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“Easter Bloody Easter” promises a fun, campy addition to holiday horror, but does its killer bunny concept have teeth, or does it lack bite?

Easter Bloody Easter

Easter Bloody Easter just landed on digital. Read on to find out if you should rent, stream, or skip it. 

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What’s better than chocolate and the overriding religious message that Easter brings? Horror. An Easter-centric horror featuring a small town in Texas and the possibility of a demonic, evil rabbit that is hellbent on spoiling the Easter weekend for the inhabitants of Warburg? This has to be a better bet than The Greatest Story Ever Told.

The premise of Easter Bloody Easter is simple enough:

The Small town of Warburg is ready for Easter. What they are not ready for is their town legend coming to life and making a right bloody mess of things. Can Jeanie (Diane Foster, Actress, Producer, and Director) stay the course, find her husband, save the town, and rid it of an unspeakable evil before Easter is ruined?

Let’s find out.

The pre-credits scene features your typical ‘two teens’ in a dirty room, aiming to get to know each other in the biblical sense. Of course, you know that these two are not long for this world. There is nothing to see here; move along.

We are then introduced to Diane Foster, playing Jeanie Cooper. She’s at a loss to understand where her husband has gone. Our first image is of her waking up outside, possibly owing to her distraught mental state. Or is it something else, something she is trying to keep buried?

She is dragged to church by Carol to attend a funeral — because “nothing cheers a girl up like a funeral.”

Next, we meet a real representation of horror, Mary-Lou (played with incredible focus by Alison Lobel, who also wrote the film’s script), and her cheering brigade. She’s quick to move on from another local death and dive right into her plans for the Easter weekend. In mere seconds, you instantly know she is someone you want to meet a grisly end; such is the venom behind the smile she possesses.

Mary-Lou is the custodian of Easterpalooza, the once-a-year eggstravagant event that runs over Easter weekend, and she will make sure you enjoy it or die.

The first half of the film focuses on introducing the main cast and supporting characters, allowing for some cracking insults, generally from the mouth of Mary-Lou. It all leads into the weekend itself as Jeanie and Carol try to piece together what is happening and why it’s happening. Unfortunately, this is where the padding comes out as the exposition is rolled out.

Sam (played with manic energy by Zach Kanner) appears, living up to the town’s reputation as their resident weirdo with the low-down on the Jackalope and how it really started.

One of the things that unfortunately hampers the film is a serious lack of action. 

Nothing really seems to happen apart from a quick death and more exposition courtesy of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer-type who turns up and casually announces she is hunting the Jackalope. Jeanie and Co. just accept it without question.

On the bright side, the rabbit slayer, Megan, is a tough-as-boots ex-townsperson. Zuri Starks gives her the right amount of physicality and sass. She does a lot with the time she has on screen.

As is expected, given the amount of padding in Easter Bloody Easter, almost all of the action is reserved for the Easter Hunt. The rabbits turn up, and the eggs are filled with blood!! Cue chaos!! Cue small hand-held puppets being held against throats, etc. Soon, the cast is quickly seen off as the action picks up, leaving Mary-Lou, Sam, Lance, and the girls in separate threads, ready to be pulled together.

It’s all carried out quickly in a concentrated effort to get us to the final showdown.

The ending is almost exactly as you might expect. Thankfully, it doesn’t take itself seriously, as rabbits fly in from all angles, and there is a palpable sense of fun at play.

I appreciate that pacing a film like this must be challenging, especially if the main villains are rabbits.  Ask Janet Leigh about how to make a rabbit seem dangerous. Or Monty Python. Even with their red eyes, you cannot do an awful lot with them.

Despite the snappy dialogue — there are some laugh-out-loud moments as the various characters go to war with each other — Easter Bloody Easter doesn’t overcome how little happens in the first half.

We get all the knowledge, but I would have preferred less knowledge, more blood.

The second half tries to pick up the pace, almost charging to the end in a way that we have seen so many films do before. Unfortunately, it all feels a bit too rushed at this point, removing any sense of real tension or danger.

It’s not really a bad film, but that excessive run time does it no favors. The opening thirty or so minutes is devoted to setting the players in place but without any real action. Heavy exposition weighs it down, and it takes too long to get to the real delicious part, the gooey caramel center of the chocolate egg.

It must be said that the cast is great fun. Jeanie and Carol have an ace chemistry. When they are on screen, it just flows so naturally. I keep circling back to Mary-Lou’s character because she is just so awful, but Alison Lobel is SO good at being awful; it is a real credit to her and some inspired casting.

Diane Foster is pulling double-duty here and does a good job; if only she had been more liberal with the editing. There is much here that could have been trimmed or cut entirely. For example, did we need two dance numbers?

RENT IT, STREAM IT, OR SKIP IT?
SKIP IT. Easter Bloody Easter is an ok film that could have been great, but it fails to nail the basics. It falls short of being either a straight-up fun little horror flick, and it isn’t funny enough to be an enjoyably campy horror-comedy. It’s not without merit and would be an ok diversion, but it’s not essential viewing. The cast themselves attack the material with great gusto, but it ultimately feels like a wasted opportunity.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 2

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