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Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!
Maladjusted characters and plenty of 70s-style sleaze and violence are what make this modern send-up of the classic exploitation film worth a watch, but only if you’re a fan of the genre. Aside from a vague religious theme there isn’t too much going on, but what it lacks in substance it makes up for with some good interplay between its cast of (for lack of a better word) scum – an armed robber, a pedophile, coked-out strippers and an enigmatic homeless man, to name a few. Timothy Muskatell puts on a great performance as Remington, the criminal trying to work his way into the lives of Mindy and her son, and offsets his nasty demeanor with a good dose of humor.
The film takes place on the night before Easter and opens with a robbery where a masked gunman mercilessly kills a liquor store clerk. We’re then introduced to a single Mother, Mindy Peters, and her handicapped son, Nicholas, who is obsessed with the holiday – we later find out that his father died on Easter. Mindy has a date with her new boyfriend, Remington, who, unbeknownst to her, is the criminal who committed the robbery and plans on moving in with her despite Nicholas’ objections. When Mindy has to work a double shift and can’t get a babysitter, Remington offers to help but has more sinister plans to party. Unfortunately for him and his friends, a masked killer is on the loose and begins to pick them off one by one.
So what separates Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! from other recent slasher movies? Firstly, it’s not a remake and even though it’s about a masked killer who chooses to kill during a particular time of the year, I think this is more in homage to classic slashers than an attempt to bring something entirely new to the table. I would have liked it to look a little more authentic (like last year’s The House of the Devil) but this may have been impossible due to budgetary constraints or simply because Director Chad Ferrin wants this to be remembered as an unpretentious modern-day slasher.
There are some gory death scenes which include a drill to the head, plastic wrap suffocation and even a broom to the throat (not the brush end). Muskatell manages to walk a fine line in his portrayal of Remington who’s simply vile but strangely likable (the handlebar mustache and chops complement his pear-shaped body and maniacal laugh for comic effect).
I’m a little uncertain about the direction as the photography is dodgy throughout and certain shots don’t appear to be framed properly – if this was for effect, I don’t know if it always worked. I thought the ending was a little weak and felt rushed but it tied things up nicely.
In the end, though, this isn’t looking to break any new ground; it’s a straightforward exploitation film in the style of the ultraviolent slashers from the 70s and 80s, with unwholesome characters, a thin plot and questionable morals (all of which is good).
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