Trashterpiece Theater Presents:
BUNNYMAN MASSACRE (2014)
Review by Stacey Longo
Have you ever wondered why they haven’t made a movie about a serial killer in a giant rabbit outfit? Do you have a lifelong fear of the Easter Bunny? If so, BUNNYMAN MASSACRE (2014) is probably right up your alley!
We open on a school bus full of kids. The bus stops at a bench with a pretty young woman sitting there, glassy eyed. The driver opens the door, looks at the lady, and watches the pretty girl slump over dead, head rolling. A person dressed in a rabbit suit holding a chainsaw steps into frame. Screaming, blood splattering, etc. ensues. Enter the Bunnyman (Joshua Lang).
Next up: a couple is fornicating in a tent in the woods. The Bunnyman, of course, is having none of that. Listen: I’ve been in those rabbit suits. I was the woman in the suit three years running back when Towne Pharmacy in Glastonbury had Get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny day. Those costumes are hotter than Satan’s outhouse, and you sweat like—well, Satan in his outhouse, I suppose—in those things. And this freak has yet to take his suit off. Which made me wonder why that fornicating couple didn’t smell him coming a mile away.
The Bunnyman then goes home, where he takes scorn and ridicule from a backwoods hillbilly whom he clearly knows. I’ll give the giant rabbit credit: he doesn’t break the one sacred rule that all who wear the suit must abide by—you never, ever speak when dressed in a bunny outfit. He takes the verbal abuse without so much as a mild epithet. What have we learned from this scene? The rabbit has no family, and clearly knows this guy. Also, he might’ve walked across a desert, but I’m not sure, because giant bunny aside, I was a bit bored at this point and may have indulged in a round of Pet Rescue on my phone.
The hillbilly is named Joe (David Scott) and keeps a lot of rabbits—real ones, not just the guy in the suit. Hillbilly and Bunnyman live together, and during daylight hours, Joe runs a dilapidated general store-type place, where he sells homemade beef jerky, which you just know is made out of people. Two backpacking sisters, Sarah (Julianne Dowler) and Lauren (Jennifer June Ross), find their way to this place, and he hears one of them insult the store. He winds up kidnapping them and tying them up.
Joe’s honesty is refreshing. Lauren asks, all weepy-like, “Why are you doing this?”
Joe smiles and responds, “Because I can.”
Lauren: “What’re you going to do to us?”
Joe: “What do you think? I’m gonna [expletive deleted] you up!” That was nice to hear—no excuses, no whining about childhood wrongs or a mommy who didn’t love him enough. Just straight-out “’Cause I like it.”
However, the sisters were not backpacking alone. Sarah bargains for her sister’s life, offering to bring Joe three of her friends in exchange, and Joe agrees to set Sarah free to do this. Great, I think. Now blondie can go get the cops, save her sister, and Joe and the Bunnyman will get what’s coming to them. Not so fast: the sheriff’s station is an hour away, and Sarah’s only got thirty minutes. And apparently she’s never heard of calling 9-1-1. She finds the other backpackers, brings ’em back at gunpoint (because when a psychopath gives you a gun, why shoot him?), and she and her sister are free to go. They don’t get far—while arguing about what just happened as they walk down the road, a car approaches. It’s the Bunnyman, who knocks them out and takes them back to Joe.
At this point, the local sheriff (Marshal Hilton) shows up at Joe’s store. He clues us in on an important plot point: some of his deputies have gone missing, and there will be hell to pay when he finds the person or persons or rabbit responsible. He and Joe then exchange pleasantries and the sheriff leaves.
We now have five girls total just waiting to be tortured and killed. And they are. The first one is dispatched quickly and quasi-creatively; the second has an opportunity to run, doesn’t take it, then has an opportunity to look for a weapon, doesn’t look, then can run again, but doesn’t. She is then knocked unconscious by her own clumsiness. It was probably supposed to be a suspenseful and scary scene, but it should’ve been a public service announcement for what not to do when facing off with a serial killer in a bunny suit. (She shouldn’t get all the mockery here: girl number three also has an opportunity to run, but circles back to retrace her steps and see if she’s being followed. SPOILER ALERT: she is.) But it’s during this third girl’s prolonged torture-and-chainsaw death that we’re treated to well-done sister escape scene, in which Lauren and Sarah sneak away in the background amidst the bloody chaos. But the two sisters are apparently incapable of running away without wailing, and Joe and the Bunnyman quickly give chase.
Sarah and Lauren wind their way through the woods, find a road, and happen upon the sheriff. Salvation, right? The sheriff goes into woods, gun drawn, and finds Joe. This fine officer of the law then tries to kill Joe by lecturing him to death. It doesn’t work.
I can’t go into much more detail here without giving the ending away, but suffice to say . . . there is one survivor.
This movie will leave you with several questions: How can the Bunnyman drive a car wearing that ridiculous, and no doubt visually impairing, outfit? And Joe’s store is on a dirt road in what appears to be an abandoned town. How is he possibly making a living? We’re also treated to a shot of the Bunnyman’s face under the mask at one point, and you’ll find yourself wondering, “What is that? Gauze made out of flesh? If he has to wear a mask—okay, yes, some sort of facial covering probably is wise here—isn’t there something out there a little more practical than a full-on rabbit outfit?
This flick was odd and illogical and sometimes goofy, sometimes gory. It wasn’t all bad, though: make no mistake; it is Joe, not the Bunnyman, who is the real monster here. Kudos to David Scott for doing an excellent job of portraying a totally believable uncouth, disgusting psychopath. But Scott is the one shining point in an otherwise mediocre movie. Don’t get me wrong: if you like torture, murder, stupid victims, furries, and general unpleasantness, then BUNNYMAN MASSACRE may very well be the perfect choice for you. I’m just saying it wasn’t for me.
© Copyright 2017 by Stacey Longo Harris