Friday the 13th brought to town the first creature feature filmed in Jacksonville since 1971's "Zaat." Applause rang out through the standing-room-only crowd at Multiverse Media Group as the closing credits for "Kitty, Kitty" rolled. This second (and longer) short for local director Blair Richardson combats women's issues, adultery, and retribution.
Madison Rae Stewart plays Vanessa, a woman emotionally conflicted after learning she's carrying her lover's child. Her husband Mark (Landon Cole) remains oblivious to her inner struggle. She hasn't told her friend Leah (Karen Overstreet) about her affair either. But when Leah casually condemns a mutual friend for infidelity, Vanessa senses a dark force closing in.
Richardon's style - showing rather than telling - successfully compacts a complex story in a short, culminating in the appearance of Egyptian cat goddess Mafdet. Like female writer/directors the Soska sisters, Richardson breaks into the male-dominated horror realm old-style, using practical effects and no CGI. Terry Parker High student/genius mask maker Tyler Pasquale crafted the creature's body, and, with Devin McDonagh heading up a gifted team of effects artists, the film's climax is gruesome and stylish. (Click here for more on Pasquale and other local talents.)
About a year ago, Richardson released her sexy short, "First Date," demonstrating effective setting of mood, deft camerawork and a genius twist ending -- in only 3 minutes. The haunting voice of Lana Del Rey (then Elizabeth Grant) on her track "Kill, Kill" provides the ideal soundtrack. Click here to watch.
Kudos to Richardson for creating female-centered horror, and to her team, particularly Director of Photography Peter A.D. Stahl, for their contributions to her visually appealing and impactful filmmaking. With "Kitty, Kitty" headed for the festival circuit, after these two powerful shorts, Richardson is surely headed for a long, successful career.
See the attached List to meet the cast and crew of "Kitty, Kitty."