'The Drummond Will,' 4 stars by Bill Goodykoontz - Jul. 22, 2011 10:08 AM The Arizona Republic "The Drummond Will" is a quirky little British delight. 'THE DRUMMOND WILL' Good: Director: Alan Butterworth. Cast: Mark Oosterveen, Phillip James, Jonathan Hansler. Rating: Not rated, the film contains profanity and violence. Note: At Harkins Valley Art. » Showtimes Co-writer and director Alan Butterworth's debut at times tries too hard and strains at the seams. But that's better than not trying at all. Brothers Marcus (Mark Oosterveen) and Danny Drummond (Phillip James) travel from their urban homes to the small English village where their father has died. They hadn't seen him in years, evidently. Nor had they seen each other, and they don't seem too happy about doing so now. The uptight Marcus is in a hurry to leave after the funeral. But the free-spirited Danny arrives so late he misses the funeral and wants to hang around for a while. The brothers learn that their father has left them his house and everything in it, so Marcus agrees to stay for a bit to sort things out. However, one of the things in the house that the will didn't cover is an old man hiding in the pantry with a bag of cash. They assume that the money belonged to their father and, thus, now to them, but the geezer is having none of it. It would spoil things to say exactly what happens next, except that it leads to what happens after that, and after that, and so on - one comical catastrophe piles atop another. It becomes clear that no one in town much cared for Marcus and Danny's father (the brothers didn't care much for him, either) and that someone else in the village knows about the money and wants it. Figuring it all out will leave a pile of bodies and a fair amount of bloodshed, played to comic effect - sometimes too much so. Jonathan Hansler as the clueless constable and Nigel Osner as the vicar with a secret act as if they are auditioning for a road-company version of Monty Python. It's funny for a while, but . . . Oosterveen and James occasionally overdo it as well, but sometimes that's what the story calls for: "Really?" Marcus exclaims at one point, as his brother suggests yet another ridiculous solution to their ever-mounting problems, and it's the appropriate response. A bit much? Sure, but Butterworth, shooting in black and white, manages to pull them back in. And there are some laugh-out-loud moments here, my favorite being a touching scene between Danny and his uncle that's punctuated by something rather unusual that comes floating down the river in front of them. Also: Who doesn't love a crossbow? "The Drummond Will," though not perfect, is certainly an original, funny effort, the strength of its peculiar charms far outweighing its shortcomings. Reach Goodykoontz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: facebook.com/ GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: twitter.com/goodyk. --Rotten Tomatoes/Arizona Republic
George Heymont San Francisco-based arts critic Where Is Miss Marple When You Really Need Her? Posted: 05-15-11 04:00 PM ET Follow Certain genre spoofs derive an extra layer of fun from the simple fact that they are shot in black and white. Created by filmmakers who are head over heels in love with a certain type of movie, these spoofs boast an incredible amount of attention to detail and tradition. * * * * * * * * * The only thing missing from The Drummond Will would be some cameo appearances by the ghosts of Terry-Thomas and Margaret Rutherford. This raucously rude and deliciously irreverent farce gets more out of its stark black and white cinematography than most indie films could ever hope to enjoy. In his director's statement, Alan Butterworth writes: "Making the film in black and white was never really a difficult decision. My favorite film (Dr. Strangelove) is in black and white. Kind Hearts and Coronets looks better than The Ladykillers. Manhattan looks better than Annie Hall, and Raging Bull looks better than just about anything. I also mention Kind Hearts and Coronets as it was a key influence on the story. I only saw it a few years ago and I was blown away by it. The concept of having a central character who was so clearly immoral in a comedy was something that really stuck with me. For our film though, especially with Danny (a character who wasn't exactly immoral but simply unconstrained by traditional moral values) it seemed a more interesting way to go in a modern context. This film is a deeply affectionate modern retelling of the classic comedies and murder mysteries from the Ealing era of British cinema. The Drummond Will imagines what it would be like to be stuck in a world where the strange rules of Ealing cinema apply. A world where life continues quite as normal in the face of escalating body counts, where sleepy English villages invariably harbor any number of dark secrets, and where you only really know who the murderer is when everybody else has been killed. The thoroughly modern Danny and Marcus are trapped in just such a world, and are quickly swept out of their depth. As they realize they'll need to rely on each other if they are to survive, and modern ideas like forensics, cell phones and common sense won't help them, it quickly becomes clear that, inevitably, nothing is what it seems." Marcus Drummond (Mark Oosterveen) is a conservative, middle-aged bureaucrat prone to suffering increasing levels of abuse. His brother, Danny (Phillip James), is the happy-go-lucky fool who can't stop himself from making bad decisions and getting into more trouble. Soon after their return to the tiny village in which they grew up, their father's funeral sets off a chain of unlikely events bound to land the two brothers in a never-ending heap of trouble. Among the people who seem determined to make their lives miserable are: The Constable (Jonathan Hansler) is a familiar stereotype of British whodunits. The Vicar (Nigel Osner) thinks that, even in this day and age, his sexuality would be a secret. Betty the Barmaid (Victoria Jeffrey) has a nasty way with a crossbow. The Colonel (Eryl Lloyd-Parry) desperately wants something. Malcolm the Bastard (Morrison Thomas) is hiding in the closet, clutching a bag of money. Hobo Dave (David Manson) is as drunk as ever. Only their loving Uncle Rufus (Keith Parry) seems happy to see the two Drummond boys. But, like everyone else in the village, Rufus has a few secrets up his sleeve. To spill the beans wouldn't be fair to the filmmaker. Let's just say that The Drummond Will is one of the most refreshingly inventive and lovingly crafted send-ups of a beloved genre to be seen in many a moon. It's the blackest of comedies and a joyful romp rolled into one very pleasing package. --Huffington Post
Top Customer Reviews
NOW, after paying my money and trying to wait this one out, I am re-reading the reviews and its clear they are planted.
First, despite the cover art, this movie's in black and white.
NOT a problem.
BUT, the cast consists (1/2 way through) of a Russel Brand wanna-be, a pseudo David Hyde-Pierce, an close-your-eyes-and-its-John-Cleese, and other English stereotypes.
A poor script, marginal acting and handheld camera work.
Mind, I *adore* Python, AND black humor, but this is just so poor.
I may hav given this another star if I were not so pissed about the planted reviews.
Wait till its in the Prime que.
Drummond WillThe brothers find that their father left them a house and an unaccounted for sizeable amount of cash. The fun begins when they realize that someone else wants that cash and is willing to kill for it. Marcus' droll personality and sense of understatement soon had us laughing out loud. Like a great cult classic, `The Drummond Will' gets funnier and funnier upon repeated viewings. Five stars = great fun.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yuk. Thought i was going to be good. Gruesome. Some parts were humorous intitally, slightly heartwarming and then it all went south. I hate that.Published on April 24, 2013 by Dianne Coil
It was kind of like a student movie. The acting was a little overdone but it was interesting. I wouldn't really reccomment it.Published on March 25, 2013 by suzdav