The Bunnyman Massacre (2012)
This is the benchmark. This film is the film all aspiring horror filmmakers should watch and learn from. This is how NOT to make a horror movie.
Six twenty-somethings piss off the wrong trucker by overtaking him on a road somewhere in America. This trucker happens to be dressed as a giant bunny and has an awkward tendency to kidnap, torture and murder people. Country folk, huh? Soon the six some find themselves stranded and (mostly) alone in some woods, faced with a completely stoppable killer rabbit. Hijinks ensue.
The Bunnyman Massacre is literally the worst film I’ve seen in years. Decades, even. Why? Well – simply put – because it’s appallingly made on every single level. Below is a special Gorepress guide how NOT to make a horror film, based on The Bunnyman Massacre’s many many flaws:
Aspiring filmmakers should watch this to see how characters should NEVER be created. Here are some questions you might have after watching The Bunnyman Massacre:
> Who are these people?
> Where did they come from?
> Where were they going to?
> How do they know each other?
> Why did they leave each other to die horrible deaths at every possible opportunity?
Perhaps it’s the annual vacation of the Friendless Coward’s Club, where they drive around back-roads looking for trucks to overtake. Whatever the case, they are personality-less 2D clichés and incredibly unconvincing.
The script is appalling. Every character sounds the same and rolls off classic lines such as “Let’s go”, “I think I hear something” and “What’s that?” over and over again. One scene featured this amazing moment:
Six people in a broken-down car. One climbs out and looks around.
Rachel: “What’re we gonna do?”
John: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Boom! That’s a lesson on how to thrill your audience into a big fat coma. There are multiple scenes like this, where characters seemingly ad-lib and improvise shoddy dialogue that is witless and horribly dull.
# 3 ACTORS:
Unfortunately only approximately two people can actually act in The Bunnyman Massacre. This is another lesson for filmmakers – do not cast someone unless they can deliver your awful dialogue and make is sound convincing. These people can’t. Perhaps they were family friends or university chums – whatever the case, most of them were atrocious.
# 4 PROTAGONIST:
The protagonist. The hero. The person we root for. In this case it’s presumably Rachel (Cheryl Texiera) and her boyfriend John (Matthew Albrecht). And here’s another TWO lessons from this:
A.) Never have your hero run away and leave their friends to die, it stops them being a hero and makes them a bastardhole.
B) As you’re heading towards the climax, don’t have your hero disappear for over 12 minutes. That’s an eighth of your movie – which is how long Rachel goes missing for towards the end of The Bunnyman Massacre – and it no longer makes them a protagonist. An unforgiveable mistake.
# 5 SENSELESLESS:
Horror films feature extreme situations with unnatural occurrences hampering our heroes. Ghosts, goblins, dream-dwelling paedos and – in this case – serial killers. The extremity of these monstrous elements means that the human / victim characters should act naturally. Sadly The Bunnyman Massacre fails on this too.
Example A.) Their friend is crushed under a car, but none of them check if he’s alive – they just walk away and don’t particularly seem to care.
Example B.) They find a path flanked with upside-down crosses and bags of human bones, and when our hero suggests it’s probably not a good idea to continue down the path, her boyfriend says “There’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation”. Yes, a serial killing nutcase did it, you braindead halfwit. Why not walk towards his HOME?! Bloody moron.
The filmmakers even have the audacity to say this film is “based on a true story”, which is amateur horror filmmakers slang for “inspired by something my mate’s brother saw in a newspaper once”. Don’t use it unless your film is deadly serious and very good, otherwise you’re shitting on the graves of those people who might’ve died at the bunnyman’s hands.
# 6 A PLOT:
Have a plot. Seriously. A plot cannot just be “people find themselves in a place and they try n’ escape”. This isn’t a plot, it’s a sentence. The Bunnyman Massacre’s plot is this:
> Six people get stranded in the woods.
> Six people wander about aimlessly, often off the roads and into some dark & scary woods.
> Six people – by massive coincidence – keep running into psychotic murderers and / or hillbilly clichés (you know the ones – > they like shotguns, swearing, rape and chewing something brown).
> Six people slowly get killed off until two of them decide to fight back, waaay too late.
This plot suffers especially from the “wandering aimlessly”. The group of moronic twenty-somethings have no plan. Their car crashes next to a road and instead of flagging down another car or walking up the road, they wander into the forest a bit. It’s ludicrous and pathetic. Lesson learned – have a plot, a goal and a direction otherwise the audience will be BORED.
# 7 THE MONSTER & THE VIOLENCE:
Intrinsically linked (unless you’re really doing something wrong) the monster must deal out violence in original and interesting ways. The Bunnyman’s uniqueness stops with his bunny suit. He is simply a man – he has no special powers or hyper intelligence or super strength. In fact, our “heroes” have many many many clear chances at killing the Bunnyman, but don’t take them (for literally no reason except for plotting purposes). They rip the chainsaw from his hands and then – insanely! – leave it lying around for him to pick up later.
The Bunnyman’s “unique” raison d’être is this: he does blood-lust surgery on someone whilst listening to classical music (cliché!), he videos the violence (cliché!), he has a rapey gimp-like helper (for no reason!), he pulls teeth (cliché!), he nail-guns stomachs (cliché!), he stabs (cliché!), he chainsaws (cliché!), walks real slow (cliché!) and even drives a scary truck with tinted windows (Jeepers Creepers cliché!).
Boom!! Cliché to the max! Nothing here is original. Your originality cannot just be a costume; it needs to be so much more.
Sound is SO important in horror films. It builds tension, it creates jump-scares and it provides momentum in some of the slower moments. Darren ‘Sunny’ Warkentin should be ashamed of himself as the sound mix is appalling – the dialogue dips from being super quiet to MEGA LOUD! And it is distractingly awful. Perhaps this is why most of the character information was lost on me – because I literally couldn’t hear it!
FINAL LESSON – BE ORIGINAL:
The Bunnyman Masscare’s originality stops at the title, and then moves on to liberally steal from Jeepers Creepers, The Hitcher, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (multiple times!), Deliverance, Wrong Turn, Monsterman, The Hills Have Eyes etc… etc… No one will remember your film if it plagiarizes so heavily from more popular / significantly better films. The Bunnyman Massacre is a clichéd mess.
Low budget is not an excuse. The Bunnyman himself is played by Carl Lindbergh, who also happens to be the writer / director / producer and editor of this messy cackbadgery. A case of being too close to a project, or maybe he wrote and directed the film whilst wearing a giant, eyeless bunny mask… that would explain a lot.
The Bunnyman Massacre is a useful learning tool and a horrendously made horror film. Released in the USA in 2009 under the title of Bunnyman, this has taken four years and one name change to get to the UK and it’s a crying shame it didn’t drown on the way here.
Plotless, stupid, infuriating, dull, awfully acted, directed, scripted and sound-mixed, this is a senseless waste of everyone’s time. Avoid it or learn from it. Whatever the case, this film is one of the worst films ever made.
Perhaps worse news is that The Bunnyman Massacre has a sequel! Written and directed by Carl Lindbergh again, Bunnyman 2 is in post production now. I just pray he’s learned from his previous mistakes…