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Dark and Stormy Night (2009)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 444 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 10 critic

In the 1930s the family of old Sinas Cavinder, gathered for the reading of his will, find themselves being murdered by a mysterious phantom while two rival reporters compete for the story.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jack Tugdon
...
Billy Tuesday
...
Ray Vestinhaus
Bob Burns ...
Kogar the Gorilla
...
Happy Codburn
Robert Deveau ...
Archie Folde
...
Jeens
...
Mrs. Hausenstout
Trish Geiger ...
Jane Hovenham
...
Burling Famish, Jr.
...
Gunny
...
Seyton Ethelquake
...
Mrs. Cupcupboard
...
Sabasha Fanmoore
Susan McConnell ...
Thessaly
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Storyline

A strange and mysterious group of strange, mysterious people gathers in the old dark house of the Cavinder Estate for the reading of the will of the late Sinas Cavinder. Strangest and most mysterious of this group is the unseen psychopathic killer who is psychopathically killing the gatherees one by one. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a House, Everyone Can Hear You Scream

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When legendary gorilla actor Bob Burns mentioned to Larry Blamire that he'd always wanted to play one in an old-dark-house movie, Blamire promptly wrote one into the script for him to play. See more »

Quotes

Seyton Ethelquake: That's in deuced bad taste, considering the deuced death threats the deuced little thing is getting.
Lord Partfine: Better a death threat than a threat of death.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A hilarious and original spoof of a beloved film genre
31 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've seen writer-director Larry Blamire's three previous comedies (THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA, TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD, and THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN) each a funny, affectionate and wildly inspired satire of Z-grade sci-fi films from the 50s and 60s. But DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, which I saw in a special screening at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, goes beyond a simple spoof to a kind of wonderfully weird and wild verbal comedy which, at its best, reminded me of the Paramount-era Marx Brothers.

The film is a giddy bouillabaisse of every Old Dark House picture ever made, from the eponymous "The Old Dark House," to "The Bat Whispers," "Murder in the Blue Room," "Hold That Ghost," "And Then There Were None," and even a few chunks of Lugosi's "The Black Cat" (1934) and "The Ape Man," all stirred together by a loving, but demented hand.

The result is one of Blamire's funniest films, and showcasing some truly inspired performances -- Brian Howe's Colonel Blimp accent and permanent wince, Fay Masterson's alternately weepy and creepy ingénue, Andrew Parks' Noel-Coward-from-Costco character, whose constant epigrams are so circular they hang themselves, and Dan Conroy's straight-from-Central-Casting cabbie whose Brooklyn dialect makes Leo Gorcy sound like Alistaire Cooke. But for me the most pitch-perfect performances were delivered by Dan Roebuck and Jennifer Blaire as the competing reporters 8 O'Clock Farraday and Billy Tuesday. They spat their period gibes and rapid-fire, side-of-the-mouth patter with a wise-guy brio that was not only funny, but which so nicely nailed their beloved B-film archetypes they could've been dropped into any Poverty Row programmer of the period without the audience batting an eye. Both were great, but personally, I've always had a weakness for sharp, fast-talking dame reporters, and Blaire skillfully channeled a combination of Glenda's Farrell's Torchy Blane and Roz Russell's Hildy Johnson that left a smile on my face long after the film was over.

The jokes are non-stop, and yet, like Lost Skeleton, the picture is not only an affectionate spoof, it's a story that holds together and pays off in its own way. Anyone who's ever spent a rainy Saturday afternoon watching old Mascot, Monogram, or PRC programmers on TV will likely adore this movie.

Basically, it's a hilarious flick with a shocking twist ending; like THE CRYING GAME, but with less foreskin. And how often can you say that?


33 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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