Funny guy Larry Blamire takes delight in parodying poky movie genres — threadbare sci-fi in The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001), the haunted-house-murder mystery in this fitfully entertaining black-and-white farce — that were passé when they got the same treatment on The Carol Burnett Show in the 1960s. This time around, he forgoes the slapstick of Cadavra for some genuinely wacky dialogue and inspired flights of fancy.
In the title downpour, a platoon of flaky characters with Edward Gorey–ish names (my favorite is the loony seer Mrs. Cupcupboard) gather at the late Sinas Cavinder’s estate to hear the reading of the old man’s will. One by one, they get bumped off — not always cleverly, or starting with the least amusing.
There’s no shortage of suspects — at least two ancestors have cursed the place, and a mystery killer is on the loose. Perhaps Blamire’s real accomplishment lies in achieving a resolution that actually makes sense.