Take a Drink: at every establishing shot.
Take a Drink: whenever anyone talks about the big Easter egg hunt.
Do a Shot: when a character pronounces egg like “aye-g.” (Personal note: I hate when people pronounce it like that!)
Do a Shot: every time a shot is repeated.
Chug: during the Easter egg dyeing scene.
Chug (if you are still conscious): during the Easter egg hunt.
Hit yourself in the head with the bottle: whenever Russ sings his stupid song about pooping out Easter bunnies (hippity-hoppity WOOF!).
By: BabyRuth (Six Beers) –
Hey kids, it’s Easter!! Oh look at this cute movie in the Walmart $5 bin.
What’s it about? Let’s flip it over and see.
Hold up! This dog isn’t the one on the cover.
That’s weird. Well anyway, let’s read the synopsis:
Aw, a dog that wants to be an Easter bunny. Well that’s a cute idea for a story. Let’s get it!
Approximately 90 minutes later:
This is the likely reaction of about half the people who were duped into purchasing An Easter Bunny Puppy. Those poor, unsuspecting souls who just wanted to find a silly children’s movie to keep their kids entertained for an hour and a half while they had some grown-up time.
“Watch your little movie kids.”
The other half is comprised of people like me who know better (or at least think they know better) because An Easter Bunny Puppy is yet another creation from David Decoteau’s family-friendly alter-ego Mary Crawford. Yes, the same David Decoteau who brought us the now classic A Talking Cat!?!, a film so wonderfully awful it must be seen to be believed. Upon learning of An Easter Bunny Puppy, I made it a priority to watch it and report my findings back just in time for the Easter holiday. I even ordered the actual DVD and let me tell you, holding an actual David Decoteau film in my hands is a magical experience. They aren’t hallucinations! They really exist!
So I popped it in the DVD player with elated anticip-ation and I heard a familiar tune. Yup, the same, exact public-domain music as the opening credits of A Talking Cat!?! This has to be just as good, right?
The music isn’t the only thing that’s back. As with his other movies, An Easter Bunny Puppy is filmed in DeCoteau’s porn-mansion, we are treated to the same repeating establishing shots, and two actors from A Talking Cat!?! return in brand new roles.
Jennifer (Kristine DeBell- you’ll remember her as Susan, the cheese puff entrepreneur) is a successful mystery novel author. We learn this during her first scene when she “writes” by narrating what seems to be an entire book into her phone, complete with character voices. She has a teenage daughter named Lucy (Alison Sieke- she was Frannie, the swimming pool-loving, book-hating crush of Chris –until he met his true love, Trent). Lucy is a bit boy-crazy and she has her sights set on new neighbor Jake (August Roads).
Jennifer’s publisher informs her that her mystery novels haven’t been selling well so her next book is to be a children’s story titled An Easter Bunny Puppy (because choosing an oddly specific title first and then writing the book around it is totally how publishing works, or at least it’s how Z-grade family films work.) But Jennifer is Jewish so she knows nothing about Easter or bunnies.
I think Jennifer’s lying about the bunny part.
Because she’s such a thorough writer, Jennifer decides to immerse herself in all things Easter. Dyeing eggs, eating jellybeans, and forcing Lucy to dress up in a bunny suit (which she apparently just happened to have lying around the house) for her research.
“Um, what about me?”
As luck would have it, Jennifer and Lucy’s new neighbors, Beth (Lisa London) and her son Jake (who Lucy looooves) drop by to welcome them to the neighborhood and it turns out they are huge fans of Easter! They invite Jennifer and Lucy on a trip to a cabin in the woods for the big annual Easter egg hunt. Jennifer is overjoyed with this news, but Lucy is mortified because she answered the door wearing the bunny costume in front of Jake. So Lucy does the only logical thing –she invents a fake twin sister (“she was wearing the costume, not me!”), instead of oh, I don’t know, just telling Jake the truth: that her mother is insane.
So everybody heads off to the cabin (which is played by the other house in A Talking Cat!?!) for the Easter festivities. We then learn that Beth’s husband is in jail, whoa, I know, this got dark all of a sudden, but it’s for a crime that he didn’t commit. You see, he was framed for stealing a priceless Fabergé egg. The egg was never found, but the police supposedly had enough evidence to lock him up for life. (Oh, stop questioning this and acting like you’re surprised that nothing in this movie makes any goddamn sense.) Then we meet a man named Mr. Scamin (Jason Faunt), who seems a little suspicious. He may just have an ulterior motive and be up to no good (if the name “Scamin” didn’t clue you in).
Jake has a couple friends, we’ll call them Dumb and Dumberer, and they take a liking to Lucy’s twin sister (it’s Lucy in glasses and nerd clothes) so Lucy’s web of lies quickly begins to unravel as she attempts to keep up and play both sisters.
But wait, you say, how does any of this have anything to do with Russ, the adorable puppy who wants to be the Easter bunny this year but has to contend with his family who thinks that dogs should be dogs and not bunnies? Good question! The answer is: it has absolutely nothing to do with Russ, the adorable puppy who wants to be the Easter bunny this year but has to contend with his family who thinks that dogs should be dogs and not bunnies!
Is there at least a puppy?
Yes! Well, a dog technically. The movie is narrated by Russ. Now, unlike Duffy, Russ does not have the ability to speak to human via a gaping, pitch black, hell maw (description courtesy of whichever one of my fine Movieboozer colleagues came up with that piece of perfection). No, we can only hear Russ’s thoughts. How? Well, as Russ tells us during the opening of the film that, we, the audience have the power of telepathy for about 90 minutes, because exposition.) Aside from digging a hole and an off-camera moment of bravery at the end, Russ doesn’t do much other than observe and comment on the humans throughout the movie. (Spoiler: he hates them all.) He sits, he walks, and he poops. He doesn’t want to be an Easter Bunny at all.
In fact, he wants to die. (This explains why he often mentions eating chocolate-covered bunnies. He’s trying to poison himself out of the stupidity. Can you blame him?)
Russ’s voice is, unfortunately, not provided by Eric Roberts. This time around it’s a child named Strider Ellis trying his damnedest to recite the drivel presented before him.
As for Russ himself (the dog), his(her) real-life name is Tess and IMDB informed me that the animal trainer on the film is Jim Leske, who was also the animal trainer on, yup, A Talking Cat!?! so you can guess how well that goes. (I’d be willing to bet that these are actually just this guy’s own pets and he is not a certified animal trainer.) Tess doesn’t give two fucks and is just staring at the piece of food some off-camera person is holding.
If you enjoyed the establishing shots in any of David DeCoteau’s other films, well then you are going to LOVE the establishing shots in An Easter Bunny Puppy. They’re all there, over and over, padding that running time to the magic number of approximately 90 minutes!
If that isn’t enough, there’s also the return of the white car, once again endlessly driving to the unknown destination. I sincerely hope that DeCoteau makes an art-house film solely focusing on the white car and its journey. Is the car permanently stuck in purgatory, trying to escape, not realizing it’s traveling on a never-ending road to nowhere? Is the white car searching for the answer to life? Are we all the white car?
Yes, yes we are.
The music is enchanting and adds to the overall feeling of zaniness, because there is nothing zanier than a slide whistle. Though we don’t get a reprise of midi “La Cucaracha,” we are treated to an original song, performed by Russ himself. It goes like this: “I am the Easter Bunny Puppy/ pooping out Easter Bunnies/see I made a funny/hippity-hoppity-WOOF!”
As part of Jennifer’s Easter research, she and Lucy participate in the tradition of coloring eggs. And we get to to experience ALL OF IT. The egg-dyeing scene goes on for over four minutes.
I’m not exaggerating, I timed it.
There is no dialogue (unless you count the muffled banter under the looped music), it’s just the two of them dyeing and painting the eggs. If you don’t think four minutes is a long time, try standing still for four minutes. Did you make it? Congratulations, you’ve just experienced something more entertaining than watching this sequence.
On top of all of that, they do a terrible job. Seriously, they just make splotches. The eggs look like Rorschach inkblot tests.
Apparently DeCoteau didn’t feel he had enough footage of the egg dyeing scene, so to stretch it out, he took a page out of the Tommy Wiseau handbook and reused the same. exact. footage. But he went a step further and reused it in the same scene. Like no one would notice.
If you thought the egg-dyeing scene was excruciating, just you wait until the Easter egg hunt scene. Once again, footage is reused, music is looped, and it goes on forever. I was actually able to feel the life I was losing slipping out of me while viewing the scene.
Again, not exaggerating.
Speaking of dying (not to be confused with dyeing), poor Lisa London sounds like she’s about to. Her voice becomes progressively, distractingly hoarse throughout the movie. By the end of the Easter egg hunt, she can barely speak. This is addressed when she announces that she has fallen ill with laryngitis and needs to go home, clearly written in to explain why she suddenly sounds like Marlon Brando after smoking a carton of unfiltered cigarettes.
But then five minutes later, her voice is back to normal. It’s an Easter miracle!
In additional adventures in continuity errors, the missing Fabergé egg which Russ uncovers (oh, I’m sorry, that was another spoiler) is mistakenly thought to be just another egg from the hunt and is tied to his collar. But after that happens, it disappears for a good ten minutes, only to resurface once again on his neck for the pivotal chase scene. Again, who would notice, though?
Hey, random crew member (or banker from Deal or No Deal), STOP THAT GUY!
I had high hopes that An Easter Bunny Puppy would be as entertaining as A Talking Cat!?! but it was a chore to get through and I would not want to sit through it again. Sorry David DeCoteau, I think I’m done with you. That is, until the white car movie or A Talking Cat!?! 2.