Easter Bunny Bloodbath (2010)
By: Devon B. on March 31, 2013 | Comments
Easter Bunny Bloodbath VHS Cover Art
Director: Richard Mogg
Screenplay: Richard Mogg Starring: Shayan Bayat, Meghan Kinsley, Travis Turner, Adrian Daniels, Laura Hope
Country: Canada
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Easter Bunny Bloodbath has been marketed as an all new 80s horror video, and while that's a lie in that it was not made in the 80s, the video part is true. The film got a VHS only release, a move that might delight collectors of the format but will surely perplex everyone else, myself included. Maybe VHS will be like vinyl records and have a resurgence? Except vinyl sounds better for a lot of older analogue recordings, whereas VHS looked and sounded inferior to DVD, so I don't think a resurgence is that likely after all. Plus I was always having to rewind tapes and tapes wore out and if a tape broke I would need to put sticky tape on it to try and fix it but if I put too much sticky tape on the video would jam in the VCR and my VCR would be broken and then I couldn't watch movies anymore. So, I don't miss VHS, but I guess some people still like it.

I might not like the format 80s horror came out on for home viewing, but I still love 80s horror, because, as documented on this very website, the 80s were "the decade where horror peaked”. Easter Bunny Bloodbath doesn't start in the 80s, though, it starts in 1967, but it doesn't look like 1967 based on the cars and the television set, but this movie probably cost about $5 so the anachronistic set design can be forgiven. In '67, a brother and sister were playfully squabbling over their Easter eggs when they were interrupted by a bunny. Then the film flashes forward to Good Friday 20 years later, and it's the 80s so everything aside from the music, the styles, the cocaine addiction and the greed is awesome. The brother has grown up, but the shock of what happened that Easter has changed his ethnicity (this is an intentional joke that the film makes). He brings some friends to his recently inherited family home, and the usual reckless shenanigans follow, including some bad white boy rappin' and the supremely negligent use of a Slip 'n Slide. Those things are dangerous for adults. Before any of the group can succumb to a slightly watery crippling, the Easter Bunny returns so they can succumb to a slightly silly slaughtering.

The slaughter might be slightly silly since it's perpetrated by a goony faced rabbit, but this is a surprisingly straightforward slasher. The movie's certainly meant to be funny, but the setup doesn't really feel like a satire of the slasher genre, and while it hits all the clichés it isn't necessarily sending them up. Instead, the film treats the slasher genre staples with a lovingly referential tone. The satire really only gets prominent when the killer is on screen, because the killer sports one goofy looking bunny costume. I don't think it was specially made for the film, it's just a standard costume shop suit, but seeing people being killed by this grinning bunny was pretty funny.

Easter Bunny Bloodbath is shot on video, with acting levels to prove it, but I have to admit some of the cast aren't bad, particularly given the film's non-existent budget. I have never been a fan of SOV movies where the video look wasn't integrated into the plot like it was in, say, The Last Broadcast, and the only SOV movie I remember rising above the format throughout both the 80s and 90s was Shatter Dead, so even though I'm a fan of 80s slashers I may not quite be the target demographic for Easter Bunny Bloodbath. It's weird to think that a subgenre as specific as 80s slashers could have further division, but I never enjoyed direct to video SOV things like Cannibal Campout or Truth or Dare or Skinned Alive, so I think it's fair enough to say that I'm somewhat outside the group that Easter Bunny Bloodbath is aimed at. However, I'm all for bringing back the 80s horror vibe, SOV or not, so I was happy with the movie. It doesn't really look like an 80s movie, being shot on widescreen video and all, but I can forgive that and the small amount of low grade CG splatter since writer/director Richard Mogg clearly had the best intentions.

When not poorly rendered CG, the FX are incredibly cheap practical ones, usually nothing more than some blood squirting. There were plenty of movies that did this in the 80s, but I don't think this was a tribute so much as a lack of budget. Another presumably budget related constraint is the inability to find cast members willing to do nudity. There is a bare butt flash, but there's a neck up shower scene and a bath without nudity, so this leaves the film feeling more like the tamer late 80s horror movies than the glorious early 80s excessers. I guess that makes sense given Easter Bunny Bloodbath is set in '87, which was around the time the Friday the 13th franchise struggled to get any titillation past the MPAA.

Despite not being exactly who the producers had in mind, there was enough to love in Easter Bunny Bloodbath that I really had fun with it. I'm all for Easter themed horror that's not Passion of the Christ, and giving a film an 80s sensibility, even if it was a late 80s sensibility, always seems like a good idea to me. For the most part Easter Bunny Bloodbath is like a recently unearthed 80s slasher, it just happens to be a slasher where the killer is someone in an Easter Bunny outfit.
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