Danny Aiello, Vincent (Phil) Leotadro
Directed by Frank Ciota
Monterey Video 2010
104 minutes

Stiffs is a fun goombah comedy DVD. This is a small budget movie with Danny Aiello as an older Italian American with a spotless reputation who gets involved in the funeral business. The on-screen talent is there but you do get the feeling Stiffs would have been better if it had been a darker comedy and a bit more over the top.

Frank (Aiello) is a retired PR man who works as a driver for the Raguchi Funeral Home. This is a pleasant gig where he gets to meet people and console the widows. Business is not what it used to be for this north end Boston establishment. Soon the lead hearse driver John (Jon Polito) gets it into his head that if business will not come to Raguchi s Raguchi s will go to the business and the neighborhood death rate slowly starts to climb.

Frank is the only one who does not know what is going on

Stiffs works but there are a too many secondary story lines. One involves what happened to Nino s father, what happened to estrange Frank from his family, what the local newspaper guy is up to, and what Raguchi is up to.

This darkish comedy has its moments and a few really good bits of dialogue. This is a DVD you do not mind having seen but not really a keeper.

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