Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Dark and Stormy Night
It’s a dark and stormy night when reporter 8 O’Clock Farraday (Daniel Rockbuck) arrives in a taxi driven by cabby Happy Codburn (Dan Conroy). Apparently, the reading of Sinas Cavinder’s will is to take place, and Farraday plans to nab that story for himself. On arrival, he’s short 35 cents of his fare, so Happy follows him up to the door of the mansion, despite the dire weather. They are unexpectedly joined by a third party, who enters with them when the butler Jeens (Bruce French) admits them, even though none of them have a real reason to be there. The newcomer is none other than rival reporter Billy Tuesday (Jennifer Blaire), also there to get the scoop on the reading of Cavinder’s will.
Unbeknownst to homeowner Burling Famish Jr (Brian Howe), his wife Pristy (Christine Romeo) is
having an affair with Teak Armbruster (Kevin Quinn). Suddenly, people continue to appear as out of nowhere, including Sabasha Fanmoore (Fay Masterson), Lord Partfine (Andrew Parks), Seyton Ethelquake (James Karen), and others. An unexpected twist occurs when it is revealed tha tthe bridge leading to the house in the middle of nowhere has been washed out, and now everyone is trapped there.
Despite long-winded delays and boring stories, the lawyer Farper Twyly (Mark Redfield) gets to the actual reading of the will. Oddly, there is a random bequest for total stranger Ray Vestinhaus (Larry Blamire) whose car broke down in the middle of nowhere and he wanted to attend the reading of the will. The bulk of the estate goes to Sabasha, but should anything happen to her, it will then go to Burling Famish. However, there is a separate envelope, which was intended to be read after the will. It seems there was a codicile, stating that a change has been made, and that everything is to go to…. and then the lights go out.
And of course, this is when mayhem ensues as somebody is picking off the occupants of the house, one by one. But who… and why? This is a classic dark and stormy night murder mystery that is also a damn funny comedy, from the same guy who brought us the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, including many of the same faces. But there are also people you might otherwise recognize as well, including Jim Beaver, Marvin Kaplan, Betty Garrett and James Karen. Alison Martin is hysterical as so-called psychic Mrs. Cupcupboard, and the seance scene is beyond funny. Look for a gorilla in the house, too. The back and forth between the two reporters reminded me a lot of the banter of the Three Stooges. Everyone in this film is wonderful.
I’m sorry I didn’t discover Larry Blamire sooner. His films are great. I’m trying to find more. If you like mysteries that make you laugh, this is the film for you. I give this film 4.5 Stars
Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead
Martin (Geir Vegar Hoel) is the sole survivor from his group of friends who only wanted to enjoy a skiing vacation but were brutally attacked and killed by… Nazi zombies! But just when he thinks he is home free, Martin realizes he has one of the gold coins the Nazis wanted inside his car, and the Nazi commander, Herzog (Organ Gamst) is right there to get it. They end up fighting for it, and Martin speeds away with the Nazi zombie clinging to the car, one arm trapped inside the window. Martin avails himself of a semi passing in the opposite direction to remove his problem, although the arm flies onto the floor of the car. Martin tosses the coin out the window and figures he’s seen the last of them. However, road conditions are poor and Martin ends up in an accident.
Martin awakens to find himself in the hospital. But his nightmare has just become worse, for the police
have discovered the bodies of his friends and think he is responsible for their deaths! Even worse, he is approached by a surgeon who wishes to give him some good news. Noticing his missing limb (Martin cut it off after being bitten), the police searched the car and found his arm, and they have successfully reattached it. Isn’t that good news? Poor Martin is horrified as he realizes that this arm is actually Herzog’s.
While he’s held captive in the hospital, he gets a visit from a young man who snuck in to see his arm. Turns out he is a member of a Zombie Squad, and he is excited to find evidence that what they believe to be true is true – that zombies are real! He takes pictures of the arm and sends them to his friends in the US.
Things go from worse to worser as Martin discovers that the arm has a mind of its own, and it isn’t good. It goes on a killing rampage, including the boy. Martin finds himself with the boy’s phone when the Zombie Squad calls, and he reports that the boy was killed by zombies. The leader of the squad, Daniel (Martin Starr) assures him that they are professionals and they are on the way. That’s good news, right? Except Martin doesn’t realize that the entire squad consists of Martin and Monica (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Blake (Ingrid Haas). Daniel tells Martin to find out what Herzog wants before they arrive.
Martin goes to a World War II museum where he meets Glenn (Stig Frode Henriksen), who is a little intimidated by him. He shows him what they have regarding Herzog, and what his original mission was – namely, to destroy the town of Talvik, because of their anti-Nazi sabotage. When Glenn shows him the map, Martin realizes to his horror that where they are lies between where the Nazis were and Talvik. Sure enough, looking out the window to where a bus of tourists had arrived and were disembarking, the two men witness a scene of carnage and chaos.
Cue the arrival of the Zombie Squad. Somehow, Martin isn’t reassured at the sight of the three. He’d expected more help. But this is the reality. That, and his arm, which he has begun to learn to control. Will this be enough to stop the Nazi horde once again?
Honestly, I liked the second film even more than the first. I liked the first, but this one doesn’t have all the relationship bs that clouded the first one, plus no one is having sex in an outhouse (just ick). The Nazi zombies are unique and different from other zombies in other zombie films, they are actually worthy adversaries. The Zombie Squad aren’t as foolish as they first appear, and they don’t hesitate to jump into the fray. I really liked Glenn, too. And the Norwegian police, who can never quite seem to figure out what’s going on. If you watch this, stay until the end of the credits for a final scene.
Sadly, there will probably not be a Dead Snow 3, as the actor who played Martin passed. Too bad, there was supposed to be a zombie Hitler. That would have been epic. Nonetheless, this was worth watching. I’ll give it 4.5 Stars.