:

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Technical details:

86 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA rating: