DVD REVIEW: THE BUNNYMAN MASSACRE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: CARL LINDBERGH / SCREENPLAY: CARL LINDBERGH / STARRINNG: DAVID SCOTT, JOSHUA LANG, JULIANNE DOWLER, MARSHALL HILTON / RELEASED: OUT NOW
In case you weren’t aware, this is a sequel to 2011’s Bunnyman, also from Lindbergh. Based on the legend/urban myth of the Bunnyman – a man in a bunny suit that apparently scared the piss out of people several decades ago – the best way to describe the titular character (Lang) is as Leatherface in an Easter Bunny outfit. Whereas Michael Myers has Haddonfield, Jason Voorhees has Camp Crystal Lake, and Freddy Krueger has Elm Street, the Bunnyman is housed in a ghost town in the deep south of the USA. For any poor soul who that comes across his or brother Joe’s (Scott) path, things don’t end well.
Linbergh’s mission for this film was to take on the concerns from the first movie (let’s just say it didn’t fare well with critics or genre fans) and right those wrongs second time out. Thing is, there are just so many flaws. Firstly, the continuity goes down a wayward path from the opening gambit, and then the film is simply riddled with clichés, bad dialogue and largely hokey acting. That’s all well and good for certain films, but The Bunnyman Massacre portrays itself as a serious horror film. Even more worryingly, the biggest concern is the hopping mad killer at the centre of this (rabbit’s) tale.
In all our years of watching horrors, even the worst of them, we’re hard pressed to think of a central killer who is so unscary. Yes, he does some dastardly deeds and the film has an impressive body count, but there is just nothing sinister about a man in a head-to-toe (minus boots) rabbit costume regardless of what heinous acts he commits. The marketing around the film bangs the drum that Bunnyman is the next horror icon. No. Just… no. Sadly Bunnyman simply relies on stealing horror icons’ gimmicks; he hears voices, like Michael in Rob Zombie’s Halloween films; there’s a ‘body in a sleeping bag’ scene that’s pulled straight from Jason X; and there are soundbites, plus chainsaw, that seem directly pulled from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
The Bunnyman Massacre isn’t all bad, once you get past it’s killer. David Scott is impressively engaging as Joe; a backwards redneck with a love of homemade jerky. Similarly, David Marshall does well, if not underutilised, as a tough and worn local sheriff. As the film progresses, there are some interesting moral dilemmas for the heroines of the piece, but it’s all too late to stop the film really standing out from the low-budget horror pack. For a film that does have some decent moments, it’s just a shame that its central rabbit lacks any sort of sinister kick.
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