Mystery Team is easily one of the funniest movies of the year, and a strong feature length debut for Derrick Comedy, who are best known for their short comedic online videos. Mystery Team follows three naïve teenagers stuck reliving their glory days as kid detectives, despite the fact that they’re now on the verge of high-school graduation. That all changes when the clueless detectives take on a ‘grown-up’ mystery that takes them far away from the jungle gym and swing set, as they try and solve a double-murder by venturing into a seedy underworld, including a hobo-infested back alley, a strip club and (gasp!) a bowling alley.
It’s almost cinema-crime that the movie hasn’t spread across theatres in North America like wildfire, but the creators of the film have opted to do something cooler: a town-by-town tour of the movie for those who Demand It. It’s already won over crowds at Sundance and Comic-Con, and has been building buzz in its wake. I had a chance to see the flick, as well as interview the folks behind the movie at last summer’s Comic-Con, and I’ve compiled three reasons why you should beg for the Mystery Team to come to your neck of the woods:
1. Derrick Comedy is like a Voltron of comedy.
The movie is the brainchild of Derrick Comedy, a group of five friends, with their own unique sensibilities, who banded to form a comedy-making machine. Dominic Dierkes, who plays Charlie — a.ka. the Strong One — has a background in stand-up comedy, and has taught and directed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Donald Glover, who plays leader Jason, the Master of Disguise, also plays faded jock Troy on Community, and DC Pierson, who plays Duncan, the Boy Genius, has written his first to-be-published novel (“The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To”). And The Derrick Comedy collaboration isn’t complete without director Dan Eckman and producer Meggie McFadden, who contributed behind-the-scenes to turn the great concept and screenplay into a fully-realized flick.
While Derrick Comedy has mastered the online skit, with Mystery Team they’ve shown they have what it takes to make a feature-length movie. It’s a pretty tight story with a surprising amount of character and heart, while venturing into some hilariously dark (and smelly) places.
Mystery Team also stars Aubrey Plaza, who consistently delivers some of the best lines on Parks & Rec, and was a scene-stealer in Funny People. And even Bobby Moynihan (not exactly one of my favorite current Saturday Night Live cast members) turns in a good performance here.
2. Low budget indie-comedy isn’t all Napoleon Dynamite.
One of the things I noticed about the movie, when I wasn’t giggling like a madman, was the heart of the movie. It has the feel of an 80’s kid adventure movie, like if the Goonies had really never said die and refused to grow up, and then starred in crime film. Regardless, it’s certianly no trendy art-house comedy, that coasts by on ironic detachment and quirky-looking characters. And, most importantly, unlike those other movies, there’s actual jokes in the movie. This movie is packed with The Funny.
Also, after a year when big-budget comedies like Land of the Lost and Year One kind of tanked, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if smaller movies like this got more support in theatres.
3. Support their sickness.
It takes talent to make a video this twisted (NSFW. At all), so don’t be deceived by the PG trailer. Mystery Team is laced with some hilariously dark moments – and the grossest onscreen toilet since Trainspotting. In short, Derrick Comedy is sick and they need your support. Give them your money so they can get better and make their next movie.
Mystery Team just finished a week of screenings in Arizona, in which the guys did a Q & A and live video sketch show after each showing. How much more incentive do you need already? The team is headed to New York on December 4th. For more information, check out the website: mysteryteam-movie.com