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Film / Dark and Stormy Night

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There's a reading of the will
on a dark and stormy niiiiiiiight.
Sure hope I don't get killed
on a dark and stormy niiiiiiiight.
I don't really know
who is friend or foooooooooooe
on a dark and stormy night.

— Some of the survivors, at the end of the movie.

Dark and Stormy Night is a 2009 movie by Larry Blamire of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra fame. It is an homage to the Old, Dark House movies of the 1930s, complete with Lampshade Hanging moments. It features a large cast of stereotypical characters at an Old, Dark House for the reading of the will of Sinas Cavendar. Some are there to see what they got, and others are there by accident, or are they? During the reading, the lights go out and the lawyer reading the will is killed, leaving in doubt the possession of Sinas' estate. As the night progresses, more and more of the guests in the house are killed off by a mysterious murderer. Can the two ace reporters figure out who's doing it before they are the next victims?

Tread carefully, spoilers abound.

Not to be confused with It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Old, Dark House murder mystery movie
  • Bookcase Passage: Seyon Ethelquake finds one while perusing a book on stilts.
    • Ambiguous Syntax: Not the book was placed on stilts, or that he was on stilts while perusing the book, but the book itself was on the subject of stilts.
  • The Butler Did It: Played with. Jeens is not the murderer, but apparently was involved in some shady business, but "those bodies were never found."
  • Captain Obvious: Some of Archie's dialogue.
    Feeding things will keep them alive.
  • Crusty Caretaker: Archie has aspects of this, being an unkempt servant of questionable sanity, although he's actually the cook.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A regular occurrence throughout the evening. Makes sense, given the movie's title.
  • French Maid: Jane wears a French maid uniform, though it lacks any fanservice. And she has a cockney accent, rather than a French accent.
  • Great White Hunter: Jack Tugdon, Sinas Cavender's safari guide, is a very Colonel Mustard take on this trope.
  • Haunted House Historian: Characters take turns dumping bits of exposition on us.
  • His Name Is...: Inspector Riley's sole scene is arriving at the front door, stating that he knows who the murderer is and dying when the lights suddenly go out (again).
  • Human Head on the Wall: At one point, during the brief blackout, Jack Tugdon is killed, his head taxidermied, and mounted on a wall
  • Humble Goal: All Happy the cabbie wants is the thirty-five cents Faraday owes him.
  • In the Hood: Both killers wear hooded robes.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Two of them, Billy Tuesday and 8 O'clock Farraday, who are fighting to be the first to write up the events of the movie.
  • The Jeeves: Jeens, the snooty butler, is a rather suspicious take on this.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Used to the point of a Running Gag. At one point, during the brief blackout, Jack Tugdon is killed, his head taxidermied, and mounted on a wall. Towards the end of the film, the characters aren't even surprised anymore.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Thessaly, Sinas Cavendar's daughter, locked away for her Violent Glaswegian tendencies.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ray Vestinhaus, who is really a cop.
  • Old, Dark House: Cavender Hall, where most of the actual is set.
  • Overly Long Gag: "Have you the letter?" "Have I the letter?! No! Have you the letter?"
  • Posthumous Character: Sinas Cavender, whose will is to be read on the eponymous night.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: What do you do when you're looking through the peephole and notice that someone else is looking through another peephole on the other side of the gallery?
  • Rich Bitch: Pristy, Burling's adulterous and spoiled wife.
  • Spooky Séance: It's really not very scary, though. They summon Marvin Kaplan, who tells them nothing useful.
    It's really bad. And nasty.
  • Stylistic Suck: Most of the film is pretty deliberately campy, but extra credit goes to Larry Blamire's performance as Ray.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Both Lord Partfine and Burling Famish Jr. play different types of twits: Partfine is the silly ass, while Burling is the disreputable cad.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The police admit that they knew what was going on, but they let everyone get murdered to solidify their case against the murderer. They don't get chewed out, per se but the reporters are rather bewildered that the cops would just let it happen.