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Bunny the Killer Thing
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by Jay Seaver

"On the one hand, some well-executed horror; on the other, a lot of rape."
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2015 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Even given some time to think on it, I'm still not really sure where I stand with "Bunny the Killer Thing". There is a lot more sexual violence than usual, and that aspect of it is a tough nut to swallow, with those scenes right on the line between being a legitimate extension of horror movie violence and something that is really uncomfortable considering the tone that they were going for. I mean, there's a rape scene right in the middle of this movie that involves running from a guy in a bunny suit with a ridiculous giant prosthetic penis, and the repulsive bad taste of one pretty much cancels out the entertaining bad taste of the other.

It's a pretty straightforward slasher movie in some respects: Jari (Roope Olenius) and Emma (Katja Jaskari) have rented a cabin in the woods and are each bringing two friends - Emma's roommate Nina (Veera W. Vilo) and friend Sara (Enni Ojutkangas) along with Jari's buddies Mise (Jari Manninen) and Toumas (Hiski Hämäläinen) - while Jari's little brother Jesse (Olli Saarenpää) stows away in their borrowed ambulance. Along the way, they meet up with three Brits whose car has broken down - Lucas (Marcus Massey), Tim (Orwi Imanuel Ameh), and Vincent (Vincent Tsang) and eventually find out that they are not alone in the woods - the guy from the opening has become half-rabbit creature with an impossibly large unit, constantly screaming for "pussy!" although, really, any orifice will do.

Horror stories have been splicing human and animal genes since long before scientists discovered the double helix, and if you're going to make a human-rabbit hybrid threatening, making it a sexual predator is probably the way to go. It even makes a sort of sense to make a comedic horror story once the concept is out there, because there's a nasty absurdity to it and there's opportunity for good satire, whether of how horror movie characters come to these secluded cabins to get laid but seldom get more than they bargained for so ironically, or just of everyone's darker sexual desires. Finding the right balance and tone for raunchy material can be a paradoxically delicate task, though, and filmmaker Joonas Makkonen charges in without the sort of care needed to do so.

Don't get me wrong, the film has its moments. There are bits of physical comedy good enough that I want to give the rest of the film the benefit of the doubt, there are a handful of funny characters both in the main and supporting cast, and when it comes time for certain characters to start kicking ass, it's incredibly satisfying. (It is, hopefully, not too much of a spoiler as to who lives and dies when to say that both Emmi Ojutkangas and her character earn a great moment or two in a roster that mostly runs from bland to jackass). On the other hand, I've got no idea why so much is in English. It makes sense as a common language for an international cast, but it sounds bad in most cases, and when told that some of these characters were supposed to be British, I wasn't swallowing it.

This kept me awake and alert during a midnight screening much better than other movies, so I guess it deserves credit for that. But I felt bad for watching it, and I don't think a horror movie is supposed to create that sort of unease.

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originally posted: 08/27/15 09:07:41
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival For more in the 2015 Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival series, click here.

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