There?s a marked difference between stage and screen, and South of Heaven is a film that really reminds a viewer of that difference. More than its limited locations, small cast, and hand-painted backdrops, the film also has the dialogue of a good play, with interesting character monologues and audience asides that come close to breaking the 4th wall. Still, I?m not sure that South of Heaven, with all of its looney tunes ambition (think the Coen Bros meets Lil? Abner meets Darkman, then make that a noir), really works as a movie. It works as a story, but I could never quite overlook the un-cinematic-ness of it, as on display here. The same story with a bigger budget and a little bit of script fat-trimming would probably be an incredible movie, and it?s almost a shame to see it exist in the form that it does?too low-budget for its own good. The cast is all-around good, doing good service to the material, and J.L. Vara may be a writer to watch. If you have an open heart to DIY movies, truly independent stuff, then you?ll feel rewarded by South of Heaven.