Review: ‘The Devil Cats’

Knows its stuff about sending up the pop music biz, but as a mockumentary, it confirms the general sense that this particular ironic genre is in decline. Few funny passages aren't enough to sustain the lark over its hour-plus running time. Pic being the work of Sidney Poitier's daughters will draw attention but few offers beyond festivals.

The peppy, street-smart “The Devil Cats” knows its stuff about sending up the pop music biz, but as a mockumentary, it confirms the general sense that this particular ironic genre is in decline. Best idea and central gimmick is that the ideal subject for a “fake” non-fiction pic is a “fake” rock band, but a few funny passages aren’t enough to sustain the lark over its hour-plus running time. Pic being the work of Sidney Poitier’s daughters (writer-director-co-star Anika and co-thesp Sydney) will draw attention but few offers beyond festival programmers.

At first happy being the best-known fake band and proudly ignorant of how to play a note, the Devil Cats (Gillian Lee Whitlock, Lesley Ann Poling and the Poitiers) get drawn in by circumstances to perform before a crowd. Instead of panicking, unit goes for it, and even takes a meeting with a slimeball record exec (Tory Mell). Cast of gals has great fun with their characters’ unconscious silliness, but final impression is of a faint photocopy of a Christopher Guest original. Vid screened at Palm Springs was barely viewable, but improvements are promised.

The Devil Cats

Production

A Butterfly Entertainment production. Directed, written by Anika Poitier.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Gint Valiulis; editors, Michael O. Olmos, Anika Poitier, Dorian Heartsong; music, Heartsong. Reviewed at Palm Springs Film Festival, Jan. 11, 2004. Running time: 76 MIN.

With

Gillian Lee Whitlock, Lesley Ann Poling, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Anika Poitier, Mary Klimek, Jill Pickle Crawford, Tory Mell, Richard Maldonando.
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