It's to be expected that any film titled Easter Bunny Kill Kill would be a little... odd. And the hopeful viewer is not disappointed. The film has a lot of flaws, and isn't always firing on all cylinders, but there are enough creepy moments and gory fun to make it an enjoyable time.
The film begins with a man robbing a convenience store in a bunny mask, and killing the clerk in the process. This turns out to be Remington (Timothy Muskatell), the boyfriend of Mindy (Charlotte Marie), who is unaware of his thieving and murdering ways. He drops by Mindy's house on Easter eve, and is disappointed to discover that she has a son, Nicholas (Ricardo Gray), who is mentally handicapped. Nicholas is a big fan of Easter, but not of Remington, who he dislikes intensely. Nicholas still misses his dead father, and eagerly awaits the day that dad will "come back".
In front of Mindy, Remington is all smiles and friendliness to Nicholas. When Mindy is out of the room, Remington becomes abusive and caustic, and threatens to kill Nicholas' rabbit (given to him by a passing homeless man) if he tells his mother that Remington is not welcome. Later that night, Mindy gets a call from work (she's a nurse) and must go in to work a double shift at the last minute. Since Mindy previously fired her babysitter Lupe (Marina Blumenthal) and her husband Jorge (Jose I. Lopez) for teaching Nicholas bad words, Remington volunteers to watch the boy. He has less than the best intentions in mind, however, and plans to sell out his young charge as a sexual plaything to his very creepy pedophile friend Ray (David Z. Stamp) in exchange for cocaine and cash. Soon enough, Ray arrives at the home, Remington goes out to pick up some hookers, and the murders begin.
Easter Bunny Kill Kill has a lot going for it. Primarily, the pure, bottled weirdness that permeates the film, along with the twisted humor and gruesomely effective murders. People get smashed in the head with hammers, stabbed in the face, gored with circular saws and impaled through the mouth with broom handles, all with bloody abandon. The atmosphere of outré menace is held throughout. The house where most of the action is set is undergoing extensive remodeling, and has plastic sheets hanging from all the walls and across the doors. The always billowing, rustling plastic makes the house seem otherworldly and foreign. There is always movement at the corner of the screen to disturb and distract. And the surprise twist ending is actually a surprise. Though parts of the ending can be guessed earlier, the identity of the killer is a real shock.
Having said all that, the film does have some serious drawbacks as well. Ricardo Gray as Nicholas goes a little too far over the top as the mentally handicapped boy, planting at least one foot firmly in parody territory. Timothy Muskatell as Remington is only slightly less bombastic. (Charlotte Marie as Mindy, however, gives a pretty good turn, and David Z. Stamp as the pedophile Ray brings creepiness to a new level.) The editing is also in dire need of tightening up. At one point, the audience has to watch the overweight Ray struggle to get out of his car for upwards of thirty seconds. There are several other areas in which the film could be pruned and trimmed back as well. The recurrent long, slow moving scenes detract from the otherwise crisp pace. One other flaw is more subtle. Remington is clearly and purposefully a low class, seamy and unattractive man. What would a comely, intelligent professional woman like Mindy find interesting about him? Perhaps there is a psychological motivation. Maybe she's desperate for a father figure for Nicholas, or extremely lonely. If so, these points stay locked in the writers mind, and leave a mystery for the audience.
In the end, Easter Bunny Kill Kill is a mixed bag. The tension and gory fun are undeniable, but the uneven pacing and at times hammy performances detract from the overall effect. This is a weird one, and not for the faint of heart. Rent it, and you might find something to enjoy.
The video is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks good overall, with a few problems. Graininess is evident throughout most of the film, and the shadows can be a bit overwhelming, but this is a horror movie, and it fits the mood.
The sound is in Dolby digital 5.1 channel, and sounds good and clean, with nice separation, especially during the numerous death scenes. Dialogue is always clearly audible and no hiss or interference can be heard. There are no subtitles included, which is a mite frustrating, particularly during the occasional Spanish dialogue. No alternate language tracks are available.
There are a few extras included. They are:
Fuck Up: The Casting Woes of Easter Bunny Kill Kill
This seventeen minute short includes a lot of casting and rehearsal footage, and documents the manifold casting problems that director Chad Ferrin had. In particular, the role of Remington was originally cast with Joe Pilato, who had to drop out because of substance abuse problems. Brutally honest, but very interesting.
Trailers are included for Easter Bunny Kill Kill, The Ghouls, Someone's Knocking at the Door, Sympathy, Run Bitch Run and Hanger.
The commentary with Chad Ferrin and Timothy Muskatel, who ended up playing Remington, is also brutally honest, but very engaging. Ferrin particularly is very upfront about the perils of low budget film making, the issues with Joe Pilato and a host of other items. The film had to overcome a number of obstacles, and they are discussed in detail. Ferrin and Muskatel are quite amusing, and the commentary adds significantly to the experience of the film.
Easter Bunny Kill Kill is pure, bottled weirdness. It's creepy, tense, gory and fun. It also has some significant flaws in the acting, story and pacing. It's no cinematic masterpiece, but there is a body of considerable talent lurking beneath the surface that pokes its head up from time to time. Rent this one.