A Good Reason to Be a Coward: Jim Cummings on The Last Stop in Yuma County | Interviews

I thought the film was also poking fun at the glorification of spiraling. In the film’s case, it leads to dead bodies.

Yeah, that’s the old ‘crime doesn’t pay’ adage. It’s true. That’s the Westerns: you try to have a good point and reason in life, and you end up getting shot in the ditch. What’s the point? What’s really valuable? Those are the types of questions you’re traditionally supposed to take from a Western.

I feel like the audience strangely wants the bad stuff to happen, and to see these moments that they’re watching be the most interesting moments in the character’s lives. I think that’s why we like watching Karen videos on airplanes; there’s this lust for the void and morbid curiosity, and with each audience member who says, “I’m smarter than that person. I’m more powerful than that person. What a fool they’re making of themselves,” there are others who go, “Yeah, I’ve been there.”

You have the pesky fly buzzing around, the bird featured on the film’s poster, and Faizon Love’s character, Vernon, who has a dog … I’m curious how you interpret the use of those three animals in the film. 

(Laughs) The amount of sound design we had to do for that fly … I mean days of work to get the sound accurate in that scene. There’s a scene where the fly is supposed to land on me but it lands on Richard, so we had to go back. It was really fun. 

With animals, you’re very lucky if they do what they’re supposed to do. The bird in the beginning and the end is a trained bird that took the trainer a month, maybe three weeks, to get it to do what we wanted. But Francis always wanted the animals in this film. He wanted the desert to have this consistent presence of wildlife as a reminder that these things will always be around and survive us. 

The consistency of starting and ending with the bird for the film was a metaphor about how the planet sees us doing this stuff and is like, “What are you doing?” The kind, three-legged dog is so nice. I feel like that was all this metaphor for how these animals will outlive us. The planet will do fine without us, but if we keep acting this way, we won’t survive it.

I know that Francis was recently announced as the director of a new Evil Dead installment. I’d love to see you throw it down with some Deadites. I could see this film being a stealth prequel to a new Evil Dead.