Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Bunnyman Vengeance

– By Sooz Webb

Well. Well, well, well. Bunnyman. Vengeance. What to say, what to say? Starting off quite promisingly, we flashback to the makings of a killer: a young boy is set alight, disfigured beyond recognition and saved by the lads who had caused the blaze. They become a dysfunctional family, of sorts. Of the chainsaw wielding, ‘cut-your-face-off-and-wear-it’ variety. Thus, a young Bunnyboy is born. Donning a cute-but-grimey fuzzy wuzzy suit of +1 homicidal dexterity, the adult Bunnyman (Rabbitman?) and his adoptive siblings embark on an endeavour, to capitalize on the barbaric reputation of the cottontail killer. By setting up a haunted house in which they can continue the slaughter. Naturally!

And…..that’s it. With a runtime of almost two hours, which will feel a lot, lot longer, the ‘narrative’ of Bunnyman is a series of unconnected sequences, botched together with occasional scenes of the cast nattering. About what, you say. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. There’s some kind of tension within the unit, intended to rouse sympathy, but I doubt even Mother Theresa herself would have been moved by these exchanges. Intermittently a rotating cast of randoms turn up and are immediately dispatched, without any form of struggle whatsoever. It’s like they just wanted to be in, out, boom, dead. Let’s get the shot done, and never speak of this again. Fortunately within that factor, we’re treated to an excessive amount of guts and gore, which majestically splatters across the screen. Despite the low budget, the effects are considerably impressive. Unfortunately, the transitions between uber-gory dispatch are so mind numbingly trite, you’ll be beyond caring. And so we lollop through the action.

Frustratingly, there are flashes of visual flair, which crop up throughout proceedings, and give you the impression that maybe someone on this production actually knew what they were doing. A nicely framed shot, or a beautifully lit vista. Then we get lost in a fuddle of bad editing, poor audio mix, which cuts in and out as it pleases, and excruciatingly lackluster performances, and we’re back to square bored again. There is ONE shining moment, which really woke me up and got me interested. Well, I say shining moment. It’s so starkly disparate, both in terms of aesthetic and motivation, that it jarred me into consciousness. Bunnyman, who has obviously suffered a traumatic experience during childhood, frequently recalls the incidents which led him down the path of interpersonal annihilation. These are usually presented as grainy, 8mm memories. But in a tonal upheaval, we witness a kind of weird dream sequence, depicted as if Georges Méliès had designed a level in Mario Kart. Down the rabbit hole, as it were. It’s weird, and kinda fun, but doesn’t mesh at all with what the writer has awkwardly been trying to convey to us. You see, I believe we’re supposed to view Bunnyman as somewhat of a sympathetic character. A wretched victim, created by lack of opportunity and bad circumstance. Then again, I could be trying desperately to read something into this cinematic meltdown, and my whole theory is bullshit.

A monotonous bimble to round off the trilogy, Bunnyman Vengeance is worthwhile viewing to those invested in the series. If you were a fan of the first two, or are a completist with a penchant for self sadism, then by all means go nuts. Because you will. The rest of us can simply rest assured that the franchise has finished, before the myxomatosis really sets in.

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