Review: Hell’s Kitty (A Nicholas Tana Film)

What the Hell did I just watch? Hell’s Kitty was an absolute disaster in the most entertaining way. The story was enticing, but failed itself before reaching a climax or conclusion, and the overall production value leaves much to be desired. Still, no matter how often I wanted to give up, my heart kept me from shutting off my screener and I still managed to walk away with a smile on my face. I have absolutely no idea why, but here we are. You get a little bit of everything in Hell’s Kitty, the new film from Smart Media, and that includes zombies, ghosts, witches, cross-dressing killers, and an adorably malicious feline named Angel. Based on the web-series and comic book of the same name, written by Nicholas Tana, Hell’s Kitty tells the story of a possessed cat that seeks bloody vengeance on anyone who gets too close to its human slave. When it appears that Angel the demonic cat will keep its owner from finding love – or getting laid – he sets out on a guest to have the feline exorcised, which results in funny and frightening disaster. Hell’s Kitty is produced by Nicholas Tana and Denise Acosta, and it’s coming to you this March courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing.

We all know that cats can be mean in real life, if not completely isolated and stubborn, but you’ve never seen a cat quite like Angel. This short haired, pint sized menace is as cute as it is evil, and it’s desperate to up the body count. One of my first thoughts after concluding this movie was that I’m glad that those working behind-the-scenes made the smart decision to use a real, live-action cat as the central antagonist. Though it may have been more difficult to get the feline to act on camera correctly, I appreciate the extra effort and cutesy fun that this tactic brought to the table. I’m certainly glad that they went with a living-breathing cat instead of some puppet or disturbing animatronic. This, however, could largely be attributed to the fact that Hell’s Kitty is far and away an independent project. Some scenes, including the acting found within, are laughable and amateur, and even a cat making a pentagram out of treats wasn’t enough to earn my forgiveness. If you’re going to have a plot this outlandish, if you’re going to have a killer this adorable, you need to bring it behind the camera or your time and effort will be wasted. This was Hell’s Kitty’s biggest downfall.

What saves it, though, is… well, it’s a nostalgic explosion and a glorified drinking game that you need to play with your friends. Hell’s Kitty was obviously inspired by and filmed with respect to the greatest horror titles of all time. It’s old school, whether the nostalgia was recognizable at all times or not. Here’s how you play the game – take a sip of your drink or down a shot whenever a horror star from the past or present appears on screen. Icons and actresses appearing in Hell’s Kitty include Nina Hartley (Dude Bro Party Massacre 3), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Swamp Thing), Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science), Barbara Nedeljakova (Hostel), Ashley C. Williams (Human Centipede), Bill Oberst Jr. (Circus of the Dead), Doug Jones (The Shape of Water), Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn), John Franklin (Children of the Corn), Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet), Lynn Lowry (The Crazies), Dale Midkiff (Pet Sematary), Chanel Ryan (Bad Kids Go to Hell), Melanie Robel (Lamb Feed), Elissa Dowling (Party Bus to Hell) and Tiffani Fest (Blood Island). Horror-comedy fans who view this movie even get a Killer Clowns from Outer Space and Psycho homage.

However, I would have liked to have seen less talent and more production value. Honestly, that’s really going to be what I harp on here. At least half of the celebrity cameos could have been slashed in support of a more refined camera, better equipment, and a tighter script. It must have been a complete dream for director Nicholas Tana to work with all these stars, but his time could have been spent elsewhere, resulting in a better movie. Tana also stars in Hell’s Kitty alongside Lisa Younger, Adam Rucho and Creep Creepersin. It was edited by Gustavo Sampaio. So, here’s the part where I tell you if I think Hell’s Kitty is worth watching or buying. Well, it’s worth the price of a VOD stream due to its outlandish plot and herd of celebrity cameos, but it doesn’t have much to offer outside of that. It’s definitely geared towards horror fanatics from the last generation or maybe college aged kids looking for a good movie to drink to. Anyone else is probably going to hate it. I didn’t hate it, but I’d probably never have a reason to watch it again. Good special effects, though. Final Score: Ugh… 5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)