Skin Deep is an ultra low budget ($400K) thriller
which focuses on the racial dynamics in a mixed marriage.
Basically, someone dies in a hot tub, and three of the four
remaining characters are credible suspects.
As the film opens, a black couple is having sex. In the post-coital
talk, she pushes him to leave his wife and marry her, but instead he
breaks up with her, gets on his motorcycle, and returns home.
Anthony finds his wife in the bathtub, and to our surprise she is
white. He wants sex, she doesn't, and their discussion indicates
that this conflict has lately been recurring frequently. Meanwhile,
they are preparing for his friends to come over for lunch. While
Anthony is mild mannered and fits easily in a white neighborhood,
his friend Michael is militant, and engages in a running battle with
Anthony's white wife.
Michael has lost a lot of money in a bad .com
investment, and hasn't told his wife. Anthony jokingly suggest he
kill her as the perfect solution, since he wouldn't have to tell her
then, and he would collect the insurance money. Next thing you know,
Michael's wife is actually dead in the hot tub. Michael is afraid to call
the police, especially because the person living in the guest house
may have overheard them joking about killing her. So who is in the
guest house? The girlfriend from the first scene!
Anthony discovers that the girlfriend not only knows
everything, but intends to tell the police that she saw him kill
Sarah unless he agrees to break up with his wife immediately.
Anthony leaves, then Michael tries to reason with Debra, but the two end up fighting
and when he leaves she seems to be dead on the floor. From there,
the plot unravels rapidly, leading toward a surprise ending.
Considering the budget, this is a very well made film with a few
good laughs in the beginning, and tremendous suspense leading to the
great ending. Not only that, it has a lot of insight into certain
race relations. This would be a decent effort at any budget, but for
something made in 14 days for under $400K with only two locations,
it is an amazing effort. It did
well at every festival it appeared in, but couldn't get any