The Bunnyman Massacre (2012) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

I have to admit, I’ve actually met the Bunnyman. It was at Creation Entertainment’s Weekend of Horrors 2011, among several costumed folks peddling handouts for various events or movies was a man dressed in a very dirty bunny outfit. The sight was quite creepy, and clearly something straight out of a horror film. The image was one that stuck with me, and when I came across a showing of the first Bunnyman film on Chiller (which it played there often, garnering a small following) I took a chance on it. The film was fun, but ultimately succumbed to the issues most low budget horror films face. Unfortunately The Bunnyman Massacre meets the same, if not worse, fate.

While this sequel carries over many elements from the original, there’s no need to have seen the prior Bunnyman. The film opens with a title sequence that overplays its welcome. Finally into the movie, we start off joining the Bunnyman for a gruesome yet fun school bus murder romp. Then onward into the woods to come across a bare chested camper and her friends. Bunnyman finishes this group off quickly, grabbing one girl in her sleeping bag and beating her against a rock. While not as humorous as the scene in Jason X, it still works. As in the first flick Bunnyman doesn’t seem to be able to live alone, Joe (David Scott) is still kicking around and making up some mighty fine people jerky, which he sells to passersby. It’s a great setup for a horror movie, but the buck stops there. The movie progresses slowly, biding time until the inevitable ending. Kills only get cheesier and more pointless. Events bring more questions than answers. Why are there a bevvy of busty babes (or bitches as this movie endearingly refers to them) camping in these woods? How can these guys be killing all these people and the Sheriff be unable to stop them or bring them to justice?

I know, I’m being a bit demanding of something that’s just for fun. And if all you want out of this affair is a wasted afternoon, then you’ve got it. But I wanted and hoped for more. After feeling like the first Bunnyman had tried, yet not quite succeeded, it’s difficult to watch a sequel that makes no attempt and doesn’t seem to care either way. The gags give in too easily to their low budget nature. It’s bad enough that we’ve seen this so many times before that we all know that the chainsaw/machete/drill is going through thin air on the side of the person’s head and not through it. But why make it so painfully obvious?

David Scott is great in the films, and I have to give it up for wardrobe and makeup here. Check out his photo on IMDb and compare to him in the photo above carrying the rifle and standing next to Bunnyman. As to the other cast members, I’m sorry but the roles were completely forgettable and quite honestly none of the female cast is presented in a likable fashion.

The Bunnyman Massacre has the idea for what could be a great horror film, unfortunately it’s unable to toe the line between horror and comedy effectively. The low budget kill gags are nothing new, and for the most part aren’t executed very well. One question kept coming to mind while watching: is this film supposed to be funny? One interesting thing of note is the “based on true events” aspect. Again this falls short of anything horrific and turns out to be a tad creepy at best. This research into the origins of the Bunnyman tale is a quick and engrossing read: The Bunny Man Unmasked: The Real Life Origins of an Urban Legend.

After all that is said and done, there are a few things about this movie that have stuck with me. The opening title sequence is a bunch of old farming footage, which is interesting after reading The Bunny Man Unmasked link above. Of course it really doesn’t get worked anywhere else into the film. Another aspect is pushing the envelope of horror and comedy. While watching the opening school bus kill scene, where Bunnyman boards a school bus with his chainsaw and proceeds to swing it about sending blood everywhere, it’s hard not to chuckle. The absurdity of the scene and the ridiculousness of the film-making are what we’re laughing at, but what’s transpiring on screen is kids being murdered. No less in a moment that has nothing to do with the plot of the film, other than Bunnyman kills people, which is actually the complete plot of the film, sorry I should have said spoilers above, I’ve ruined the whole movie for you now, still I encourage anyone that enjoys low budget horror to give this a go.

Director: Carl Lindbergh
Stars: David Scott, Joshua Lang, Julianne Dowler

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