James Cullen Bressack unleashes his most personal film, a story originally written by his late father, as he brings us into a fun world full of chaos.
Gordon and Charlie are working on a new play, but they can’t seem to figure out how to approach the story. They have the names for the characters: Cooper, Bridgette, and Blain. It would involve an art theft and a murder. Cooper, the “psychopath” of the trio, meets Bridgette and claims to be the nephew of her next door neighbors, but she knows something doesn’t feel right. Meanwhile, Blain, dressed in a chicken suit, has a plan to use a costume party to achieve the theft with Richard.
As Gordon tries to come up with new ideas, Charlie thinks the ideas are farfetched. Gordon wants to see them as a screenplay, but Charlie thinks they should stick to strictly plays. Meanwhile, in the story, Blain is killed when Bridgette uses her charms to woo Cooper and a blind medium, Marie, enters the fray to perform a séance. Soon, chaos ensues within both the play and in the minds of the playwrights. However, the question soon shall be answered and it is, “Murder, Anyone?”
For those not in the know, Gordon Bressack (1951-2019) was one of the most prolific animated television writers in history. He has written episodes of the likes of Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, and WordGirl to name a few. He took all of his inspiration from his days of writing these episodes and came up with a play that would play out like a live-action cartoon, something both witty, emotional, and yes, farfetched but in a good way. Before his passing, he adapted the play into a screenplay and who better than to have his own son, indie filmmaker James Cullen Bressack, to pay tribute to his dad by making the film a reality.
The cast in this film is great. In the black-and-white battle of the playwrights, the legendary voice actor Maurice LaMarche and Charles Howell IV are exciting to watch as they constantly butt heads over the ideas in the story. As for the color-filled sequences where the story comes to life, Kristos Andrews is great as Richard while Galadriel Stineman, who could make an excellent Mary Jane Watson given her look, brings out the emotion and sometimes hysterics as Bridgette. The film is a welcome return for former child actor Spencer Breslin, whose Blain appears in a chicken suit throughout its entirety. Carla Collins is funny in the role of Marie, a blind French medium who attempts to show Richard and Bridgette what happens when you mess with the dead.
There are some really crazy moments in the film that are too wild not to mention. They include an appearance by Marilyn Monroe, a cameo by film legend Sally Kirkland as a dead corpse brought back to life and an actual kung fu battle between Cooper and a zombified Blain that will remind viewers of the funny Aslan vs. Silas fight in Epic Movie. It just doesn’t get any better than that. There is also a cameo from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4’s Lisa Wilcox and a special cameo in a funny mid-credit sequence that cannot be spoiled.
Murder, Anyone? Is like watching a combination of stage play and live-action cartoon. It is fun, witty, emotional and a perfect tribute to one of the greats when it comes to writing animated series. If you’re a fan of shows like Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and others, then you should see this film, especially to see Spencer Breslin having fun while in a chicken suit.
WFG RATING: A
Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Red Phoenix/Sandaled Kid production. Director: James Cullen Bressack. Producer: James Cullen Bressack. Writer: Gordon Bressack; based on his stage play. Cinematography: Michael Moghaddam. Editing: Theoderic Ripper.
Cast: Kristos Andrews, Galadriel Stineman, Spencer Breslin, Carla Collins, Maurice LaMarche, Charles Howell IV, Sally Kirkland, Lisa Wilcox, Hector David Jr., Michael Gaglio, Theresa Ireland.
The film will be released on February 7 on VOD and Digital.