Bunnyman Massacre (2014)
Directed by: Carl Lindbergh
Written by: Carl Lindbergh
Starring: David Scott, Heather Daley, Jamie Bernadette, Jennifer June Ross, Joshua Lang, Julianne Dowler, Marshal Hilton, Stefanie Estes
BUNNYMAN MASSACRE (2013)
aka Bunnyman 2
In the rural south of America, The Bunnyman (Joshua Lang), a killer dressed as a giant bunny, and his brother Joe (David Scott) capture and murder several backpacking girls, Sarah (Julianne Dowler), Lauren (Jennifer June Ross), Robin (Heather Daley), Jennifer (Stefanie Estes) and Kelly (Jamie Bernadette).
That really is all there is in terms of plot. This is the plot to a film that has an extremely stretched running length of an hour and forty minutes. I took The Bunnyman Massacre as a horror black comedy, as there were a couple instances of dark comedy in the beginning, but as the movie wore on, and no laughs actually appeared, I couldn’t help but think that maybe it was just trying to be a straight horror albeit it one completely lacking in scares. Ultimately The Bunnyman Massacre is just dull. Spilling Wasabi peanuts on myself was the most surprising thing that happened during the film and that was only because I opened the bag poorly.
The film is heavily influenced by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and anything that attempts to bring up a horror classic such as Chainsaw has to be very careful how it treads. In this case, referencing that film is entirely to Bunnyman’s detriment, completely highlighting what a pale imitation it is. Bunnyman Massacre is another entry into the southern hick horror cannon, with its cannibalistic, backwards murderous family, the disfigured and costumed central murderer and its band of helpless young backpacking victims. Bunnyman even uses a chainsaw for most of his killing and the film actually has the famous screeching sound effect, put to such good use in Chainsaw, during one of its scenes.
The film is oddly stilted, the acting and reactions not quite coming off as natural or believable. I actually couldn’t remember any of the characters’ names without looking them up. Except Bunnyman. That one is fairly obvious. This goes some way to showing you how well rounded and memorable the characters actually were. Joe is your standard backwards, stupid and vicious hillbilly killer, the type you’ve seen a thousand times before. The police sheriff that turns up nearer the end of the film is played like the sheriff from Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn, and is woefully stupid and inept. He also says he doesn’t believe in the justice system. Strangely despite the fact that there has been several killings in the vicinity, including several sheriff’s deputies and a school bus of children, there doesn’t seem to be a large scale police investigation or hunt for the fairly obvious killers. Bunnyman isn’t exactly the most subtle looking character. The female characters are all bland death fodder and the films attitude towards women leaves a fair amount to be desired. Women are almost exclusively the murder victims of the film, often with protracted and brutal deaths, and they turn on each other and screw one another over and none of them get a triumphant strong female action beat near the end that you might expect. All in all they are bodies waiting to be killed.
The film is quite good to look at, especially the ending shot. It does seem to have a movie literate sense of how to frame and shoot scenes. They are all well-lit and look good, especially the transitional exterior shots, although the film does have an effect during some of the more bloody deaths where blood splatters on the screen. This just looks odd and doesn’t work, almost making it look like a dodgy early 3D horror.
The fact that Bunnyman Massacre is the second part in a trilogy, the next part coming in 2015, concerns me more than anything I saw in the film.