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Johnny Killed the Cat Review from 22 Indie Street.

Written by: James D. Froio/Jake Alexander Williams/Brooke Blackwell/Andrew Walker/Alicya Simmons/I.H. Vergara/Brandin Fennessy/G. Van Millis |   Directed by: James D. Froio |  Genre: Comedy

 Due in no small part to his lack of responsibility, Johnny (Jake Alexander Williams) has allowed his charge, Leo, the cat, to die. The woman he’s interested in has gone away on a camping trip, and left Johnny in charge of Mia’s fickle feline. Leo was a “show” cat and had some very strange needs but no more; because Johnny killed the cat.

 It appears that Johnny also doesn’t have a lot of friends in his life, and that limits his ability to get help. First, he calls his brothers for advice, and that doesn’t quite go as planned. Then very shortly after, he calls his father. The two hadn’t spoken in eighteen months and after hearing their conversations, I can understand why. But it was pretty funny, arguably the funniest scene in the film. With his father’s suggestion pretty much ignored, Johnny calls his friend, ex-girlfriend Jess (Brooke Blackwell), over for some cat conversation. The topic quickly switches to their relationship issues for all of us to hear. Finally, Johnny calls an old friend over for conversation. That doesn’t go as planned either.

 As you probably guessed, Johnny Killed the Cat ends with Mia coming to get her little furry friend. She has arrived early and is excited to see Leo again. Johnny stalls, and as the two wait, proclaims his interest in her right before telling her the fate of Leo.

 The truth is that I was kind of on the fence with this film. It’s “chapter” structure worked well, but I didn’t understand the choice to make the movie in black and white. It was also pretty long, especially for improv. And that’s just the thing. There are some funny parts in this film, but a lot of the time, Johnny Killed the Cat felt more like an exercise than an actual movie. A reel for the actors. You get the entire story within the first few minutes except for how it all turns out with Mia. All the middle is just loads and loads of dialog that have more to do with everything else except the cat. Mind you, there were plenty of funny moments, but you had to wait for them.

 I stand by my belief that Johnny Killed the Cat was needlessly long. I also give props to the actors who managed this amazing improv. But as a film, I don’t think it should have been this long because everything in the middle doesn’t add or progress the story. You could take the first few minutes, and the last few minutes, put them together without the middle of the film, and still get the full story. But I laughed, and that’s what counts. 3 stars, and thanks for reading.

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