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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Alex Ferrari
Starring
Robert Forster, Rachel Grant, Tabitha Morella, Richard Tyson
Running Time
11 Mins.

 "Red Princess Blues" Review 
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As I was watching Alex Ferrari's excellent thriller short Red Princess Blues, I couldn't help but think about good friend and "Scream Queen" Tara Cardinal, an actress building quite the career on playing strong, protective female types in a variety of indie thriller/horror films.

That theme, of a central strong female character who serves as protector, is front and center of Red Princess Blues, an 11-minute short following the frightening adventures of young Zoe (Tabitha Morella). Zoe is a seductively dressed innocent, a young girl in over her head but attracted to the deceptively bright lights of the carnie lifestyle. When Rimo (Richard Tyson) sets his sights on the young girl and becomes determined to bring her into the fold whether she likes it or not, the mysterious Red Princess (Rachel Grant) becomes guardian and protector for Zoe.

With equal touches of grindhouse, B-movie cheekiness and action thrills, writer/director Alex Ferrari has fashioned together an intriguing and involving short film that is practically begging to be turned into a full-length feature with three intriguing and well played characters in Zoe, Rimo and Red Princess.

The film is narrated with a sort of old school grindhouse wink by Robert Forster, and young Tabitha Morella is all dolled up in such a way that she'd be right at home smack dab in the middle of an old 70's horror flick. Morella is convincing as the young girl with more bravado than brains, who displays just the right blend of vulnerability with a sort of lived in strength. As the menacing Rimo, Richard Tyson may match Morella's Zoe in displaying more bravado than brains. The altercation between Rimo and Red Princess sparkles, with both Tyson and the delightful Rachel Grant managing to project both humanity and heroics in the short span of 11 minutes.  Grant has both the physicality and emotional reservoir to sell Red Princess as an appealing character, and her performance here makes you want to check out the rest of her filmography.

The production design of Carlos Osorio is flawless, while Sonja Tijanic's art direction gives the film the perfect blend of grit and grindhouse. Richard Jacques Gale's camera work nicely captures the fight choreography,while Cris Velasco's original music heightens the suspense quite nicely.

Filmed in North Hollywood, Red Princess Blues was a recent official selection of the HollyShorts Film Festival. Watch for it at a film festival near you!

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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