Lunch Ladies (Short, 2017)
Starring Donna Pieroni, Mary Manofsky, Daisy Kershaw
Directed by J.M. Logan
Written by Clarissa Jacobson
Fans of black comedy, rejoice!
J.M. Logan’s Lunch Ladies is a viciously amusing short that revolves around two Johnny Depp-obsessed cafeteria workers.
When sisters Seretta (Pierno) and LouAnne (Manofsky) are selected as the winners of a charity cooking event, the typically disgruntled women are offered the chance to meet the all-mighty Nightmare on Elm Street alum at one of his concerts. However, while awaiting the opportunity, the growing chaos at Melvin High soon pushes the two over the edge…
Even with the dingy world of the lunch room serving as its backdrop, Lunch Ladies is a well-polished short that sports a high and glossy production value (honorable mention to the Depp memorabilia that litters and accentuates each scene). The performances, from the leads to the supporting actors, are all top-notch. It’s obvious the film was crafted with care; it’s all in the little moments, particularly Manofsky’s mannerisms as the more subtler of the two. As the more heightened sister, Donna Pieroni brings a mad charm that will have you rooting for her, similar to Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom. In fact, the premise and execution of Lunch Ladies feels like a love letter to John Waters’ notably campy fare (at one point, Pieroni even sports a Cry-Baby t-shirt). Charmingly dark humor aside, there’s certainly a fair bit of bloodshed here to satisfy the gore hounds.
Clocking in at nineteen minutes, Lunch Ladies moves along swiftly. The filmmakers make full use of the concept in the allotted run time and while the finale montage enjoyably wraps things up, there is so much ripe material here left to be explored, begging the question ‘What REALLY happened in Hollywood?’ The only aspect that disappoints is that Lunch Ladies was produced as a short that truly leaves you wanting more of Seretta and LouAnne’s antics. Otherwise, this is a five-star little film that deserves a look!