3 user 6 critic

Dying for Dollars (2007)

The story of Benny, a mentally challenged young man who is caught in the middle of a dysfunctional family and their quest for money.





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Carter ...
Dave Larson
Elaine Hoffman ...
Betty Larson
Michael Rayburn ...
Scotty Larson
Edward Kassar ...
Vinny Valpini
Bob Gray ...
William Taggert
Gloria Barto ...
Grandma (as Gloria John Barto)
Pam Mankowski ...
Mrs. Valpini
Eric Young ...
Radio DJ
Ryan Paul ...
TV Host
Chase Jazzborne ...
Officer Bateman
Jerry Hurst ...
Repo Man #1
Lane Riser ...
Repo Man #2
Joe Hennessy ...
Party Guest
Jessica King ...
Party Guest


Scotty likes to bet on horses, and like most gamblers...he loses. When Scotty loses, Vinnie, his bookie, wins. Scotty loses one race too many, and his gambling debts soar out-of-control. Vinnie wants to make sure that he gets paid, so he kidnaps Scotty's cousin, Benny, and holds him for ransom in an underground cell. Before Scotty's debt is paid, Vinnie is found dead. But where's Benny? Only Vinnie knows Benny's secret hiding place...and Vinnie's dead! Meanwhile, Benny's grandma dies, and greedy relatives have gathered for the reading of her will. If Benny is not found...alive...nobody gets a dime. Benny must be found! Written by Charles McDonald

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Murder?...or just wishful thinking?"





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Release Date:

19 October 2007 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lyrics by Migdalia Etheridge (as Migdalia S. Etheridge)
Music by Phil Brownbill
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User Reviews

What the hell was that?

"Dying for Dollars" is one of those ultra-low budget movies that are exceedingly flawed, but represent a bigger picture of the independent film sector of the industry, thus encouraging a vote of confidence in the 'good effort' department. This is not a very good movie, but it's so sporadically interesting and occasionally weird that the budgetary restraints noticeably did not keep the filmmakers from making something marginally watchable. Basically the story follows a family full of gamblers as they lose big and hope grandma dies soon so they can cash in. Or something like that, but there is some less focused plot line about the special needs adult cousin that insults the intelligence of all involved. Is this a dark comedy? It's not quite clear, because the tone is all over the map, and the over the top nature of the piece may or may not relate to the amateurish performances. The main filmmaker who handled the writing, directing, and camera duties has a surprisingly full resume here on IMDb, given the mostly freshman textbook shot list they must have working from and the aforementioned out of control acting. This is one of those festival circuit flicks that will never get much of an audience, and kind of doesn't deserve one, but it is a reminder that there are plenty of alternatives to the Cineplex good, bad, and the uncertain space in between that "Dying for Dollars" occupies.

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