I watched the disc bonuses, I know this wasn’t a lazy production. Heart, hard work, sweat, money – it was all dumped into this project. Sadly, the truth cannot be said for the screenplay. There is, quite literally no story here. Two weirdos, one who dresses up as a bunny, and one who just looks… dirty, kill strangers and use their meat for jerky. That’s the movie. There are no pivotal protagonists to pull for, and the antagonists are rather cookie cutter. There are no unique twists to the story and no conflict other than the insanely trodden and unbelievably broad man vs. maniac theme. This is really just a bunch of scenes put together and labeled a film. Seeing the kind of serious work that went into this, and seeing such an uninspired script is baffling.
A really detrimental issue that I took notice of was a lack of backstory and the utter failure to emphasize the fact that this is a sequel. There’re no hints delivered in the introduction, and there’s no flashback shots to bring us up to speed. Had I not watched the bonus features, I would not have known this was a sequel. If I’ve seen or heard of The Bunnyman prior to this viewing, it vacated my memory completely. Great sequels let us know they’re sequels, even if they don’t need to. Halloween II, Friday the 13th II, Cold Prey 2 – just a couple slashers that serve as amazing sequels, all of which are savvy enough to know to welcome new viewers to their brand by informing them of story history. Don’t assume viewers know they’re walking into a sequel, assume they’re ignorant to your product. Recapping the events of the first or previous flick only empower your story; not only do we learn the crux of the concept, we get the chance to see that this is a growing franchise, and maybe there’s a reasonable excuse for the thin story. It’s a missed opportunity from filmmaker Carl Lindbergh.
Despite all of the flick’s faults, I’ve got to say this: While Lindbergh doesn’t appear to be an amazing screenwriter, as a director, he’s got serious skills. The movie looks great. I have no idea what kind of camera was used, or what kind of filters and tweaks this one received in the post-production process, but visually it’s awfully impressive. I think Lindbergh has some great stuff up his sleeve still. As long as he’s willing to either work to improve his writing skills, or stand back and work from a refined screenwriter’s script, he’s going to make a quality film at some point. However, if he fails to do what must be done to evolve, his films will likely fail to catch on with a larger audience.
I’m pulling for the guy. As conflicting a piece as The Bunnyman Massacre is, there’s enough promise to extend Lindbergh another chance to prove his worth in the field. The man hasn’t reached his peak as a filmmaker, that’s obvious in the writing of this oddball and underdeveloped slasher.