Friday, 6 April 2012

EASTER TREAT: EASTER BUNNY, KILL! KILL! (DVD)


Film: Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!
UK Release date: 22nd August 2011
Year: 2006
Certificate: 18
Running time: 90 mins
Director: Chad Ferrin
Starring: Timothy Muskatel, Ricardo Grey, Charlotte Marie, Trent Haaga, David Z. Stamp, Wolf Dangler
Genre: Horror
Format: DVD
Country: USA
Reviewer: Daryl Wing

Unspeakable (2000) was Chad Ferrin's first twisted feature. Shot for $20,000, it was released by Troma, and after moderate success he went on to write, produce and direct The Ghouls, a horror opus shot for considerably less. A segment of the film Tales from the Crapper (2004), a direct-to-DVD effort starring Ron Jeremy, followed, but having finally been granted a release date in the UK, it’s his next outing, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! that demands our attention - and hopefully showcases Ferrin's undeniable talents. Can it really be as good as its title suggests?

Remington, a murderous looter, cons his way into a mother’s heart, putting on a fatherly fa├žade to her cherished son, Nicholas. But the second she leaves for work, a torrent of abuse rains down on the gentle boy.

Remington heads out for some hookers and invites his dilettante-child molester-drug-dealer buddy over to abuse Nicholas, whose only comfort is in confiding with his new pet bunny.

When Nicholas is nowhere to be found, someone wearing the mask of the beloved holiday hopper shows up ready to deliver a blood-splattered night of unspeakable terror – is anybody safe from a rampaging rabbit on the hunt for more than just eggs…

Are you ready to swim in a sea of depravity? With its blend of twisted humour and gross-out visuals, Ferrin’s movie may test the tolerance of many viewers (who, let's face it, with such an insane title won't be watching anyway) but it does at least offer some entertainment, especially in the latter stages when an over-talky first hour is forgotten thanks to some obnoxious characters being dispatched in the most brutal way possible.

The strangely affectionate Remington, played with such panache by Timothy Muskatel, is the star of the show, although Charlotte Marie almost steals it with a pair of noteworthy showstoppers, distracting the viewer from the typically threadbare plot that relies on stereotypes to tell its weak story before settling on a final twist that won't surprise many. At least it gives the chain of events respite from the shackles that tie it down.

It will probably never be confused with a classic. The characters act like morons, the dialogue they spit out is suitably inane (“was he born special or was there some kind of accident” is one of the finest), and a script so pedestrian for the most part slaps together its elements in a less-than-thrilling manner; its ninety minute running time feeling almost as bloated as pigging down three chocolate eggs and their fillings.

That said, if you are in the mood for good trash, it does deliver by the basketful. Who needs coloured eggs and candy when you have even more delicious dialogue, such as the sinister, “I have a bunny for him”, spoken by the creepily brilliant David Z. Stamp in one of the many disturbing scenes. And as the story finally picks up pace and it’s time to finally deliver some blood and guts, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! doesn’t scrimp on the treats either.

Truth be told, it’s better than it should be. The production values are pretty good for a low-budget affair, with some slick editing working effectively with every kill, and considering the flimsiness of the script, Ferrin gets some very good performances from his main cast – even if Ricardo Grey’s Nicholas is too much to bear (most notably when he dances to his father’s favourite song) and the equally annoying Jorge (Jose I. Lopez), who quite frankly demands a brutal exit.

It’s perfect fodder for a trash-horror fest, with its titillating hookers in glorious close-ups, a sublime scene when prostitute Candy goes searching for a broom to mop up the mess, some brutal toolbox murders akin to Hooper’s classic, and even a wildly happy, completely out of place, emotional ending reminiscent to a Nicholas Sparks novel – just make sure you don’t run out of tissue paper…

Sadly, and I’m slightly embarrassed to mention it, the scene in question does raise serious questions about rationality. Would you really break into a house, then have a dump and listen to a stray I-pod? More to the point, does the audience really want to listen to that person defecate in a lengthy scene almost as gruesome as anything else on offer? Perhaps it’s funny with a group of friends, after a few pints, but on your own, in a film such as this, when the tension has been building for almost an hour, the effect is devastating. It just proves that in horror films, loud noises of any kind are upsetting.

Handling the gory action with flair, while adding solid performances and darkly comic humour, Ferrin’s Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! isn’t substantial enough in story-telling to be a classic, but it is a fun example of a low-budget independent movie that plays on horror with elements of utter farce. It's an effective combination of ridiculous stereotypes and raw bloodshed - an Easter delight that shouldn’t be hidden.


Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! © 2006 Crappy World Films © 2011 Cine du Monde

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