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February 22, 2013

Movie Review: The Bunny Game (2010)

There were a lot of things about The Bunny Game that I loved, and there were just as many things about it that didn't resonate with me at all, so before we start dissecting, lets do a quick plot review. Warning: I'm going to spoil the ending for you.

The film begins by giving us a glimpse into the life of Bunny (played by Rodleen Getsic), a truly tragic character, and a hopelessly drug addicted prostitute. Her life is spent in a cocaine-induced haze as she splits her time between aimlessly staggering through the streets and being used and abused by random strangers for money that is only used to fuel her drug use. Not long after being robbed by one of her customers, she stands on a desolate street corner smoking a cigarette and it is then that a semi truck & trailer pulls up next to her. Without thinking twice she jumps into the cab and there she meets Sticky Fingers (played by Norwood Fisher), a creepy old guy who she assumes is looking for sex. After sharing her drugs with him, Sticky Fingers soon makes it quite clear that he’s not interested in just a blowjob, and after a short scuffle Bunny ends up unconscious and Sticky Fingers is headed out onto the open road, with his new prize in tow.

Hours later the creepy truck driver finally reaches his destination, a desolate dirt road behind the main highway, deep in the desert. Once there, he drags the girl into the trailer and chains her to the wall, but not before a very long sequence where he is shining lights on the girl and playing with her unconscious body. The rest of the movie is a study in psychological torture of the girl at the hands of the truck driver. Stripping her naked, giving her LSD and eventually shaving her head, preparing her for her role in The Bunny Game, which consists of the truck driver wearing a leather pig mask and the girl wearing a bunny-suit, so he can periodically drag her around the desert on a leash. Eventually he grows tired of the girl and hands her off to one of his trucker buddies. The final scene shows him placing the girl in the back of a van which then drives off into the desert.

The first part of this movie, showing the girls life on the streets, was very engaging and the opening sequence which consisted of an X-rated blowjob scene really caught me off guard. This first act of the movie was stark, disturbing and about as real as your gonna get in showing the life of a street hooker. When we get to Act 2 of this movie though, it just degrades down into another copy-cat torture film. There is nothing inventive or original about whats being depicted, and although Rodleen Getsic’s portrayal of the hooker is outstanding, the character of the truck driver just never struck me as very menacing. The vast majority of the film is taken up by the girl and the truck driver screaming hysterically at each other, he spends a lot of time smoking cigarettes and recording her with a video camera and she basically lays there and takes whatever subtle abuse he dishes out. The fact that he never really hurts her physically was a bit surprising. The most violent acts he commits are branding her with a piece of iron and shaving her head, other then that all he’s really doing is just fucking with her psychologically. The ending really left me scratching my head as well, after all the time the audience has invested in the story, there’s no real pay-off. We are merely left holding the bag, so to speak. Forced to contemplate the fate of our beloved hooker as she is handed of to some random stranger. Maybe I'm just not used to a torture flick where all involved simply part ways without any blood being spilled.

Now with that being said, The Bunny Game still has something to offer. Shooting this film in black and white was a brilliant move by Adam Rehmeier, and I loved the overall look. The cinematography and editing were both top-notch. Lots of crazy angles were used to create a nice frenetic feel. The score was subtle but very pleasant in a creepy kind of way.

I guess what I'am trying to convey is that I liked the potential that director Adam Rehmeier showed, he did a great job with the story he had to work with. I just didn't find the story-line all that engaging once Bunny is in the hands of her tormentor. If Rehmeier was attempting to create a torture flick with a twist, (no blood, no murder, no revenge) I can appreciate that, but for me personally it was like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread.....tasty, but nothing to really sink your teeth into.

Reviewed by KennyB

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