Every holiday has it’s horror movie. Some have more than their share. Until now, I thought that the only scary, visceral gorefest associated with Easter was The Passion of the Christ, but there is another bloody exploitation movie associated with the holiday. It’s more of the silly Boobs, Blood, and Beasts type of movie, and admittedly much less scary than that Jesus flick, but 2014’s Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell is still a valid entry in the tiny roster of Easter themed horror movies. As usual, take any and all of my recommendation with several grains of salt, but I actually thought this was an extremely enjoyable movie.
Beaster Day is the story of Doug, a dog catcher who takes his job way too seriously, and his efforts to save his town from a giant stop motion rabbit puppet. It’s kind of like Jaws meets Observe & Report, but a comedy… And with a bunny puppet… And boobs. You could probably already tell that this movie is an extremely silly affair, as like 90% of holiday themed horror movies are. What sets this apart however, is that as wacky as this movie gets (and it gets pretty wacky, you guys), it doesn’t solely use wackiness for humor. It takes the effort to have actual jokes with set ups and payoffs, something most low budget horror comedies seem to forget.
Not everything is successful, but this is a movie that knows exactly what it is, and uses its shortcomings for comedic effect in an intentional and seldom obnoxious way. Have a shitty rabbit puppet? Well, maybe a more traditional movie will hide it in the shadows like Alien, or use its limitations as an advantage, like Jaws. Not this goddamn movie, though. They put that son of a bitch front and center, warts and all. In a way, the giant rabbit puppet serves as a reminder that we should embrace our own personal flaws, because they are what make us unique. We should not only confront ourselves with our grandest insecurities, but confront others with them as well, and present an honest picture to the world of the imperfect beings we are. I mean, either that, or they had $12 to spend on the puppet, and thought it looked silly, and decided to just go with it.
My only real issue with this movie is the fact that this movie, other than featuring a giant rabbit monster, and taking place during Easter, doesn’t really have anything to do with the holiday. That might sound like enough on paper, but this would pretty much be the EXACT same movie if it had a tree puppet killing people on Arbor Day. The rabbit isn’t even the Easter Bunny. It’s just a giant monster rabbit that is never given an explanation on what it is, or where it came from. This fact is even made fun of in one of the better gags of the movie. I honestly believe they started with the punny title, and worked backwards. And, again, we’re brought back to my dumb shit idea for Duct Ape.
The performances in this movie are pretty good for what they are. They seem to understand that the humor in this type of movie comes from playing things straight in utterly ridiculous situations. The two leads actually do a very good job at this, a fact that is helped by the fact that their characters are both incredibly stupid. My favorite character is the shady mayor, who is more interested in shilling his awful “safety equipment” inventions than he is actually doing anything helpful. It’s the only movie I’ve ever seen that has a woman getting blasted in the face by a whipped cream belt sander, and that has to count for something, I guess.
At any rate, this is a fine choice if you like silly movies with inept special effects, pointless nudity, well crafted wackiness, and a marginal association with a major holiday. And if you don’t like any of those things, what the hell are you doing on this site? Watch it. It’s surprisingly watchable.
-you can find Johnny laughing at severed limbs and whip cream on Twitter