DIRECTED BY: Paul King
FEATURING: Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby, Verónica Echegui
PLOT: An agoraphobic young man remembers (or hallucinates) a trip he took across Europe with his hard-drinking, sexually voracious, gambling-addicted pal Bunny.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: It’s a mildly surreal comedy that’s in the weird ballpark, but it’s not nearly unhinged enough to make the List on weirdness alone, and too uneven to be counted among the best weird movies ever made.
COMMENTS: Bunny and the Bull begins by introducing us to Stephen Turnbull, an shut-in with severe OCD issues who files his used dental floss and checks the pH of his urine every morning, then shows in flashback how he degenerated from a functioning neurotic to a full-fledged basket case. An emergency involving rats violating his boxes of hermetically sealed vegetarian lasagna forces him to phone Captain Crab for a takeout meal, unlocking a flood of memories. The logo on the takeout box inspires Stephen to remember the time he was stood up by a girl he intended to propose to at a Captain Crab. In the movie’s first anstract sequence, he imagines a restaurant constructed entirely out of painted paper; even the fish swimming in the aquarium are cardboard cutouts. The motif carries over in the next scene, where an entire horse race is re-enacted with similar animated, spray-painted two-dimensional figures. These two scenes set up the expectation that the entire movie will carry through this hazy-dream-version-of-a-high-school-play look, but as Stephen and Bunny begin their tour of Europe, subsequent sequences are shot on realistic looking sets, though sometimes employing blurry rear-projection or other random visual trickery. Then, halfway through the movie the cinematographer pulls out a new look: a world full of gleaming brass CGI clockwork contraptions. The different visual signatures each look great on their own, but the schizophrenic hopping about from one to another makes you wonder if they switched art directors halfway through film, then ran out of money in the special effects budget. Bunny‘s visuals are frequently likened to those of The Science of Sleep, but that comparison only holds for the cardboard-cutout scenes; the lack of a Continue reading CAPSULE: BUNNY AND THE BULL (2009)