There was so much dying to be done this year that the Easter Bunny needed the whole weekend to take care of business. It’s my blog about two very different killer bunny slashers – The Night Before Easter and Easter Sunday. Yeah, I know. Easter was last month. It’s been a rough year so far.
THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER (2014)
The Night Before Easter is a traditional slasher, featuring a silent masked killer stalking teens. It’s also not a full-length movie, running a little over 60 minutes.
The first scene has a gay couple getting hacked up while on a walk in the woods.
Turns out it’s just a movie being watched by a straight couple on Easter Eve! They’re the ones who are really about to get hacked up…by a guy in a bunny costume. Well, that opener pulled me in.
Fifteen years later, and we are tossed into the middle of a really odd setup – a bunch of friends just standing around talking and drinking beers. This awkward scenario goes on too long for the audience’s attention span before one of the friends finally asks, “Why are we here?”
Turns out they are there because one of the girls is moving and has thrown herself a going away party. But where exactly are they? Looks like a warehouse, but according to the film’s description, it’s a storage facility, which only becomes obvious a bit later.
The shallow “you can’t have him he’s mine” plot and plodding, flat dialogue that comes along with it is a bit agonizing. It’s 30 minutes of one-note drama that doesn’t make anyone particularly likeable, and we don’t even get any relief from it – no sex or kills to break up the monotony, which I fear might make people turn the film off and cause them to miss the best part – the kills.
The kills and the horror are the film’s strong point…making The Night Before Easter another in a long list of modern indie films that demonstrate that there are a whole lot of talented horror directors out there who should not write their scripts.
Like classics of the 80s slasher genre, the death scenes at first rely on off screen kills with splashes of blood on inanimate objects, as well as quick and choppy editing. The killer is an ominous presence, skulking through the halls and attacking victims viciously, which leads to more gruesome gore and body reveals as the film progresses.
There’s also a strong performance by an actress recounting a terrifying encounter she had as a child, the bitch of the group gets the honor of the Wendy in Prom Night chase scene, and there’s a twist at the end once the killer takes on the final girl.
EASTER SUNDAY (2014)
Easter Sunday takes the killer bunny slasher in the opposite direction – total over-the-top exploitation slasher comedy.
It opens with an old school grindhouse look, feel, and synth score as the killer pulls A Nightmare On Elm Street, preparing for his slaughter at his workbench. The first kill had me worried I was about to get pure Troma-like garbage…both the victim and “The Bunny Masked Killer” have irritating, high-pitched speaking voices, and there’s fart humor.
But Easter Sunday keeps the fart humor to a minimum (I wish Troma would trademark that shit so no one else could ruin their movies with it), and I just put up with the annoying as fuck voice of The Bunny Masked Killer because everything else going on around him is too much fun to miss.
We next meet our adorable and hilarious main man, Jeremy Todd Morehead, who also happens to be the director of the film. Morehead is the kind of cutie who makes me wish I could come back as a zombie when I die so that I could eat his ass against his will without being judged as some kind of predatory gay, and not even care if some dumb God loving, sheet wearing, sister marrying, pig fucking, redneck ammosexual shoots me in the head once I’m done chowing down.
So Morehead has a band, and they all sit around a campfire one night as one bandmate admits that his dad was a legendary psycho who dressed up as a bunny on Easter and went on a killing spree. And then…they pull out a Ouija board.
It’s horror comedy gold as the cast reacts to bringing the crazed killer’s spirit back from the dead.
Not only is the cast fun and funny as they are hunted by the axe-wielding killer bunny, but the grindhouse gore is a blast, and the late Robert Z’Dar of Maniac Cop appears as the man who took down the killer the first time around.
b-horror king Edward X Young appears as a demonologist, and even Ari Lehman, the original young Jason Voorhees, makes an appearance, with plenty of in-jokes.
If you don’t mind holiday slashers that don’t take themselves seriously, you’ve got Easter covered with Easter Sunday. The one thing it does manage to do is stay away from any excessively sexual, sleazy, or perverse humor. There’s barely even any nudity. Honestly, there could have been a little more nudity. What I’m saying here is, Jeremy Todd Morehead should have been naked.