Happy Easter, fiends! Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, I think we can all agree on one thing: bunnies are cool. Easter is the bunniest holiday, so I think it’s appropriate to celebrate with a KILLER BUNNY! You’re probably already thinking of the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and maybe you’ve seen this super rad garage rock music video, but if you’re looking for something a little bit longer, you might check out Bunnyman: Grindhouse Edition.
In case you’re not familiar, the Bunnyman franchise is a series of low-budget slasher films starring a chainsaw-wielding maniac in a rabbit costume. Created by writer-director Carl Lindbergh, the saga includes the original Bunnyman (2011), The Bunnyman Massacre (2014), and Bunnyman Vengeance (2017). The most recent addition is Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition, which hits Amazon April 19th.
Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition is a re-edit of the first film, featuring a significant amount of new visual effects, new footage, deleted scenes, and an entirely new score. With these additions, the movie lies somewhere between the Director’s Cut of Blade Runner and Lion King 1.5. Carl Lindbergh refers to this as the definitive version of Bunnyman 1, and it was his original vision.
With that said, how does the film hold up? Well, it’s not great. There’s very little to this movie, and there are entire scenes that have no bearing on the plot and don’t do anything to develop the characters. I’d estimate that half of this movie could be left on the cutting room floor and improve the pacing of the final product without losing anything integral to the film. The “grindhouse filter” is cute at first, but it gets tiring after, like, three minutes. Then it’s there for the rest of the runtime! The pattern repeats enough to never fool you into thinking it’s authentic, and it comes across more like something you’d find on Instagram than in a horror movie. I’d have a hard time recommending this movie to most horror viewers.
I don’t want to just rag on what I didn’t like about this movie, though. I’d absolutely recommend this to fans of the Bunnyman franchise (even though it’s a re-release of a film they’ve already seen) because it’s the way the film was originally intended to be. If you’re already into the premise, this is the way to enjoy Part 1. Furthermore, there were aspects of this movie that I really enjoyed! When Bunnyman is onscreen ..and killing people, the film delivers on its premise. It’s a nasty little gore film, and if you’re into those, you can do worse than the mayhem in Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition.
The cold open is also effective. Presented as a trailer for an upcoming feature presentation, it hits on a taboo that most other movies won’t. Is that “cutting edge” or just “edgy?” I mean, based on the rest of the film I’m going to guess the latter, but it’s worth bringing up either way. In addition, the new score for the movie is pretty good! Like much of Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition it’s derivative of other classic works, but people love it when Tarantino does that so I’m not deducting any points for that.
I’d also like to give credit to the humor of Bunnyman. There were many times where I laughed at loud at a throwaway joke or a gag about that “grindhouse” nature of this version (in particular, there’s a segment done with intentionally bad voiceover that really worked for me).
“..just because you’re winking at the audience while you’re making a bad movie doesn’t mean you’re not making a bad movie.”
With that, though, comes another drawback. When other parts of the movie are “bad on purpose” and then re-edited to be worse, it’s like the movie is parodying a parody of the genre. That’s too post-post-modern or whatever for me, and just because you’re winking at the audience while you’re making a bad movie doesn’t mean you’re not making a bad movie. Like everything else, though, tastes in movies vary and I’m sure there are plenty of film fans that love that kind of thing.
If you’re already a fan of the Bunnyman films, I can absolutely recommend Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition to you. If you’re not, you might want to pass on this one. It won’t have nearly as much for the average filmgoer as it does for die-hard fans. If you fall into that camp, check Amazon on April 19th for Bunnyman Grindhouse Edition!
Do you have an opinion on the Bunnyman movies? Do you like rabbits in general? Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit. And for more horror news and reviews, hop on over to Nightmare on Film Street.