The setup is not unfamiliar, a small town police force desperately tries to solve a crime that’s out of their depth - but that really isn’t that deep. As we see different elements of the police force struggling to solve a cat’s murder, incompetence is found at every level, and the frequent use of miscommunication between characters is reminiscent of absurdist pieces. Of course, as the film goes on, the characters must deal with a situation that they consistently make more chaotic.
Primarily, we follow DI Barry Cream (played by Mikhail Barb) and DS Amanda Custard (played by Amy McCadden), the lead detectives on the case, as they manage to create the image of an elusive and dangerous killer. Modelled after the troubled guy genius and plucky female duo dynamic seen in regularly seen in modern police drama, Claws For Alarm plays up many common tropes for humour. Likewise, a pair of incompetent officers (both played by Jack Coles) evoke the stereotype of the flat-footed policeman. At the other end of the hierarchy is the Commissioner (played by Philippa Goode) who is assisted by her adviser Adrian (played by Tom Merson). These characters are probably the most rational voices in the piece, although the almost surreal presence of Will Goddard’s Dave helps to keep up the zany tone the film has throughout.
Claws For Alarm is definitely farcical and despite lacking the emphasis on physicality that is a staple of the genre, the characters, the atmosphere and the storyline are constructed very well. The puns are consistently funny and the whole film shines with a kind of light that’s sure to brighten up your day. The film parodies police procedurals very well, even in regards to cinematography (a scene which sees Tom Merson’s Adrian tackle the stairs is wonderful). The film’s now up on YouTube so I definitely recommend giving it a watch. Let the cat out of the bag – Claws For Alarm is seriously funny.
Claws For Alarm can be watched here