BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE BUNNY GAME (2010)
I am writing this review for Adam Rehmeier’s THE BUNNY GAME after having already interviewed the director and the lead actress, Rodleen Getsic, before having viewed the film. Taking the director’s suggestion, I watched the film around midnight with the volume raised pretty high. I really didn’t know what to expect with this film. I had heard that it was pretty intense. Some said it was horrible. I had read that the only thing simulated within the film was the drug use. That aspect of the film was actual acting. The lead actress, Rodleen Getsic, did not snort cocaine or do any other type of drugs. The filmmakers told me this during the film, as well. The film was as much as a performance piece for Getsic as it was acting. At times, I think the acting is more reality and reactionary to what is actually happening.
I press play on the blu-ray player and the opening shot is a close-up of Getsic on her knees sucking a man’s cock. This scene opens up the movie and within the first 35 seconds one wonders if this film is going to be some sort of porno film or something. Now, some films have scenes that show a scene where it is evident oral sex is happening but the actual act of it is not actually shown. This scene had bonafide cock-sucking in graphic fashion displayed for all to see.
The film is shot in black and white throughout the film, giving the movie an arty look to it but casting a shadow of utter bleakness and a very dystopic outlook. Rodleen’s character, Bunny, is a girl of the streets that makes her living in life by performing sexual acts to get money for food, a hotel room, and having a place to have sex with her customers but this woman is not your typical street walker. She seems to just be taking life as it is thrown at her, walking the streets of Los Angeles, sometimes in a drug-infused daze.
The film has a very open and unstructured narrative, not very much dialogue throughout the film, and Bunny meets up with a very gnarly and weathered trucker Hog, played by Jeff F. Renfro (primarily a driver and working in the transportation department on films) who gives her a lift and decides to abduct her and turn her into his plaything. He tossed her into the back of his empty semi-truck and physically and mentally violated her. With only a very bright light shining on Hog and Bunny, the abuse and sodomy went on throughout the duration of the film. Hog films some of what he does, tearing up her clothes and zooming in on her naked body, poking and prodding her with a large hunting knife. Bunny is abused, raped, and tortured for the benefit of the viciously sadistic trucker Hog.
The film is very harsh to watch, in the sense that the cries and screams of agony are piercing through viewers and listeners eardrums for a very aurally intense experience. At time, some Black Metal splashes across the film’s soundtrack, adding a strikingly dark and savage thrust of a tonal blast. The film has some very striking and interesting camera shots, angles, and edits. If one can get past the violence, rape, and savagery of the film, there can be some appreciation and respect for the artists view and direction that this film is taking.
The story of THE BUNNY GAME was written by Adam Rehmeier and Rodleen Getsic, based upon a story that was inspired from real-life events that happened to lead actress . The film is categorized as a horror film, which it does contain many elements of horror within it, as much so as rape-revenge flicks such as I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE, which really assault one’s senses and have strong male characters abusing women. In reality, I feel that the women enduring the torture and cruelty are the stronger ones. The film is so visceral, in every sense of the word, and probably will leave most audience members watching the film really in shock.
Some of the most shocking images were complemented by the soundtrack to the film, courtesy of Rehmeier who also edited and filmed the entire movie, which gave each image its terrifying reality. For instance, in one scene actress Drettie Page plays a past victim of Hog’s (called Martyr in the film) and after getting her head shaved is branded. This is not faked, as I found out during the interviewing of Rehmeier and Getsic, and it is starkly disturbing. At some points during the film, I just felt raw and numb to the on-screen torture and just wondered what the direction of the film would take me in.
Always a fan of bush, there were some shots of nudity exposing the some dark furry patches, but not much about this film would be remotely sexy or a turn-on unless the pain game was a part of your bag of tricks. The topography of THE BUNNY GAME, at times reminded me of such post-apocalyptic settings and landscapes such as George Miller’s THE ROAD WARRIOR and Robert Harmon’s THE HITCHER. The desolate highway set against the backdrop of a desert with sparsely-vegetated hills and mountains against a blistering sun could not help remind me of those aforementioned films.
I think that having talked with the creators of the film beforehand, than having watched the film once, and again watching the film with the commentary I have a much better understanding of the film. The film is an art film at its core and I can definitely categorize it as horror, but just not in the traditional sense. THE BUNNY GAME is a movie that is not going to be able to be viewed in its entirety by some, but for those that can sit through an intensely violent and vicious art-film, then they may just have glimpsed what someone’s hell may be—captured on film.