The Bunnyman movies just keep multiplying like bunnies. And a third is on the way. Is the franchise worth trilogy status?
The original Bunnyman has some great intentions to deliver the kind of backwoods craziness of movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, and Monster Man. Unfortunately, it takes forever to get to one pretty good sequence that actually leaves you wiling to give the sequel a chance.
This comes across as a movie that didn’t have a script—things feel like they’re just made up as they happen and characters appear to just accept their fates as victims. WTF?
A bunch of kids driving down a deserted country road gets into a road rage incident with Bunnyman’s big scary truck. In the back of his truck is a girl who is hiding from him…and does nothing to escape the truck. WTF?
A majority of the movie features these kids doing little to get away from him as well. There are long scenes of them sitting on the side of the road while he’s parked behind them, hoping he’ll drive away and leave them alone—and not particularly reacting like they are terrified of their predicament. They get out of their car and walk. And argue with each other. And sit around doing nothing. And start the process all over again. And all the while, we get no characterization. WTF?
Finally, they end up at what turns out to be Bunnyman’s house. And this is where the fun finally begins. After most of the kids pretty much line up single file for their turn to be killed by the lone Bunnyman, one blonde chick gets it the worst. And she is an awesome fricking scream queen. After that, a final couple is tortured and subjected to backwoods “family” insanity that should have been so much more insane considering there’s a weirdo hipster dude family member in sunglasses hopping around on a chain in the corner. WTF?
As messy and derivative as it is, something about Bunnyman allows you to see the potential director Carl Lindbergh has to make a great Bunnyman movie.
THE BUNNYMAN MASSACRE (2014)
And so, if you’re me, you watch the sequel. What a difference a movie can make. The opening scene of The Bunnyman Massacre pretty much makes the first movie null and void. On a dirt road out in the middle of nowhere, Bunnyman boards a school bus full of kids and….
You could have just closed up shop and called it a day right here, mister director. You’ve proven yourself. Plus, there’s no way the remainder of your movie can live up to this first slaughter scene. But the sequel does manage to be a much better paced film than the first, immersing itself completely in the gore/torture/misogyny pretty much from the start.
Bunnyman has a new friend this time—just one redneck dude who only had a minor part in the first film but is great in his repulsive expanded role here. After a couple of extraneous kills (complete with some major boobs), we meet our main girls, all of whom spend a majority of the film tied up in a barn being poked, prodded, and harassed…before being slaughtered, of course. And at least this time they end up there in a creative way that gives us some character exploration, rather than having them just stumble upon the home of the baddies.
Once again, the film is basically derivative, even rehashing the 2000 Maniacs nail barrel scene, but if you like backwoods psycho family torture stuff, The Bunnyman Massacre is much more on the mark than the first film. But I really do wish the chained up hopping hipster dude had returned and been exploited as he should have been the first time.
While plot still isn’t the strongest part here and it’s just nasty horror rather than actually being suspenseful or scary, this much-improved sequel definitely has me anticipating the third film, which is on its way. You may trash the Bunnyman movies, but they might be the birth of a new iconic killer.
And here, enjoying a cocktail, is the man behind the bunny…I mean, in the bunny…I mean, in the bunny costume.