The fatalistic fury of neo-noir meets the sudden savagery of the spaghetti western in Pickings, a new kind of genre cocktail that puts an intoxicating spin on the ever-popular gangster movie. Directed, written, edited, shot and produced by lauded New York-based filmmaker Usher Morgan, Pickings picks up where other crime dramas end, serving up a one-of-a-kind female leading character, Jo Lee-Haywood, a lady who’s as loving, caring and dedicated as she is cunning, dangerous and vengeful.
In Pickings, Jo Lee-Haywood (Elyse Price) is a devoted single mother and sister who divides her time between her family and Pickings, the local Michigan tavern that she owns. Easy, right? WRONG! When a local mob boss (Emil Ferzola) and his goons try to muscle in and wet their beaks off Jo’s hard work, it’s up to Jo to embrace her inner demons and tap into her mysterious and violent past to protect her family and livelihood. It doesn’t take too long for the haunted, hardboiled Jo and her pistol-packing posse to lock and load and take on the mob the only way they know how.
Pickings is filled with the classic film noir elements—grim voiceovers, evocative flashbacks, a moody score and an unforgettable femme fatale—combined with the dazzling neon-dipped photography, startling violence and graphic novel-styled visuals of modern cinema. It immediately evokes the films of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, even as it stands on its own as an exciting new exercise stylized cinematic sound and vision.