I first encountered Bunnyman when I picked up one of those B-Movie collections from the five-dollar bin at Wal-Mart. I can’t say that I was a fan then and I’m not completely sure that I am a fan now. After re-watching the first two films in preparation for this review, I have to say that my opinion has changed, if only slightly. The newest entry in the franchise, Bunnyman: Vengeance, has me split down the middle between this franchise being terrible or downright genius.
The first Bunnyman is reprehensible. When I set out to review this newest film, I still had a bad taste of the original in my mouth. Bunnyman is so bad that it is nearly impossible to find, and I am shocked that it got a sequel, much less a third film. The sequel wasn’t much better, but it did upgrade the production quality immensely. The sequel also gave a little more insight into the Bunnyman character, which made the film and its namesake more interesting. This third entry in the series builds on that steam and makes for an interesting character and a messed-up movie.
The Bunnyman character is a unique one because the films revolves around the psychopath versus the victims and how the Bunnyman is more complicated than he seems. This makes for an interesting dynamic that most horror movies don’t see, but it also makes the movies suffer. Without a clear protagonist to root for, viewers find themselves a little lost.
Unlike other horror stars, the Bunnyman seems to wrestle with his inner demons. There is no doubt that he is a psychotic killer, but on multiple occasions, he shows remorse and even empathy for his victims. The filmmakers go out of their way to show that Bunnyman is not a mindless serial killer, but instead, a victim of circumstance more than anything else. This interesting take on a villain makes you feel sorry for him versus despising him, which is a confusing notion. The movies also show that, while Bunnyman isn’t a saint, it is the people around him that are the real monsters.
This film sees the title character with a group of men who he has apparently known since childhood after killing his previous keeper in Bunnyman: Massacre. Apparently, one of them is the reason why Bunnyman chooses to wear his suit at all times. The group is planning a get rich quick scheme with a haunted house featuring the 7-foot-tall rabbit. Everything quickly goes south when Bunnyman can’t help himself and starts killing the spook house guests.
Just when you think this film may be a legitimate sequel that takes this series in a new, more respectable direction, they remind you that you are watching a movie about a man in a giant rabbit suit. In her attempt to get away, one of the victims injects an unknown substance into her attacker which makes him trip balls. Viewers are treated to what can only be described as the most messed up music video you’ve ever seen, and for entirely too long. I know that the scene was meant to add some levity into a graphic movie, but the film would have been much better if they would have cut that ridiculous scene.
Though I am not putting this movie anywhere near my top ten list, I will say that it is the best in the series. There were a lot of positive steps taken to make this a legitimate franchise and not something that looks like it was filmed on a smartphone in the backyard. Bunnyman: Vengeance lives up to its name and left the franchise open for many more sequels if this one does well enough. I am really split down the middle on this one, but I lean more towards watching it, especially if you have seen the other two.
Bunnyman: Vengeance comes to VOD October 20 and Blu-ray/DVD on November 21.