A prostitute looking for her next meal hitches a ride with a trucker that leaves her praying for her next breath.
The Bunny Game is cited as a horror film by director / writer Adam Rehmeier. Its stark black and white presentaion and kinetically introresting editing makes it stnd out among its peers. In fact its a bit of an oddity. It’s painful, hardcore, suffered and yet naturally progressive (also cited as being unscripted). Though for horror fans you should know it’s not your usaul cup of tea. Actress Rodleen Getsic plays the highly abusive role of Bunny in this culty feeling film.
The story is pretty simple on the surface. We follow Bunny around as she tries to make ends meet between her drug use and prostitution. You tend to feel sorry for this character right off the bat who is seen right away not just having sex but in way that is almost subhuman to her existence…..a true victim of her world. In the first act she is seen participating in a fellatio “gag” session which unless they were using a prop would fall easily into p*rn. We get a quick overview of her life as she grabs a quick meal before heading off to the next round of paid sex. Though there is no romance or glamour in this portrayal, as Bunny is seen most the time being beaten, roughed up, and just taken advantage of as she passes out. It was after about half way thru the film that I was beginning to wonder if the only horror here was to in the pains of a hooker lifestyle?
The film gets darker folks…somewhere between a Lynchian kind of approach and a psycho-trucker-movie. The title, I presumed referred to our lead hopping from one screw to the next in the interest of making it into the next day (though I found that the title is more literal even though that metaphor could be made) Bunny can’t even get “that” straight as she is seen passing out during a session and then robbed of her valuables.
The movie is cited as being “based” on a true event about a women who is abducted and kept for several days in a van against her will. Bunny is subjected to this idea on screen as a truck driver Hog (Jeff Renfro) beats her and kidnaps her while driving out to the desert to have his way with her for 5 days. What transpires is surreal at best as she is chained up in the back of this huge semi truck. The sequence is magnificently done even with its visceral nature. There is no blood, gore or typical madman activity here but rather the manipulation and subjectiveness of the truck driver losing his mind and playing with Bunny in very compromising ways. The sequence is done in cuts and close ups so that we get a collage almost of what transpired. But its more along the lines of a man who is just nuts and confused than a murderer and rapist. I found it hard to describe in total context but you’ll have to see it all for yourself to get the style that this unveils in. Bunny can be heard screaming thru much of it but far from the safety of any aid that others might be close by. Bunny is abused physically and mentally in the most bizarre ways without the film going into the taboos of “total” torture p*rn. A large part of the perpetrators process seems to centered on the process of game playing (forced to wear a bunny mask, mouth clamps, head shaving…etc). A few times I thought that the frames could be borrowed into a Marilyn Manson video and presented to music video fans without them thinking any different.
We start the film seeing Bunny being suffocated in a dreadful way. This scene then cuts right into the action of the film which at first I thought was the director just being “artsy”. Now what you are seeing is a foreshadowing, but you tend to forget after running thru the whole movie and its gritty premise.
The experience here is mostly visual with an emotional connection to Bunny as a lady who just took the wrong turns in life. We realize that her drug use fuels alot of this which helps to soften the blow. Perhaps there is a message that lies underneath about where you could end up if you live of life of cocaine abuse. Rodleen Getsic in some ways is scarier than her abuser “Hog”, by agreeing to submit herself to all these powerfully draining moments. While I realize it’s “art in motion”, it’s is also a submission of self to something much darker.
In summary, it’s a extremely powerful film that makes you wonder sometimes why actors will go as far as they do. I really enjoyed some of the behind the scenes videos that gave more insight into the characters. From what I can tell, the lead who plays “Hog” is not too far off from the role he plays …which makes you wonder about “truth stranger than fiction”? As the BTS plays on I also learned that everything in the film “except” the drug and alcohol scenes were real…..really?? Quite a unique experience that is probably only enhanced by that last bit of factual info. Jarring beyond comprehension!
The Bunny Game (2010)