Before he died in 2019 at 68, the television writer Gordon Bressack left behind seven unproduced film scripts. As a dutiful son, the director James Cullen Bressack has decided not only to make one of them, but also fund most of its production himself.
The younger Bressack’s previous films include one shot entirely on iPhone (“To Jennifer”), various horror films and one banned in the UK.
So the new one, “Murder, Anyone?” is a bare-boned exercise that at the same time shows the vacillations of his father’s process: Should the murder mystery he’s making be a film or a play? Should it stick to classic tropes in the field or give way to popular new trends from slasher flicks to zombies to kung fu?
The elder Bressack was an Emmy winner in his time, but not for high-minded teleplays. Instead, it was for animated fare from “Pinky and the Brain” to “Animaniacs” (other credits include “Yo Yogi!” “Tiny Toon Adventures,” “DuckTales” and “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo” — it’s a long list).
Knowing that makes the film’s various irritants — back-and-forth, snarky banter, incessant pop culture references, oddball left turns — at least understandable, if not any more entertaining.
“Murder, Anyone?” Is meta to the extreme — it’s about a pair of elder writers pounding out a screenplay and arguing about it — all in black and white — and cutting to the scenes they come up with, or quickly change, in color.