Dead Air

Monster Kitten are taking to the skies, their manager having bribed the pilot of an otherwise empty flight to ferry them to the final gig of their tour to allow them to arrive “in style.” An all-female punk four-piece, the internal mutual animosity of the band would make it a flight to remember even if it were not for the unusual cargo.

Music may soothe the savage beast but the aged tape recordings of lullabies heard at the rear of the aeroplane are not in Monster Kitten’s repertoire, and when one of the band heads back in the company of the co-pilot for some unscheduled inflight entertainment the interruption awakens the sleeping inhabitants of the locked crates.

Cute, cuddly and carnivorous, not to mention highly and swiftly infectious, the seven-strong passengers and crew are forced to defend themselves as the fanged furballs armed only with what security would allow them to take on board: their instruments and their talent.

Directed by Geoff Harmer from a script by Peter Hearn, Dead Air is a comedy horror short inspired by such eighties-era fare as Gremlins and Critters as the members of Monster Kitten (drummer Stacy Hart, singer Charlie Bond, bassist Kate Davies-Speak and guitarist Johanna Stanton) make the best of a bad situation.

The animated titles setting up the action, other than one inexplicable shot the entirety of the action takes place aboard the aeroplane, saving the crowdfunded production value for the puppets and prostheses as the animals escape and the band mutate but the execution fails to take off, the concept of comedy apparently meaning it is not to be taken seriously rather than it is actually funny at any point.

The characters presented as annoying and unprofessional idiots, particularly the flight crew and the band’s tiresome manager (David Schaal, James Hamer-Morton and Dan Palmer), they stumble through the scenes with no clear direction with only Hart’s drummer coming across as competent or capable, and crucially for a short film about a band Dead Air‘s soundtrack is lacklustre, failing to make the necessary impact or provide the desperately needed lift.

Dead Air is currently playing the festival circuit

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