28th Oct2021

‘Easter Bunny Massacre’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Evgeny Loskutnikov, Tom Nguyen, Sarah T Cohen, May Kelly, Michael Head, Sarah Alexandra Marks, Antonia Whillans, Lee Hancock, Beatrice Fletcher, Neil Linden-Johnson | Written by Sophie Storm K. | Directed by Jack Peter Mundy

Easter Bunny Massacre, aka Easter Killing, is the latest slice of British low-budget horror from Scott Jeffrey’s Jagged Edge Productions. This time round we’re clearly in US-market filmmaking territory with a movie that is essentially a quasi-remake of I Know What You Did Last Summer, only with a bunny-suited killer rather than the mac-wearing psycho from that 90s slasher series.

Scott Jeffrey’s is, by now, known for the low-budget nature of his productions. What he is also known for is making the most of his money. And that is certainly the case here. Though to be fair to the genre, you can shoot a slasher movie on no-to-zero money and, if you follow the formula and shoot it right, you’ll be on to a winner. Which is 100% the case with Easter Bunny Massacre.

The film follows a group of “teens” heading off to college (I’m guessing given their appearance they mean the US version of college, aka university here in the UK – which again ties into the fact this film looks like its been made directly for the US market), who are partying in the woods – drinking, getting high, when – the next morning – one of them, Heather (played by Jeffrey’s regular Antonia Whillans), turns up dead. The group all decide to get rid of the evidence… the body. A few years later they are all sent anonymous invites to attend an Easter party. Which they all do. Big mistake.

Yes we’re in classic slasher movie territory with Easter Bunny Massacre – with a little mystery thrown in to a la Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (a story that is often used in a lot of genre films too). And that mystery angle works great here. Everyone who was responsible for the death of Heather seems to have a totally different recollection of the events that proceeded it… We know that one of the group killed Heather and we know that one of the group is undoubtedly the killer here too. It’s just a matter of discovering who.

The reveal however is less satisfactory. There’s a believability-stretching back story regarding Heather and one of the other members of the group – a story that, ultimately, paints Heather as a total bitch and, IMHO, probably deserving of a good kicking. Of course she got more than that but she’s such an unlikeable character that you feel no sympathy for her. In fact if it wasn’t for the fact said killer went on to kill more people, I’d actually feel sympathetic towards them!

Whilst it doesn’t have the emotional resonance of some other Scott Jeffrey’s productions (and yes, some of them are much more than just horror films – look at The Curse of Humpty Dumpty for example) Easter Bunny Massacre does exactly what I’m sure the filmmakers set out to do. Deliver a great slasher movie in time for the Halloween season. However, amongst the stereotypes and cliches of the genre, Easter Bunny Massacre provides some gems…

For example there’s a superb “shock” death scene that has remarkable impact. It doesn’t conform to the tropes of the slasher movie and therefore it – along with how it’s introduced, in a calm point in the film – comes as a total surprise. And to be surprised by a slasher movie is rare these days. However Easter Bunny Massacre has more surprises up it’s proverbial sleeve – at least in terms of visual storytelling.

Director Jack Peter Mundy and his DOP Robin Keane certainly have an eye for the dramatic which adds an extra layer to the film, helping it rise above the sea of slasher movie already out there – with a fantastically shot scene featuring Sarah T Cohen hiding behind a tree whilst the killer shines a torch around looking for her – the composition is great, with Cohen framed in the bottom right of the screen, her white dress making her stand out from the foliage around her. And that sense of visual panache is matched in the final moments of the film with the killers comeuppance looking just as remarkable – an almost crucifixion-like scene in a foggy back-lit forest!

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but there’s always something interesting to producer Scott Jeffrey’s films if you can look past the low budget nature of the production. I just wish more genre fans would give his films a fair shot.

***½  3.5/5

Easter Bunny Massacre is available to watch now on the V Horror YouTube channel.


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