The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.
Title: Bunni (2013)
Director: Daniel Benedict
Runtime: 60 minutes
The acting in Bunni is what most will remember, and that isn’t a good thing. It ranges from laughably bad to mediocre. Fotunately, the best actor in the bunch is also the Final Girl character, so at least the casting director was able to pick out the best of the bunch for the most important role. There are some solid moments, but the way a couple of the actors deliver their performances really takes away from the whole of the film.
Story & Script
Bunni is a throwback to the ’80s style slasher film, and it suffers from the same problems that most of these do: a shallow script, one-dimensional characters, and stupid decision-making. There is nothing groundbreaking, but slasher fans don’t really expect that anymore anyway. In Bunni, a group of friends head home after a Halloween party, and come upon an old store that sold costumes and porn. They break their way in, and quickly discover that they’re not alone as someone is stalking the friends and brutally killing them. What is most surprising is that the script actually delivers a nice twist that I didn’t see coming. The dialogue, though, is just terrible. It forces the “asshole” stereotype down the viewer’s throat so much that it just gets uncomfortable to watch, and not in a good way.
Not only does Daniel Benedict write and direct Bunni, but he also has a starring role as Rick. Benedict is a much better director than he is an actor or writer. He has a decent eye for getting interesting shots, and does a really nice job with the kills in the film. There are some brutal shots, and given his budget, they still manage to look pretty good. Benedict gathers up his friends and local theatre troupe to make up the cast of Bunni, and you can tell that they’re having a good time. The dark, misogynistic nature of the film will surely turn some viewers off, but once the killer is revealed and the action picks up, Bunni becomes a much more interesting movie.
Bunni is as low budget as low budget filmmaking gets. It is basically a no budget Z-movie. It was shot in the director’s hometown with a budget of $2,000. That is nothing in the film world, even in the low budget realm. I admire what this group of friends were able to put together. That said, I genuinely disliked how despicable the male characters are, and how submissive the females act.
Bunni is an extremely short movie, clocking in at only 60-minutes in length, but I still doubt I will watch this again in the future.
The DVD itself contains a few interesting special features, including an audio commentary track with the director and lead actress, a history of Red Serial Films (which is only three minutes long, but still interesting), and a couple promo spots from local advertising the crew did before its premiere in Benedict’s hometown. The commentary is the best feature, but because it is only the director and lead actress, it can be a little dry at times.
Bunni is a no budget, independent film that suffers from bad acting, forced dialogue, and stereotypical characters. That said, there are surprisingly solid special effects, and it fooled me with the twist. The second half of the movie is much better than the first because many of the worst actors are finally killed off, and it’s just the Final Girl and the antagonist. The audience that will enjoy Bunni is really small, and though I can’t recommend the movie, I am interested to see what else Daniel Benedict and his production company, Red Serial Films, have in store for us in the future.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.