When it comes to holiday symbols, there are few things as sweet and cuddly as the Easter Bunny, who pauses on his jolly journeys to hand out colored eggs from a fanciful wicker basket. And, really, who doesn’t love a sweet, cuddly little bunny rabbit?
Well, not all bunny rabbits are created equal – some are just damn bizarre. For those eager to see rabbits (both real and cosplay varieties) leaving a wake of carnage in their path, here is our list for the 10 weirdest Easter Bunnies to hippity-hop their way across the big screen.
“Bunnyman”: This 2011 film has all of the ingredients for a low-budget/high-energy slasher film: photogenic but dumb young people, a maniac murderer with a chainsaw, an isolated environment and a villain who narrowly avoids dying at the end of the film, thus ensuring sequels. The fact the serial killer wears a rabbit costume throughout the film enhances the exploitative shenanigans by turning carnage into carroty camp.
“Donnie Darko”: Richard Kelly’s 2001 psychological thriller gave the world Frank, an oversized talking rabbit who encourages a troubled teen (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) to commit crimes. While Frank might seem the unlikeliest of evil spirits, Kelly’s effective direction and wonderfully offbeat screenplay makes the character one of the most memorable bad influences to ooze across the screen.
“Easter Bunny Bloodbath”: If anything, this 2010 romp lives up to its title – a twentysomething whose childhood was traumatized by seeing his sister decapitated by an axe killer dressed as the Easter Bunny finds himself at an Easter weekend party in a woods-based cabin where (yes, you guessed it) the Easter Bunny with the axe returns to dismember the partygoers. There’s also a sequel called “Easter Bunny Bloodbath 2: No More Tears.”
“The Easter Bunny Hates You”: This 2006 short from the comedy studio Black20.com became a viral video sensation during the MySpace era thanks to a rapid-fire montage of zany sight gags with an unreasonable facsimile of the Easter Bunny harassing and assaulting unsuspecting and seemingly helpless New York City residents.
“Easter Bunny Kill Kill”: This 2006 slasher feature throws in everything but a blood-filled kitchen sink: graphic violence with various handyman tools, torture, sex for hire, sadistic treatment of the vulnerable, domestic violence and a killer with an Easter Bunny costume. To its credit, it isn’t boring.
“Easter Sunday”: This 2014 offering finds another group of dum-dum youths who somehow resurrect a serial killer who was executed for his crimes. The killer wore a bunny mask while committing his crimes, and with a new lease on life, he puts on that old mask for a new wave of bloody murders. As the film’s promotional material promised: “There will be no candy in your Easter basket, just the limbs and body parts of your family and friends.”
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail”: The hoary cliché about looks being deceiving was reaffirmed in this astonishing section of the 1975 classic comedy. If you’ve never seen this sequence before, you are in for a jaw-dropping surprise.
“Night of the Lepus”: An Arizona town is terrorized by mutated giant rabbits – and somehow these oversized bunnies underwent a significant change of diet, eschewing carrots for human flesh. This 1972 sci-fi work is notorious for its awful special effects – New York Times NYT critic Vincent Canby opined that while these cinematic critters are meant to appear terrifying, they "still look like Easter bunnies."
“Peter Rottentail”: The title character of this 2004 horror-comedy is a magician who was killed when a trick fatally backfired – but rather than be allowed to rest in peace (or pieces, for that matter), he somehow got resurrected by another set of nincompoops and returns as the half-man/half-rabbit killer wielding deadly carrots to impale his victim.
“Serial Rabbit”: This bad bunny takes his homicidal tendencies out on the drug-fueled youthful participants of a rave. This flick was shot in Austin on a $180 budget (and looks it), but its grisly goofiness was strong enough to warrant sequels.
And while we’re talking about “Serial Rabbit,” let’s give an honorary mention shout out to a cereal rabbit: the indefatigable but supremely unlucky rabbit from the Trix cereal commercials whose life consisted of endless attempts to snag a free bowl of the General Mills GIS sugary breakfast cereal – and that’s probably weirder than a room full of serial killers in bunny costumes.
Photo: One of the more placid sequences from “Easter Bunny Kill Kill,” courtesy of Cine du Monde.
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