Gorehounds and B-movie fans, I have a treat for you! The Bunnyman Massacre series, the third installment of which is set to release in 2015. Not much has been said about the plot so far on public forums, but based on the trailer that has been released, I think fans of the weird or eccentric will have a lot to anticipate!
I had the opportunity to communicate with Carl Lindbergh, the man who produced and wrote each installment of Bunnyman to date. We discussed some of what went into the creation of the most recent installment of the Bunnyman saga since much of the plot is still being kept under wraps.
Fox: So what was your involvement in the Bunnyman 3? I know that with smaller projects people often wear many different hats, so tell me a bit about your roles for the film.
Carl: Bunnyman Massacre 3 definitely falls into the micro budget category, as our budget was $50,000. I myself was the producer, director, editor, writer and I also played Bunnyman when it was necessary. To be fair though, everyone did multiple jobs and everyone worked very hard which resulted in the film looking like we had twice the budget we really had.
Fox: What would you say are the strengths of the project? What did you and others have to do in order to make it a success?
Carl: One strength of the film is its big expanse and scope considering our limited budget. As a producer I’m always looking how to maximize the resources I have. I live in the suburbs about an hour outside of Los Angeles, yet I was able to give the film a look that it was filmed in the Midwest, in the middle of nowhere. It was vital we shoot within 20 minutes of my house since that’s where we housed the cast and crew for a couple of weeks when shooting the film.
Fox: Is there anything you would have liked to have done differently?
Carl: I would have re-evaluated what effects should be done practically vs CG. On low level projects time is a huge factor, and some shots that we did practically would have been better to do CG. I’m happy with the cast in the film, they are all very talented actors. However, there was one actor who we shot with for a couple of scenes, and he quit and tried to blackmail us. Of course we rebounded from that and made a better film without him. However, it just goes to show you, you really need to weed out the bad apples prior to production starting. That actor is irrelevant now, however I want to make sure I don’t make the mistake again of not recognizing someone with malicious intentions. You really truly need good people during a low budget production, and unfortunately you can’t be right 100% of the time when hiring people. On a more positive note, one thing that I feel we did right was really nail down the tone of the film. The film has a more refined dark humor aspect to it (which you saw emerge in Bunnyman 2). For example in the trailer you see a little girl in the trailer. If you look closer, the girl is dressed in a little Alice in Wonderland costume. The next immediate shot is Bunnyman looking down a well, and he’s literally going down the rabbit hole. This sequence is from the “dream sequence” where the Bunnyman character is drugged and starts hallucinating.
Fox: Tell me about the Bunnyman Massacre saga! Describe the direction you think Bunnyman 3 is taking.
Carl: Yes, I guess there is now a Bunnyman Massacre saga. Having done three films, we’re officially a trilogy now! I was recently asked why do three Bunnyman films in a row, and my answer was that I always felt I can do better. There is a huge leap in quality between part 1 and part 2, and that continues with the evolution from part 2 to part 3. Part 1 was a misfire, so I felt I could correct that wrong and make a stronger film. I also feel I’ve grown as a filmmaker through these films, and I can see a evolution in the filmmaking process. I like the challenge of making a sequel, how to not regurgitate the same film over again, and actually expand the story of the the Bunnyman character. The Bunnyman films have turned into a story about the journey of the Bunnyman character and the adventures he gets himself into. The films are about him – his nomad existence. This allows every film to be different, different characters for Bunnyman to interact with, and of course, different victims. In many ways it’s a journey of Bunnyman, but also a journey of myself as a filmmaker, learning what works, what doesn’t, and trying to improve myself and become better at telling stories.
Fox: Where do you see yourself going next? Both individually and/or with the Bunnyman Massacre story? – If there is more to tell after this movie, that is.
Carl: I really hope I’ve gotten Bunnyman out of my system for now. The next project I’m working on is Blood Angel, which is a sci-fi horror film with Nazi subject matter. So even though I’m still in the same genre, it’s a completely different beast. Bunnyman 3 has a dream sequence hinted at in the trailer which we shot against green screen. Working with green screen was very inspiring, and going along the lines of learning and growing with each film, now I feel I have a new tool I learned how to use which will definitely be a part of every film I work on going forward. At some point, and I’m just thinking out loud right now . . . I would like to do a entire Bunnyman film in the style of the Forbidden Zone. Something completely out there, and as with Forbidden Zone the film ,would be black and white with a lot of animation. I just want to continuously grow, challenge myself, and get better.
Fox: Who contributed to the success of this project?
Carl: I think the biggest contribution to the success of the film is the experience of making the other films. I failed a lot making Bunnyman 1, but those mistakes I didn’t repeat in Bunnyman 3, so that failure has a reason for being. Without part 1 and learning from those mistakes, part 3 wouldn’t be as good. In other words, I’m turning a negative into a positive. So knowing it’s okay to fail, picking yourself up right away afterwards, and learning what you did wrong so the next time you can make the right choice.
Fox: If you could tell audiences anything about this film aside from the obvious ‘watch it!’ what would it be?
Carl: Bunnyman 3 is definitely trying to be unique, and we didn’t play it safe this time. It’s an evolution of what worked on the previous films, just made better. For example, this is a slasher film not unlike Friday the 13th. However, being a independent production, we can do wild and crazy things. One idea in doing research and watching the Friday the 13th films for the 100th time, I started to think, what would it be like to get into Jason’s head. To literally see what the heck Jason was thinking. I ran with this idea and decided to do a trippy psychedelic journey into our serial killer’s head. So we filmed this green screen animated sequence just to show what’s in his psyche. The film is about taking chances and doing things I haven’t seen done countless times in previous horror films. We took a chance with Bunnyman 2 (where we kill a bunch of kids in a school bus) and with part 3 we are going on a animated journey into the killer’s mind. At this stage of the game, I feel I can really take creative risks and do things in a indie film you can’t do in a mainstream horror film.
So there you have it, folks! If you’ve seen any of Carl Lindbergh’s previous work you know what he’s capable of, so I’m curious to see what failures he has improved upon and what this additional installment will bring to the table for horror fans.