Dark and Stormy Night (2009)
Article 5786 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Larry Blamire
Featuring Jim Beaver, Jennifer Blaire, Larry Blamire
What it is: Let the puppy go!
On a dark and stormy night, various parties gather at a mansion for the reading of Sinus Cavinder’s will. Will this reading lead to secret passages, mysterious phantoms, wise-cracking reporters, clutching hands, escaped lunatics, sinister servants, ancient curses, gorillas…and murder?
There have been several attempts over the years to parody the “old dark house” movie, which began with THE BAT and THE CAT AND THE CANARY during the twenties and a whole slew of b-movie variants during the thirties and early forties. This is easily my favorite, at least partially because I love Blamire’s non-sequitur-ridden sense of humor, and because the movie does such a fine job of defining each and every one of the twenty-some characters in the story, which is no mean feat; in many of the older ODH movies, it could be easy to get the characters confused. Most of the common “old dark house” cliches are targeted and sent up at one point or another. With so many great comic performances in this one, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but three that stand out are Susan McConnell’s “madwoman in the attic” character, Dan Conroy’s thirty-five cents obsessed cabby, and Blamire himself as a man who does not die several times during the movie. Favorite scene: the reading of the will. Recommended.