On the list of businesses benefiting from the quarantining and social distancing brought about by the coronavirus pandemic you will likely find streaming services.
Already taking a bite out of the earnings of cineplexes everywhere, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, among others, have the potential to keep and increase their subscriber memberships.
Premiering in March 2020 on Prime Video, just in time to function as the necessary entertaining distraction we need in these dark days, is murder mystery “Blow the Man Down” (Amazon Studios). Winner of the Best Screenplay at the TriBeCa Film Festival, “Blow The Man Down” was co-written and co-directed by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy.
Set in the seaside fishing village of Easter Cove, Maine, “Blow The Man Down” (which incorporates sea shanties throughout), opens with sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) sharing nips from a flask before attending their mother Mary Margaret’s funeral. After the funeral, the sisters talk with Mary Margaret’s best friends Susie (June Squibb), Doreen (Marceline Hugot) and Gail (Annette O’Toole). In addition to being called away from college for the funeral, Mary Beth also discovers that she and Pris are in the process of losing their home.
Drunk and pissed off, Mary Beth heads into town to continue drinking at a bar. There she meets local lowlife Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). The night rapidly goes downhill following a minor car crash and Mary Beth’s discovery of blood, hair and a purse in the trunk of Gorski’s car. Attempting to fend him off and protect herself, Mary Beth stabs Gorski in the neck with a harpoon and then finishes him off with a brick.
Considerably more sober than earlier, Mary Beth wakes Pris up and tells her what transpired. The resourceful sisters go to Gorski’s, dismember him using a knife from the family fishery and stuff his parts in an oversized cooler. They then toss the cooler off a cliff and into the churning sea below. In their hurry, they also leave the knife behind.
Gorski’s body isn’t the only one being disposed of at the same time. Edna (Margo Martindale), a close friend of the late Mary Margaret, and proprietor of the Ocean View Bed and Breakfast is also up to something. On the outs with Susie, Doreen and Gail, Edna’s B&B is actually a bordello serving the needs of the fisherman and others passing through. But her girls at the whorehouse, including Alexis (Gayle Rankin) and Dee (Meredith Holzman), are causing problems. When Dee’s dead body washes ashore, local law enforcement – officers Colletti (Skip Sudduth) and Brennan (Will Brittain) get involved.
When Mary Beth goes back to Gorski’s to unsuccessfully look for the knife, she finds a bag of $50k in cash and believes her and Pris’ luck has turned around. But Edna is on to the sisters and begins to make life difficult for them. Thankfully they have Susie, Doreen and Gail on their side.
The Greek chorus of singing fishermen grows tiresome after a while, but the tense pacing and the performances, especially Squibb, Martindale, Lowe and Brittain, keep “Blow The Man Down” as fresh as the daily catch.