HELL’S KITTY * USA 2018 Dir: Nicholas Tana 98 mins
Writer-director Nicholas Tana adapts his horror-comedy web series of the same name into a painfully overlong, episodic feature.
It looks and feels like it was cobbled together during a weekend horror convention – particularly due to the humiliating, contrived succession of guest spots for genre icons. As much as we love seeing memorable, iconic figures of well-remembered horror movies, there’s nothing fun about the lovely Michael Berryman mugging his way through an unfunny skit as a finger-biting detective named Pluto. Also deserving better are the very capable Lynn Lowry, Dale Midkiff (in drag), Doug Jones and Bill Oberst Jr (as a pair of exorcists), Courtney Gains and John Franklin (reunited from CHILDREN OF THE CORN, which was funnier) and a well-preserved Adrienne Barbeau as a character with a CREEPSHOW-derived fear of boxes and crates. HELL’S KITTY resorts to these distracting cameos because it has nothing else to offer, other than lame predictable one liners like “Nobody likes a bloody pussy” and (worst of all) “I love pets, I guess that makes me a petofile”. The singularly uncharismatic Tana casts himself as an unlikeable Hollywood screenwriter who (somehow) seems to attract beautiful women who are then viciously mutilated by his monstrously jealous demonic cat “Angel”. The film ekes out a couple of mild chuckles by mocking the found-footage craze and Hollywood’s devotion to hokey jump-scares, but running gags are vastly overplayed and everything is embarrassingly heavy handed from the jokey character names to the lame black and white PSYCHO pastiche and cruddy digital FX.
Review by Steven West