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New Release Review (VOD) - BUNNY THE KILLER THING

A group of young people are menaced by a giant horny rabbit.



Review by Benjamin Poole (@filmclubchs)

Directed by: Joonas Makkonen

Starring: Hiski Hämäläinen, Enni Ojutkangas, Veera W. Vilo, Jari Manninen



If you’re the sort of person that this mainly harmless, even at times inspired, idiocy is aimed at, then you’ll go bugs for this. Bunny the Killer Thing may have missed a general release in time for Easter, but this is a film that still warrants a space in any late night movie collection.



Following the likes of Night of the Lepus, Donnie Darko and, um, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Joonas Makkonen’s midnight movie is, as its explanatory title would suggest, a belated addition to the underrepresented ‘sinister rabbit’ subgenre, a creature feature marginalized perhaps because the very idea of a menacing rabbit is inherently silly, a concept that these films mined for its ridiculous potential and which Bunny the Killer Thing takes to the nth degree. However crazy the above got in their depictions of Leporidaen carnage (and it got a bit weird in all of them), did any of those films feature a six foot anthromorphic bunny who bursts into rooms in a murderous rage, growling ‘PUSSY!!!’ while swinging its -impressive - penis round and round in a violent helicopter motion? No, they did not. Where’s Glenn Close when you really need her?!


The set-up of Bunny the Killer Thing is an irrelevance. The plot, as it were, is simply a device to get a variety of young people stranded in a faraway cabin in the woods, where they can drink, take their clothes off and go at it like rabbits, before eventually meeting a sticky end at the paws of a gigantic hairy rape monster. Bunny the Killer Thing is less a film, more a drunken evening in: bunny bants. Like the trailer you’ve seen for that Ron Jeremy killer penis flick, or those Strippers Vs Whatever movies that were knocking about a couple of years ago, Bunny the Killer Thing is calculated for that moment the Xbox is switched off and the evening calls for undemanding, hyperbolic amusement. I would say good luck reading the subtitles with beer goggles on, or through the haze of bong smoke, but the Finnish dialogue isn’t really the point either (and, in fairness, the script slips from Finnish to mainly English); this type of movie is all about a certain type of premeditated, violent absurdity.

Does it achieve this aspiration? The pertinent questions are: how cool does the bunny monster look, will the off-kilter humour go far enough, and might the film fill a raucous late hour or so? Well, in the first instance, the monster looks so much like a man in a suit that I was genuinely expecting this to be the film’s major twist, the final act revealing some sort of bad taste childhood trauma manifesting in adult fancy-dress bunny carnage (also, with its longer ears and hind legs, the creature is more hare than rabbit, a lack of attention to detail that almost took me out of the film…). But no, the idea is that it’s a real monster, one that is about as convincing as Bungle off Rainbow was as an actual bear. It seems that the effects budget was spent on the various prosthetic penises that threateningly dangle and pierce the frosty air, and which are unsettlingly convincing. The scariest thing is wondering how monstrous they’d be if the surroundings weren’t so cold (and, yes, there are penis POV shots..)!


Fortunately, the bunny monster is off screen for most of his own film, clumsily chasing some hapless, barely dressed kids through the woods, and leaving us in the cabin to witness the dark sex-comedy stylings going on within. Here the film hits its obnoxious stride: there’s a running joke about a pubescent kid constantly wanking, drunken vomit snogs and even a girl on girl rape (the film’s only really offensive moment, as, within the movie’s flippant context, it comes off as being played for kicks). The film’s juvenile, but knowing, nature is so pervasive that there’s a case to be made for the bunny being a Jungian expression of the male adolescent desire for, but fear of, sexuality; the bunny is priapic and overpowering, but his encounters end in gooey and bloody unpleasantness. If Freud was a film reviewer he’d note that this film is firmly stuck in the phallic stage of psychosexual development, where the subject develops a childish obsession with their own genitalia, and which occurs in infancy - so if you’ve grown out of that phase, you may want to tell this one to hop it.


But if you’re not, then you don’t need bygone Austrian psychoanalysts to enjoy this Finnish madness; some mates, attention deficit syndrome and a couple of lagers will do the trick. It has to be said that the film is surprising in places; the Elfman-esque score is delightful, and there are certain shots, like the frame of the bunny chasing a few stragglers across a moonlit vista, that are especially stylish. And there is no question of the film leaving its bad taste remit unfulfilled; the finale is a literal orgy of bloody bunny, rabid rabbit insanity. If you’re the sort of person that this mainly harmless, even at times inspired, idiocy is aimed at, then you’ll go bugs for this. Bunny the Killer Thing may have missed a general release in time for Easter, but this is a film that still warrants a space in any late night movie collection.
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