My most awe inspiring encounters with nefarious rabbits include the first time I laid eyes on the massive black costume of “Bunny” while at a rave with Rabbit in the Moon and the first time that my innocent anticipating eyes consumed the film Watership Down (1978). While both of these are definitively scary (and potentially traumatizing), they do not encompass the spirit of Easter. If your family is anything like mine, nothing spells holidays like some old fashioned repression and subsequent bursts of aggression (or passive aggressiveness in our house). For all of you who can appreciate laughing at inappropriate times and poking fun at established traditions, then this list is for you!
If you keep an open mind, you will not be disappointed. Many will argue that I left out Donnie Darko (2001), but I tried to stay firmly within the boundaries of traditional horror. Please enjoy this chronologically ordered list.
Peter Rottentail (2004)
A doomed magician makes a deal with dark forces which lead to tragedy. Soon he is back to exact his bloody revenge!
You can stream Peter Rottentail on Vimeo.
Serial Rabbit (2005)
Every year on Easter, a brutal serial killer stalks Texas searching for victims lacking spiritual awareness. This year, the serial killer has found Austin’s hottest rave, and a slew of new victims.
Check out the trailer for Serial Rabbit:
The original Serial Rabbit is hard to get a hold of, but you can find a couple of sequels streaming on Amazon. Here’s Serial Rabbit 3: Splitting Hares:
Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! (2006)
A murderous grifter cons his way into a mother’s heart, putting on a fatherly facade to her cherished son, Nicholas. But the second she leaves for work, a torrent of abuse rains upon the gentle boy. Remington heads out for some hookers and invites his dilettante-child molester-drug-dealer buddy over to abuse Nicholas. In the meantime, the only comfort the boy gets is in confiding with his new pet bunny. Debauchery is at hand but Nicholas is nowhere to be found but someone wearing the mask of the beloved holiday hopper shows up ready to deliver a blood-splattered night of unspeakable carnage.
This classic Easter horror film is streaming on Amazon and on DVD:
Kottontail (2007) (Japan)
One night when two would be animal liberators set free a test rabbit, not knowing that the bunny’s genes have gone haywire. On the loose, the vicious little beast soon attacks a farmer – Hans Kottentail. Hans quickly begins to change. He grows fur, eats veggies and… hops. It isn’t long before murderous a rage overtakes poor Hans and he begins picking off townsfolks at a rapid pace. It’s up to 5 local women, each with ties to the case, to bring him down before he kills them all.
Easter Bunny Bloodbath (2010) (Canada)
Twenty years ago, young Peter McKay watched his father decapitate his sister on Easter morning. Peter never celebrated the Easter holiday again… until now.
Here’s the trailer for Easter Bunny Blood Bath:
After showing 8 mm footage of a handcuffed woman being stabbed to death, the film switches to six friends who are driving through a desolate area when they find themselves being harassed by a truck driven by a man in a rabbit costume, who refuses to communicate with or show himself to the travelers when he forces them to pull over. While this film does not directly address Easter, it is firmly part of the genre and who can argue with a chainsaw wielding man dressed in a bunny suit. Easter bunny meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre equals Great!
You can now find a new (2018) Grindhouse edition of Bunnyman, recut and approx. 25% of the film is new footage (deleted scenes, new VFX):
You can also catch some sequels, Bunnyman Massacre (2014) and Bunnyman Vengeance (2017).
Easter Casket (2013)
All hell breaks loose when Peter Cottontail aka The Easter Bunny hears that the Catholic Church is about to do away with all Easter rituals not pertaining directly to the resurrection of Christ. With Father Asher (A warrior priest) hot on his trail Cottontail starts a rampage leaving the bodies of the clergy (and a few schoolgirls) in his wake.
This fun one is streaming on Amazon:
Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell (2014)
A giant bloodthirsty Easter bunny starts viciously killing the local townsfolk. When the Mayor refuses to act and the attacks grow more gruesome, the town finds its very survival in the hands of a wannabe actress and a crazy dog-catcher.
This Easter classic is streaming on Amazon:
Easter Sunday (2014)
It’s been 24 years since the serial killer Douglas Fisher was executed on Easter night. This year, a group partying teenagers not only raise some hell, but literally raise the dead.
Available streaming here:
The Night Before Easter (2014)
A group of friends are stalked in a storage facility the night before Easter by an axe wielding lunatic in an Easter Bunny costume.
Another hard to find gem, but it is currently on YouTube: