08th Mar2018

‘Hell’s Kitty’ Review

by Philip Rogers

Stars: Nicholas Tana, Nina Kate, Adam Rucho, Dale Midkiff, Michael Berryman, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Chiodo, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, Doug Jones, Bill Oberst Jr., Victoria De Mare | Written and Directed by Nicholas Tana

Hells-Kitty-Key-Art

Based on the web series and comic book of the same name, and inspired by writer-director Nicholas Tana’s experiences living with a professedly possessed cat, Hell’s Kitty tells of a covetous feline that acts possessed and possessive of his owner around women. Nick (Nicholas Tana), is a Hollywood screenwriter, discovers his cat has become murderously possessed, and will stop at nothing to rid him of any women in his life. As his life unravels out of control, Nick must find a way to have is kitty exorcised of the demonic spirit haunting her and stop increasing the body count.

Hell’s Kitty is a clever horror parody film from Nicholas Tana which embraces his love for the horror genre and the experiences with his real-life cat Angel. The film is made up from segments of the original series which have been edited with new footage to create a complete story.

The film moves at a good pace with a consistent stream of references and jokes, so when some of ideas may not work as well, but the film doesn’t linger too long before moving onto the next scene. The film is full of Easter eggs for horror fans, so even the characters names such as Dr. Laurie Strodes (Nina Kate) or Rosemary Carrie (Dale Midkiff), will probably bring a smile to the most casual horror fans.

In addition to referencing some of the biggest films in horror, what is more impressive is the collective cast Tana has managed to bring together, with many participating in a parody for some of their most famous roles. Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, 1977), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, 1980), and Charles Chiodo (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 1988) are included in the line-up, but one of the most creative moments of the film sees the return of John Franklin and Courtney Gains as Isaiah and Mordicia respectively. It is great to see them reprise their characters again, in a very bizarre homage to Children of the Corn (1984).

The cameos in the film also brings together Doug Jones as Father Damian and Bill Oberst Jr. as Father Blatty, two priests who attend Nicks flat to exorcise Angel. Their performances complement each other; Doug Jones proving himself to be just as creative without the mask in his eccentric characterisation, whilst Bill Oberst Jr. took a more placid approach. Although he does get to deliver the funniest line in the film when he describes his love for animals.

It is always great to see so many icons brought together on the screen and the parodies are brilliantly executed. However, this does come at cost, as some of the scenes feel as though they would have benefited if they were a bit longer and feel as though they were somewhat short. But as you will find I have only mentioned a few of the stars who appear (the film also includes a full Scream Queen bus driven by Victoria De Mare), so you can understand why some of the cameos were kept so brief.

There are also some great performance from reoccurring cast. Tana playing the role as the helpless Nick who seems divided between having a relationship and the love for his cat and Nina Kate does a great job trying to help him as Dr. Laurie Strodes. It is his neighbour Adam played by Adam Rucho who steals the scenes for me with his dead pan comic delivery. Often appearing at the least opportune moments, with Nick often left in an awkward position, he helps to bring the scenes together. A re-enactment of a famous Hitchcock scene is particularly memorable.

As you would expect Hell’s Kitty is not a film which should be taken too seriously, although they do well with some of the camera work and editing in making Angel look like a possessed vicious killer. Especially with the result of these attacks which often have a gruesome conclusion where the special effects team manage to deliver some very realistic moments of gore, even though they are delivered with a tongue and cheek humour.

Hell’s Kitty is an excellent parody film which horror fans will probably want to watch more than once to spot the many Easter eggs which you would have missed the first-time round. If you go in with an open mind and don’t take it too seriously, there is a lot of fun to be had for horror fans. Which makes this destined to gain a cult genre following…
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If you want to enjoy the film with friends why not try the Hell’s Kitty drinking game whist you watch. Check iut the picture below to see how to play:

HK_DrinkingGame

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