Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bunnyman (2010)

Raving Rabbit With A Tortoise Pace

When I first heard that there was an independent horror film about a man in a large rabbit costume killing off people with a chainsaw; I was stoked to say the least. Even the trailer looked promising, glowing with a 70s horror vibe that almost bordered on surrealism. Unfortunately, Bunnyman takes far too long to get to the goods and by the time it does, you probably won't care.

The film follows a group of friends driving through the countryside when they're suddenly pursued by a large truck in the vein of Duel and Jeepers Creepers. After being run off of the road numerous times, our protagonists find themselves unable to drive and short one friend, who was killed when the truck rammed into the car while he was working beneath it. Seemingly unconcerned that they just lost a close friend under violent circumstances, our stupid group of "heroes" proceed to wander around aimlessly, meeting their fair share of bad acting hicks, none of who wish to help them use a phone. This somehow manages to drag on for nearly an hour, before we finally see The Bunnyman and his trusty chainsaw going apeshit on the gang. Unfortunately by this point, the film's technical flaws have become so apparent and distracting that the lackluster kills fail to instill any hope in the viewer that things are going to get better before the credits finally roll.

What a fucking shame. A film about a killer in a giant rabbit suit had so much potential. This movie has ambition, but lacks the budget to fund it. After having their car rammed many times by a massive truck, you think there would be some bumper damage, but no. It's still pristine. Though the film uses "clever" editing to refrain from showing the truck actually ramming into the car, it still makes it a point to show us the back of the vehicle any chance it can get. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for a horror film, but it's a bit hard if you keep reminding me that you were too uncomfortable denting a car, or even buying a junker that you could trash, to give the film a more realistic effect.

The aforementioned technical flaws in Bunnyman are ridiculously annoying because they last the entire movie. The character dialogue is so goddamned low that you have to jack up your volume pretty high just so you can still barely hear what these fucking people are muttering under their breath. Then, just when you think you've found the perfect setting, the truck blasts its horn for five minutes straight and you nearly lose an eardrum in the process of turning your volume back down and missing out on anymore dialogue. Then again, you're actually not missing anything when it comes to dialogue. This film spends almost an hour before it gets to any action and it appears to not know what to do with itself in the meantime. There are numerous scenes that feature no music or dialogue and are just a steady shot of the characters sitting around and playing jokes on each other because I guess that they forgot their fucking friend's corpse is rotting a few miles back. When characters do decide to speak, their lines almost sound improvised, as they repeat things over and over to allow the film to pass the "short film" mark in time length.

Add in some terrible editing and even more bogus work like when the killer chainsaws down a tree that someone is hiding in, and we never see the blade hit the tree and only hear a cracking sound effect and see a girl fall. Heads up guys, Evil Dead 2 had fake trees all over the place. Get a set designer and you won't have to rely on terrible editing and effects to pull them off. In fact, if you can't do it in the first place, create something else that you can afford to do and save the viewer the aggravation of noticing these things that take away from the film's credibility.

Bunnyman is a horror film that could've had it all. It actually has a very interesting opening and closing 8mm sequence as well as a few really great shots near the ending of the film. Unfortunately for the filmmakers, this film will never reach cult status because of its terrible audio, bad editing, off-screen kills, and slow pace. Then again, this is a film about a rabbit. I guess I should've expected it to hop all over the place.


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