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New Release Review (VOD) - CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS

CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS review
Killer rabbits wreak havoc in small town England.







Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Tony Jopia

Starring: Caroline Munro, Honey Holmes, Kumud Pant, Dani Thompson, Gary Martin

CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS poster

Horror/Comedy is a difficult balance to get right. Some falter with too much of either ingredient and fail at tone, while others lack enough of horror or comedy to truly be thought of as straddling the genres. The ones that get it right are some of my favourites –  Severance, Shaun of The Dead, Scream, to name a few.

This latest effort by director Tony Jopia is a supposed horror comedy about killer rabbits wreaking havoc in small town Britain. Sounds good right?

Unfortunately this one falters on the first scene, and it's all downhill from there.

Cute Little Buggers opens with camping lovebirds encountering a killer rabbit in the woods. A sequence that features some lame special effects that look almost as fake as the quickly revealed breasts, it seems this may be heading into satire territory, which is a good route for these types of films to take – the horror genre is always up for laughing at itself and it's always amusing to horror fans to ‘spot the trope’.

But this film is neither clever enough nor enjoyable enough for that.


CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS

Once the story starts in earnest you learn that the rabbits are sent down from a nearby spaceship inhabited by aliens who need to find females to mate with and extend their species.

This plays out like an adolescent wet dream with smutty comments and ‘raunchy’ wordplay that feels straight out of an old Benny Hill episode.

The objective seems to be killing any males in the vicinity and then capturing the females to tie them up topless somewhere unspecified and impregnate them in some vaguely realised way. Bizarrely, first the aliens apparently clothe them in silver miniskirts, I guess to make them look ‘sci fi’, but by this point I’d lost any interest and could not resurrect a reason to care.

The music, by John Roome, is one of the few positives. It's effectively whimsical and a pleasant distraction from the silliness onscreen.

Though I suspect they were aiming for a Hot Fuzz feel, based on the quaint-village-in-Britain setting, director Jopia and writer Garry Charles have clearly watched a few too many xxx internet ‘movies’, as this is the influence most strongly felt.

The dialogue itself seems straight out of a porno and the acting is of the same calibre.

The only actor who comes out of this thing unscathed is John R Walker as PC James, who does his best with the wretched material and actually proves that a good actor can stand above a bad film. He’s the only part of this movie worth watching (but maybe in something more worthy of his talents).


CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS

This film is not only dreadfully boring but makes little sense.

Why does the ‘prodigal son’ (an appallingly bad Kristofer Dayne) throw the letter from his departed mother on the ground in some grand gesture only to pick it up moments later?

Why is there such a strange mixed bag of accents in small town England?

Why do they kill some women and take others? How do they take the women at all? And how do they get them to their spaceship? And where is the spaceship?

The aliens observing proceedings in the UFO travelling above are clearly supposed to be comic relief, but their obvious Halloween mask visages and pointless dialogue do nothing but make this movie last longer.

In fact there are too many random characters that exist just to be killed off or provide ‘comic’ relief (and actually aren’t funny at all).

And the killer bunnies themselves? I created better effects on my PC in high school. They never for a moment look like more than images painted onto the frame. Why not use real rabbit footage? Or puppets for Christ sakes? It beggars belief.

There isn't a single endearing or interesting character, just a procession of people who pop in for one scene before being dispatched by an artist's impression of a rabbit.


CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS

However, the biggest problem is the treatment of women. This movie really should just be called 'Boobs' - there is simply no need for so much exploitive one-sided nudity.

I feel sorry for all those actresses exposing themselves on film for such a crappy movie.

The misogyny bleeds into every frame of this film. Even the characters we are meant to care about are objectified, such as PC Hitchens (Sara Dee), whose every line is a double entendre and who is introduced seductively eating a cream bun and letting it drip onto her cleavage. Later in the film, when she arrives to help fight the bunnies, she is promptly degraded and looked upon with predatory eyes by all the males in the room.

There isn’t a single female in this movie who isn’t treated like something to ogle, lust after or laugh at. The entire film is shot from that famous creepy ‘male gaze’ that puts the audience in the uncomfortable place of feeling like a sex pest (not something I could imagine enjoying) and gives the movie a cheap and nasty up-skirt feel it never recovers from.

This is sexist, misogynistic, childish rubbish with porn level acting/screenwriting and direction that’s painful to sit through. Avoid like the plague.

Cute Little Buggers is on VOD November 7th.



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