JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT’S LAST WORD
1981. As the town of Amarillo gets ready to celebrate Halloween,
a 76-year-old nun is raped, strangled, beaten and stabbed to death.
And as it happens in Texas, the authorities have every interest in finding
the culprit before mob justice takes its course. Soon, an ideal suspect
is arrested: Johnny Frank Garrett, an 18-year-old with a feeble
mind. The jury members are a little to eager to return to their homes
and sentence him to death. Ten years later, Johnny finally gets to meet
the grim reaper. But before he receives his lethal injection, he thanks
his audience. First by telling them to go fuck themselves and then by
cursing each of his jurors for several generations. These last words are
a promise that will be kept. In the weeks following his execution, the
former jury members begin to die in strange circumstances.
The latest film by Simon Rumley (The Living and the Dead, ABC’s of
Death) is inspired by real events that were already the subject of the
2008 documentary Johnny Frank. It’s in turn a plea against capital
punishment, an injustice that is reminiscent of Making a Murderer,
and a troubling horror story that’s still unexplained today. The musical
score was composed by an esteemed former member of our international
jury, Simon Boswell (Phenomena, Santa Sangre, Shallow Grave).