Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!

Year:  2006
Director:  Chad Ferrin
Cast:  Timothy Muskatell, Ricardo Grey, Charlotte Marie, David Z. Stamp

Following in the tradition of the slasher genre, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! uses a beloved holiday as the backdrop for a madman's murderous rampage. However, instead of stalking babysitters or sorority sisters, this film tells a much more interesting and sinister tale.

Mindy, a single mother of a sixteen year old mentally challenged son, Nicholas, struggles with the responsibilities involved in raising a special needs child. She often works double shifts at her nursing job and relies on the wife of her handyman for childcare. So when Rem, a smooth talking and by all appearances, a genuinely nice, caring guy comes into her life, she instantly begins to have feelings for him. However, Nicholas is immediately suspicious and takes an instant disliking to Rem, and for very good reason. It turns out Rem is really a cruel, low-life drug addict with ulterior motives. He is cruel to Nicholas when Mindy is not around, calling him degrading names and threatening to kill his new pet rabbit if Nicholas tells. When called into work a double shift on Easter day, Mindy, with really no other option, allows Rem to care for Nicholas. Rem immediately calls his pedophile friend and sells Nicholas to him for the evening while Rem goes out in search of hookers and drugs. When the pedophile arrives to have his way with Nicholas, it doesn't take long for a psychopath wearing an Easter Bunny mask to show up and begin wreaking havoc with various electrical tools. When Rem finally shows back up to the home with his hookers, the stage is set for a bloody showdown.

Though certainly not perfect, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! is an ambitious entry into the holiday themed horror genre. The tone of the film is its most effective asset, at while some may find it a tad too cruel at times, it will, without a doubt, stir at least some emotion in even the most hardened horror fans. Apart from the inclusion of such sensitive subjects as the treatment of people with disabilities and pedophilia, the film possesses a grittiness and atmosphere that is unsettling at times. Despite the simple and confined setting of a small, suburban house, the director is able to create some serious tense and suspenseful scenes, mostly involving the various victims making their way through the hallways of the home, which are covered in plastic on both sides because of renovations. The use of the plastic is hugely effective as the viewer at times knows the homicidal rabbit is lurking its prey from somewhere behind it. The deaths are fairly brutal and bloody as heads are drilled, circular saws are wielded, and hammers and brought down. Though the deaths are nasty, they are never over the top, and since most of the victims are vile human beings, these is slight sense of justice felt. The actors, for the most part, are highly committed to their roles. Timothy Muskatell is truly outstanding as Rem and viewers will be truly disgusting by him.

Still, though the film is highly effective, some will be quick to point out its flaws. The low budget does, at times, show. Some of the scenes, particularly ones involving Nicholas talking to his pet rabbit, come off as extremely cheesy and cringe-worthy. Since the first real kill by the maniacal rabbit doesn't come until at least the halfway point, some may be turned off by pacing, subject matter, and questionable depiction of a mentally challenged teen. Additionally, some scenes are unnecessary and late attempts at humor fall flat and don't complement the overall tone of the film. Though I am sure some figured out the identity of the killer, I was actually pleasantly surprised, though the last few minutes of the film were rather unbelievable and a tad too tidy and storybook.

Overall, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! is highly effective, low-budget tribute to exploitative grindhouse films of the 70's and slasher films of the 80's. There are some truly creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing scenes, and though the film is a cheesy in parts and seem to loose focus a few times, it is a welcomed and strongly recommended entry into the holiday themed horror catalog.

Fright Meter Grade:

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