Whitney Pastorek
January 25, 2009 AT 05:06 AM EST

It’s a glum and rainy Saturday in Park City, and there’s time for one last Sundance interview post before tonight’s awards ceremony brings this year’s festival to a close. As a palate cleanser after a series of films dominated by pain, heartbreak, and gunshot wounds, the penultimate spotlight goes to Derrick Comedy’s sublimely ridiculous (though still gunshot-heavy) Mystery Team, about three college-age Encyclopedia Brown types trapped in a pretty severe state of arrested development until their usual cat-finding and pie-vandalism caseload is interrupted by a real live murder. (See relatively NSFW trailer below.)

A collective of four dudes and their producer chick Meggie, Derrick Comedy fits firmly in the Broken Lizard/Lonely Island/Kids in the Hall template, and is likely to appeal to fans of all three. They’re NYU graduates in their mid-twenties who’ve made a splash doing sketch at the UCB and scored millions of YouTube hits for their short videos; Mystery Team was made with the money they earned from that Internet success. The film has yet to find a distributor, but that hasn’t stopped its midnight audiences from chortling all the way through–or its filmmakers from having one hell of a Sundance. “People are like, ‘It’s really about the movies this year. It’s really subdued,'” said DC Pierson, who plays “boy genius” Duncan. “It’s like there’s a library that’s on fire and they’re saying it’s really about the books. It’s on fire.” The group also cleared the required swag allotment, though perhaps for different reasons than most: director Dan Eckman, for example, is now sporting a new watch, but mostly just because the face had fallen off his old one. “We walked in looking like characters from Oliver,” joked Dominic Dierkes, a.k.a. Charlie, “the strongest kid in town.” “They took pity on us more than they thought we were celebrities.”

That celebrity thing does seem to lie ahead, though, either as a group or as individuals. Pierson has written a novel; Donald Glover (a.k.a Jason, the “master of disguises”) writes for 30 Rock; Eckman would like to direct action movies, and watched Raging Bull “six or seven times” before shooting Mystery Team. Actually, the whole crew seems to take most of their inspiration from the non-comedic world, whether it’s The Wire or Lil’ Wayne–their movie even subbed in for the latter’s doc in Salt Lake City on Friday night, after The Carter was pulled for reasons that continue to be somewhat mysterious. As for what’s next, aside from hoping to work together until they’re 80? Said Dierkes, “We’d like to do a movie where we can curse.”

You May Like