A scene from BENEATH THE VENEER OF A MURDER, directed by Angel Connell.

Beneath the Veneer of a Murder (2010, Angel Connell)

Beneath the Veneer of a Murder is so atrocious, if it weren’t for the rampant misogyny and mild racism, I’d think it was a joke. The majority of the film is actors talking over motionless (or maybe Ken Burns-effect) text. All of the actors with speaking parts, Eric Scheiner, Mark Grant and Jennifer McCartney, are astoundingly bad. Connell’s dialogue is risible, though he seems to think it’s inspired.

But once the voiceovers end, it—I can’t call it a film because it was appears to have been shot on half-inch VHS—gets the live action part (and the incredible misogyny). And there’s no way to describe Connell’s composition. It’s like he’s only ever seen corporate training films and applied the mise-en-scène. The awful music helps that feeling.

The film’s mostly just stupid and bewildering. But the misogyny adds an odious level, which makes it thoroughly unpleasant.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Written, produced and directed by Angel Connell; director of photography, Matthew Wagenknecht; edited by Christo Tsiaras; music by Perry Iannone; production designer, Scott Kehs.

Starring Eric Scheiner (Judd), Mark Grant (Tom), Jennifer McCartney (Daisy) and Christy Scott Cashman (Lolita).

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