Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town

10 Apr

A few months ago I placed an Amazon order for the Kids in the Hall movie, Brain Candy, which I thought would round out my KITH collection (owning seasons 1-5 of their sketch comedy), but I discovered thanks to “customers who bought this item also bought…” that they had released a mini-series on the CBC (reran on IFC) entitled Death Comes to Town in 2010.  As a Kids shill, Death Comes to Town was an exciting and obvious purchase.

The series, directed by Kelly Makin (KITH director since the early 90’s), takes place in the fictional Shuckton: a small Canadian town with a big heart whose deplorable mayor (perfect “short man syndrome” Bruce McCulloch) is pushing for the town to be the home of the next Olympic Games.  And then Death (Mark McKinney) shows up on a Greyhound bus with his own ideas.  After a few murders take place, the series becomes a whodunnit? farce.

As usual, each member of the troupe plays a number of characters:

Mark McKinney: Death (who has a thing for redheads and owl’s blood), news correspondent Corinda Gablechuck, and the Shuckton Court Judge.

Bruce McCulloch: Mayor Bowman of Shuckton, a 600 lb. failed hockey player named Ricky and a funky American prosecutor named Big City.

Dave Foley:  Mayor Bowman’s alcoholic wife, Marilyn, news producer Levon Blanchard and the town’s OBGYN/abortionist Doc. Porterhouse.

Scott Thompson: Dusty Diamond (I wonder how Screech felt about that…) the bald, flamboyant town coroner, “Crim” Hollingsworth the maybe 1/16th Native American and meteorologist Heather Weather.

Kevin McDonald: Marnie the pizza delivery space cadet, Shaye the ridiculously chill boom mic and Sam the pathetic, cat-obsessed, court appointed defense attorney.

There are surprisingly few recurring characters from their sketch comedy.  McCulloch and McKinney’s inept police team reappear:

The funniest non-Kid character was Mayor Bowman’s slow son, Rampop who, without Death’s aid, could only see human beings as cartoon butterflies.  Wonderful.

Though I enjoyed the series, I would not recommend Death Comes to Town to a Kids in the Hall neophyte; it’s just not a great introduction to the troupe. Neither is Brain Candy for that matter.  The Kids were always strongest with their sketch comedy material which I could review by season, citing their best sketches and characters (and may have to do at some point).  Death Comes to Town, instead, is a series that the average viewer might find amusing and the rabid KITH fanbase will, like I did, say “Holy shit…there’s more!?.”

Rating: ***1/2

Check out the trailer for Death Comes to Town

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