DVD Review: The Beaster Bunny (2014)

Just in case you wondering, no, this isn’t some sort of sequel to The Bunny Game which you hadn’t heard about.

Originally released in the US under the title Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell, The Beaster Bunny is the first and to date only film credited to writer, director, producer and cinematographer team the Snygg Brothers, and as you might have already ascertained from the title and the still to the left, it’s about a sleepy middle-American town (is there any other kind?) which comes under attack from a giant killer bunny rabbit on Easter weekend. Absurdist monster movies of this ilk are hardly unheard of these days, most of them coming from SyFy, The Asylum and/or Roger Corman (although more often than not they centre on sharks rather than rabbits), and I’m sure I’m far from alone in having often thought while sitting through such feeble efforts that they would almost certainly be improved if they didn’t tone things down for TV, and piled on the bloodshed, swearing and gratuitous nudity. Well, The Beaster Bunny certainly tests that theory. It’s got tits, gore and F-bombs galore, as one of the most wildly unconvincing monsters you will ever see goes on a rampant killing spree. Whether this is enough to keep the joke from getting old for a full 80 minutes is another matter.

Plot-wise, I’ve pretty much told you everything you need to know, although I’m afraid to say there is a bit of character stuff in there too. Our main protagonists are an overambitious, socially and intellectually challenged dog catcher named Doug (Peter Sullivan), and his new co-worker Brenda (Marisol Custodio), a struggling wannabe actress who has taken the job out of desperation and doesn’t take it anywhere near as seriously as Doug does. While they don’t cross paths with our monster rabbit straight away, it’s clear that this is where things are headed, as a series of attractive women (the notorious Darian Caine among them) fall afoul of the bloodthirsty bunny, generally whilst not wearing very much. The incompetent hippy mayor (John Fedele) isn’t doing anything helpful, so it falls upon the daring dog catchers to save the day.

I find myself reminded of another upcoming ultra-low budget horror release, Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell, in that I get the feeling this would have been just fine as the basis for a short film, but winds up getting more than a little tiresome as a full-length feature, even with a running time of barely an hour and twenty minutes. Obviously we can fall back on the old excuses – it’s not meant to be taken seriously, it’s stupid on purpose, you’re meant to watch it in a party environment whilst shit-faced – but none of this is enough to keep The Beaster Bunny from getting tedious. Just how soon it will get tedious will, I suppose, depend on the proclivities of the viewer. Some won’t get further than the first five minutes, in which the dumber-than-dumb tone is firmly established; others will start losing interest after maybe the first half hour, once it becomes apparent that the film has met its tit shot quota. Sure, the gory death scenes might help, but – portentous thunder – it’s almost entirely CGI gore, made all the more unconvincing by the naff editing and lack of impact shots: I lost count of how many times we see the rabbit bend over, and in the very next shot the victim is suddenly lying in pieces. Nor are these the only directorial decisions that make the whole thing look all the dumber; note a guy attempting to thumb a lift alongside what is very clearly a footpath, or the young nubile who proposes going for a skinny dip when there is no body of water anywhere nearby.

But hey, what a shocker – a stupid no-budget monster movie is stupid. Next thing, you know I’ll be acting all outraged that grass is green. Those who like dumb-ass comedy horror at its dumbest will doubtless find much to appreciate from The Beaster Bunny, but I for one don’t think it’s asking too much for even the silliest, trashiest B-movies to have at least a little genuine wit and invention. On which note, I must emphatically disagree with the cover quote declaring this ‘the greatest Easter horror film ever released,’ as to my mind that honour clearly falls to Dustin Mills’ Easter Casket.

The Beaster Bunny is available now on UK DVD, VOD and download, from Second Sight.