There is no way to sugar coat it, “Funeral Day” is a movie about testicular cancer. But … it’s a fantastic comedy! A top selection at this year’s Key West Film Festival, Jon Weinberg, star and director, has come to Key West to show his film and well, show off his cojones — not literally, of course. Weinberg has crafted a rather “ballsy” take on one of man’s biggest fears, cancer. And not just any cancer — cancer down there.
“Funeral Day” tackles the taboo subject, testicular cancer, by sending the neurotic main character, Scott played by Weinberg, on his own journey of fear, hypochondria, irrational thoughts and bad advice. It starts the morning of his friend Ken’s funeral when Scott feels a lump on one of his testis. Instead of going to a doctor like a rational person, Scott skips the funeral and looks for validation and verification about life and death from friends, neighbors and strangers — anyone but a doctor. His fear of cancer has prompted him to realize, “I am not the man I want to be,” and suddenly he must, “live life to the fullest.”
Weinburg, who grew up in the Midwest, drew on comedies like “Fargo” and other Coen Brothers movies for that richness of character and heightened sense of reality. Now based in Los Angeles, he gathered a host of known comedic actors for the cast such as Tyler Labine (“Deadbeat,” “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and soon “Super Troopers 2”). Labine plays neighbor Chuck, who willingly inspects Scott’s balls while deadpanning, “There is nothing more important than nut health and hygiene.”
The film joined forces with the Testicular Cancer Society and has become a platform for men’s health. “The film is not just entertaining,” said Weinberg, “but we hope it will get your talking about your balls or the balls of someone you love.”
“Funeral Day” is a clever exploration of men’s fears and neurosis concerning their health, death, and the family jewels. Quincy Perkins, co-curator and founder of the Key West Film Festival, now entering its fifth year, is glad to have garnered the film.
“My partner, Mike Tuckman, and I go to film festivals all year looking for those smaller films that would find an audience here in Key West,” said Perkins, “We have some great documentaries this year, so we are happy to have a good comedy.” A friend of Perkins recommended the film knowing it takes some gonads to make Key West laugh.
“Funeral Day” recently played the Twin Cities Film Festival and also took home the Best Director Feature Film award at the Austin Revolution Film Festival where it was also Nominated for Best Comedy Feature, Best Screenplay and Best Actor .
Official Selection of The KW Film Festival
Saturday, Nov. 19 @ 8 pm
Key West Theater
512 Eaton Street
“If we can entertain and create awareness about something as important as cancer, it’s something to be proud of.” — Jon Weinberg, star and director of ‘Funeral Day’