Purveyors of no-budget, comedic horror trash, The Polonia brothers, Mark and John took a stab at Easter with 2004’s Peter Rottentail. One of the pair’s better movies, which really isn’t saying much when you consider the rubbish they have put out over the decades.
A magician trying to make ends meet has taken to performing at children’s birthday parties, where his terrible magic goes down like a lead balloon. Embarrassed, he runs into a mysterious man who offers him a vile of liquid that he promises will turn him into the best magician ever.
Obviously sceptical, the magician takes the vial and goes to his next party where he is humiliated once again. Desperate to win the kids over, he decides to drink the liquid but nothing happens. It appears as though the stranger was lying and the magician has had enough, so shoots himself dead.
Many years later, his story has fallen into legend (who knows why) and the kids from the party have all grown up. It’s time for revenge as the magician is reanimated as Peter Rottentail, a bunny-suit wearing killer who sets about killing all who humiliated him in life.
Yes, it is pretty dumb but it knows it’s dumb and plays up to it. You’re not supposed to take these sorts of films seriously at all. It’s cheesy, it’s stupid, it’s cheap and it’s basic. Knowing all of this before you hit play will make the experience far more enjoyable but, it’s still a pretty terrible movie that is around 40 minutes too long. A bit of a problem when it’s only 70 minutes long.
Two major reasons why it feels way too long is the fact that we’ve seen this story 1000 times before and we’ll see it 1000 times again. Wronged character returns from the grave to extract their revenge on those who wronged them. Slasher tale as old as time.
The other reason is the fact that almost all deaths occur off-screen and, in most circumstances, we only see the brief aftermath with a small amount of blood. That’s a real shame as this is a movie that would have greatly benefited from lashings of blood and guts.
So, what does Peter Rottentail do well? Surprisingly, it’s the cast who are giving their roles some gusto and putting more effort than necessary. Even with the basic characters they have had written for them. We’re not talking about award winning stuff here but when compared to a lot of other films these brothers have put out, it stands out.
Which is what Peter Rottentail just about does. It stands out because it’s an Easter-themed horror (sort of) and doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s a bad movie but an obviously bad movie, and maybe that’s something you can enjoy.
Peter Rottentail (2004)
The Final Score - 3/10