Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment
Director: Carl Lindbergh
Writer: Carl Lindbergh
Producer: Margareta Lafky, Carl Lindbergh
Stars: Omari Washington, Michael Shaun Sandy, Pucci Tres, Marshal Hilton, Joshua Lang, David Scott, Olivia Rush, Lillia Nicole, Debby Gerber, Fanny Rosen, Hunter Johnson
Bunnyman teams up with three deranged brothers to build a haunt for luring unsuspecting victims into their torturous lair.
I’ve seen the original 2011 “Bunnyman” film (review here) as well as its 2014 follow-up “Bunnyman Massacre” (review here). I even reviewed both. Other than repeating those facts however, I couldn’t tell you anything else about either movie offhand, aside from maybe a vague memory that a mute maniac in a comical Easter Bunny suit bloodily butchers people with a chainsaw. Nevertheless, my OCD urge to see every entry in a horror series I’ve previously committed to compels me to complete my coverage with 2017’s “Bunnyman Vengeance,” whether I willingly want to or not.
I chose to not bother rereading my previous reviews or recaps under the ultimately correct assumption that familiarity with the first two films wouldn’t matter. Respective scores of 35/100 and 30/100 indicate neither movie had memorable material. Besides, how likely is it that a flick about a murderous man in a rabbit costume would have context demanding a tight grasp on its fiction’s uncomplicated continuity?
Before going further, I should add that despite being linked directly to an online screener expressly labeled for review purposes, it’s possible the copy of “Bunnyman Vengeance” I watched wasn’t final. Although it was screened less than two weeks prior to official release, the content was marked as seven months old, and included at least one mismatched cut to a mistakenly looping sequence. I mention this because I repeatedly thought to myself throughout, “this can’t possibly be what will be distributed in the wild, can it?”
It should also be noted that even if this is the case, no amount of post-production retooling can possibly save “Bunnyman Vengeance” from falling down a dark hole of amateur DTV junk. Polished or not, the movie is so lifelessly sloppy, it looks like a rough cut of a half-speed rehearsal.
Where does one begin summarizing what the “story” is supposedly about? As near as I can gather, and this plot point doesn’t shake out until the last act, three psycho brothers, one of whom is mentally handicapped for added problematic measure, are apparently plotting to make “thousands of dollars” by killing people they lure to a homemade Halloween haunt. Their remotely located attraction would be lucky to make 100 bucks on a good night, let alone enough for multiple murders to make sense as a motivator. That’s the basic premise at any rate. Oh, and a guy the brothers bullied and burned as a boy is part of their poor man’s Texas Chainsaw ‘family,’ as he joins in on the homicides as the titular Bunnyman.
To be honest, I don’t want to put any real effort into this review. That’s a forgivable feeling since no one put any reasonable effort into the film. Please pardon me for just ranting random notes without my usual regard for sentence structure or attempts at smart turns of phrase.
Should there be any benefit of the doubt remaining, a ridiculous mid-movie music video masquerading as an unconscious fantasy of Bunnyman’s confirms that the film couldn’t care less about any impression of professionalism. Eyelines errantly have actors looking directly into the lens. ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ dumbly plays while a tarantula crawls on a woman. Sudden jump cuts and weird freeze frames convince you playback might be stuttering frequently. From the lengthy list of terrible Foley work, unenthusiastic acting, spectacularly shoddy CGI, and awful editing, it’s impossible to pick out a worst offender among the options contributing to the film’s multiple failures.
Much of the movie appears to have been recorded without sound. The camera conspicuously cuts away from moving mouths whenever there is dialogue on an exterior shot. For interiors, dialogue echoes off of walls or requires craning an ear to the speaker like a deaf senior citizen, as though microphones were placed as far from the action as possible. What’s ironic is that even though spoken words are often inaudible, you can always hear the unbalanced levels of ambient noise every time another angle comes into play.
One scene has Bunnyman and his brothers capturing a few campers, who immediately start walking in step with the killers, showing no signs of duress whatsoever. A later victim is equally limp in her half-hearted escape attempt. After witnessing a companion losing her fingers, face, and half of her head to a chainsaw, this woman slaps her palms on a door with the force of a sleepy infant fussily shifting in his crib.
Visual FX aren’t just horribly obvious, they’re horribly overused. One sequence includes a CGI gunshot wound on a man’s pant leg because, you know, putting a real hole in a cheap pair of jeans must have been absolutely out of the question.
For filming driving scenes on low budget projects, there’s a technique known as ‘Poor Man’s Process.’ What “Bunnyman Vengeance” uses can only be described as ‘Hopelessly Destitute Hobo’s Process.’ A clearly immobile van is rocked back and forth so laughably, one wonders why stage any interaction that way at all?
Even if “Bunnyman Vengeance” turns out to not be the promised final chapter in a trilogy few fans asked for, it will at least be the last “Bunnyman” movie I regrettably watch. Just in case, I’ll still award one solo star (out of ten) in the event I inadvertently did watch a rough cut after all. Otherwise, “Bunnyman Vengeance” easily earns a zero.
Review Score: 10