Dark and Stormy Night Larry Blamire

Dark and Stormy Night Larry Blamire
Despite many studio efforts to keep the spoof comedy genre alive, allowing hacks like Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer to parody 300, Twilight and other box office successes with little focus or competence, the genre hasn't been overly relevant since the days of Mel Brooks and Abrahams/Zucker. This is partly because of the modern tone of big budget films, which, with their detached irony and self-awareness, tend to satirize themselves, along with a lack of insight on what makes a parody work. While Larry Blamire's send-ups don't have a substantial budget or any recognizable actors, they do what they do extremely well, mixing a unique narrative with the conventions and clichés of the films they self-consciously mock. Dark and Stormy Night plays out exactly like The Old Dark House movies, with a group of strangers gathering at an old mansion for the reading of a will. Much like'80s cult favourite Clue, a murderer is amongst them, picking off each archetype one by one, while the quick-witted dialogue and bizarre series of events point to potential motivations and suspects. Most of the comedy comes from playful wordplay and literal interpretations, as characters comment on the peculiarity of their stilted phrasing, occasionally talking their way out of arguments with illogical circular transference. Such is the case with the comic trajectory between reporter Eight O'clock Farraday (Daniel Roebuck) and his cab driver, Happy Codburn (Dan Conroy), who argue about 35 cents. Also of note is some randomness involving an elderly woman at the wrong will reading and an inspired exchange about a found letter that reads, "You will be next." It's hard to imagine there being much of an audience for a theatrical homage to black & white mysteries such as this, but what little audience there is should find themselves very much entertained. A gag reel and behind-the-scenes look show the cast of talented actors and filmmakers having fun with the project, while the commentary elaborates on set stories and intentions. (Shout! Factory)