Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Daniel Roebuck, James Karen, Jennifer Blaire, Jim Beaver
Directed by Larry Blamire
Distributed by Shout! Factory
As a huge fan of classic horror movies and such, let me just say this … after watching the glorious homage to monster movies that was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, I will watch anything director Larry Blamire comes up with and then some. For those unfamiliar with the man’s work, allow me a moment to explain what he does.
Simply put, Blamire is a mad genius. He creates films that perfectly mimic the old sci-fi, horror, and murder films of the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties by writing his scripts as they would have been written back then complete with vintage lingo and then films them in delicious black and white. The results are both as incredibly funny and even unintentionally funny as the original films of that era seem now. They’re just absolutely charming.
Leaving rubber-suited monsters behind, Dark and Stormy Night tells the tale of what happens during the reading of the will of one Sinas Cavinder. An eclectic group of individuals, two reporters, and a cabby looking for thirty-five cents(!) have gathered to see if old Sinus had left them anything behind (or report on anything unusual if need be). After reading the will, the lawyer announces that there was an addendum added that changes everything, but before he can even get out another sentence, the lights go out, and by the time they’re turned back on, he ends up being … shall we say … very dead. From there it’s a comedic whodunit filled with murder, madmen, comedy, and even a seance thrown in for good measure.
While that all sounds like fun, and for the most part it is, Dark and Stormy Night, while authentic feeling, just isn’t as funny as it would like to believe that it is. There are several comedic misfires along the way that will result in much eye-rolling and even some groaning. Still, as stated, the film does manage, despite its own stupidity, to remain fairly entertaining; and in the end that’s all that really matters.
In terms of special features the two gems here are the cast and crew commentary as well as the behind-the-scenes featurette. The one thing that fuels Blamire and his gang of players is sheer enthusiasm for what they’re doing, and in these two bits of supplemental material said enthusiasm shines like a star. Add on an amusing gag reel and even a colorized version of the film (which is not nearly as charming), and we’re done. Not a bad package for not a bad movie.
Wile never coming close to the high camp value of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, this flick still manages to hit at least most of the right notes for fans of movies like this, and for that it should be appreciated. If you’re looking for a little silliness to get you through your normally dismal day, Dark and Stormy Night is likely to provide you with quite a few giggles and grins.
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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