Death Of A Telemarketer is the shared fantasy of us all. We dodge them, mute them, and sometimes get tricked into answering the call. Fudge! They got me! Well, Jackie Earle Haley has had it up to here, and he’s decided to give the spam risk nuisance a visit. Our telemarketer (Lamorne Morris) motivates the caller to ‘reach out and touch someone.’
The official Death of a Telemarketer synopsis reads, “Ace telemarketer Kasey (Lamorne Morris) is in a close sales contest with newbie employee, Barry (Woody McClain), and must score a big sale by midnight or he’ll lose the largest commission to date. Out of desperation, Kasey waits until everyone leaves the office and finds the Do Not Call list. He thinks he’s found the perfect mark, but instead finds himself held hostage and at the mercy of Asa (Jackie Earle Haley), the man he tried to swindle. Now Kasey must pass Asa’s twisted test on ethics if he wants to live to sell another day.”
This movie takes me back to a temp job (temp, meaning I was “let go”) where I thought there might be a special place I go to after I die if I continued trying to sell people long distance. However, during my short time there, I sat by a man who LIVED for the job. I mean, he killed at sales, and he bopped in everyday pumped to outsell everyone! His trick to sales and not going crazy? He had a most impressive and diverse list of personas and accents that he wielded to his and the customers’ delights. His technique left me spellbound. I could listen to him all day, which is how I found myself unemployed.
Alternately, the rage on the other ends of the lines when other employees called during dinner time or when someone’s ‘stories’ were on, was epic. You could hear them explode in a manner used exclusively for those blasted telemarketers. However, we were all spared any visitors to the establishment.
Cue Jackie Earle Haley. He’s perfectly cast for the person who would show up to teach our poor tele-nuisance a lesson. It doesn’t look like he plans to pull any punches; also he has a gun. Coupled with the smiley-voice of someone unhinged and about to enjoy doling out some punishment (We have all fantasized some version of this.), I don’t know who to root for.
Jackie Earle Haley has been candid about his extended hiatus from show business, delivering pizzas and driving limos. A call after 13 years out of the business found him in Little Children, where he would be nominated for an Oscar for Supporting Role. He hasn’t looked back. We an look forward to his next project, The Retirement Plan, starring Nicolas Cage, Ernie Hudson, Ashley Greene, and Ron Perlman. You can catch more of Lamorne Morris lending his voice to the animated series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. Death of a Telemarketer premieres in theaters and On Demand on December 3.