Short First Sunday Afternoon Reading; Bad Bunny Movie Tops Off the Evening
April’s Bloomington Writers Guild/Boxcar Books-sponsored First Sunday Prose Reading (see February 1, et al.) went off as scheduled but, in that it was Easter Sunday and participants in many cases may have had family obligations too, it ended up in truncated form. For all that, though, the room was full for the three featured readers, MFA final-year student Tia Clark and student and artist Tami Whiting who both presented short-form combinations of essays and memoirs, and Madelyn Ritrosky who read excerpts of her and Dena Huisman’s forthcoming novel MOONBEAMS, “exploring the heterosexual politics of romance, sex, and relationships, privately and publicly, c. 1928, yet very much about today.” However during the following break it became apparent audience members were drifting away — only two people in fact, poet Antonia Matthews and me, even signed up for the open mike readings — so, when it had whittled down to the two of us plus facilitator Joan Hawkins, we mutually agreed to hold off until next month.
Possibly also adding to early exits, of course, was that it was a beautiful spring day, one of the few we’ve had thus far after a not all that cold, but tenaciously hanging on winter.
But then of Easter night, what can one say. As noted in the post just below, I had ordered a film, KOTTENTAIL (“A tale of unspeakable HORROR! Beautiful WOMEN! & Stomach-turning GORE!” according to the DVD’s front cover), of a decidedly un-Easterly bunny and the terrors it would presumably bring. Little ventured, perhaps little gained — rated 4.4 of 10 by IMDb and not even reviewed by Rotten Tomatoes. Invisible to Wikipedia, which did offer this, however, about its distributor, “[t]he films usually contain sexuality, nudity, gore and graphic violence, and other elements common to horror movies, making ‘Brain Damage’ a fitting name. Founder Darrin Ramage is quoted as saying ‘everyone is looking for B and B: blood and boobs.’” Rated three coffee cups for Intensity and with a “Stupidity:Nudity Ratio” of 7:3 by BLEAKCINEMA.COM (“Proudly scraping the bottom of the barrel”), it seemed the sort of thing that, if one does not go in with overly high expectations, could be fun.
It did not disappoint (well, not really). It in fact warns one itself to keep thoughts non-serious with the dopiest SFX practically from the start, the lab (a table, a bare concrete wall, one large cage on the floor) with the being-experimented-on bunny (which the female scientist — played by ex PLAYBOY “House Bunny” Bridget Marquardt — has named Frederico) “played” by a very obvious rabbit doll with a pull string allowing it to “hop,” etc. (One review says this is done on purpose with which I agree; to some extent it’s deliberately mocking low-budget movies. I will add too that the acting, while not great, is reasonably competent, well above average for this kind of “indy” horror.)
The theme, basically, is to find an excuse to get five actresses — the scientist; the two members of Women For The Liberation Of Caged Animals who “rescue” Frederico and release him in the laboratory parking lot; the sorority pledge (whose nasty sorority sisters get theirs eventually, natch) whose boyfriend is killed by the upcoming monster (the first surviving witness of “Kottentail”); and the policewoman who is the first to take the now boyfriendless pledge’s report seriously — into Playboy Bunny-like outfits before the movie ends. Thus, freed but hyper-aggressive as a result of experimental injections (the Defense Dept., the scientist is told, has taken an interest in the project) Frederico ends up in German immigrant farmer Hans Kottentail’s (ah, now) carrot patch on the other side of town; Kottentail attacks thieving rabbit; rabbit bites Kottentail turning him gradually into a large human-flesh chomping man sized hybrid man-rabbit (an alternate title for the movie is allegedly HYBRID), although with ears that look more like those of a donkey. So by the time the male police detectives start taking things seriously themselves — the problem is admittedly compounded by the fact it’s the day before Easter (in a subplot of sorts, Kottentail wipes out the City Council while its members are out in the boonies hiding eggs for the next morning’s Easter Egg Hunt) and the town abounds with men wearing bunny suits — they are killed too.
So as a result it’s up to the women to fight the monster and, as one explains, first they have to dress skimpily to lure Kottentail’s man part out of hiding, but also attach powder-puff tails to their bikinis and wear bunny ears to gain the trust of his rabbit portion. Q.E.D.
In honesty I can’t really recommend this one unless you have a chance to see it free. But it’s still kind of fun.