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The Burial Society

This is a nice-try debut feature from talented helmer Nick Racz with resourceful lenser Danny Nowak, who have made several successful shorts together. But screen chemistry and production crackle are lacking from this "Usual Suspects" wannabe, which will likely be pushing up daisies on cable.

With:
With: Rob LaBelle, Jan Rubes, Allan Rich, Bill Mellen, David Paymer, Seymour Cassel, Jeff Seymour, Bill Mondy, Linden Banks, Nathaniel DeVeaux, Betty Linde, Nick Misra.

This is a nice-try debut feature from talented helmer Nick Racz with resourceful lenser Danny Nowak, who have made several successful shorts together. But screen chemistry and production crackle are lacking from this “Usual Suspects” wannabe, which will likely be pushing up daisies on cable.

Background is more interesting than main story, with nerdy, mobbed-up accountant Sheldon (Rob LaBelle) trying to get away from trouble at work by hiding out with old geezers (Jan Rubes, Allan Rich, Bill Mellen) who constitute the Chevra Kadisha, or burial society, for their unnamed town’s Jewish cemetery. (Pic was shot in Vancouver.) A large sum of money has gone missing, and both Sheldon’s boss and brother (Seymour Cassell and David Paymer, both looking like they were flown in a for a day or so) are searching for him. Sheldon says he’s being framed, but that only matters if auds care, and there’s too much plot machination and not enough character-building for that to happen. Once established, whole business with the burial society is essentially dropped to make room for more cleverness, to tedious effect. Tech credits are adequate but uninspiring.

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The Burial Society

Canada

Production: A Seville Pictures release (in Canada) of a Big Little Picture Company (Vancouver) production, with support from Telefilm Canada, BC Film, Astral media, Citytv and CanWest. Produced by Richard Baumgartel, Howard Dancyger. Executive producers, J. Todd Harris, Raymond Massey. Line producer, David Bouck. Directed, written by Nicholas Racz.

Crew: Camera (color), Danny Nowak; editor, Jeremy Presner; music, George Bondheim; music supervisor, Cathi Black; production design, James Hazell; costume designer, Katia Stano; set decorator, Claudia venture; sound (Dolby), Rick Bal; assistant director, Patricia Dyer Walden; casting, Corinne Clark, Jennifer Page. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival, Oct. 9, 2002. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Rob LaBelle, Jan Rubes, Allan Rich, Bill Mellen, David Paymer, Seymour Cassel, Jeff Seymour, Bill Mondy, Linden Banks, Nathaniel DeVeaux, Betty Linde, Nick Misra.

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