MANDY SCREAMS AT EASTER SUNDAY

The film “Easter Sunday” had an unfortunate claim to fame as one of the last features starring Robert Z’Dar. In this one, he plays a different kind of maniac cop—one bent on blowing away a bunny. The rascally rabbit is legendary serial killer Douglas Fisher, whom Z’Dar, as Sheriff Arkin, shot and killed on Easter 24 years ago.

One big what is why—at one point it’s implied that Fisher was mentally ill and missed his meds the night he crafted a papier-maché bunny mask and slaughtered a bunch of townsfolk, including his wife and daughter. However, the slasher story is blurred by a supernatural aspect that’s never fully explained. Although the sheriff killed Fisher decades ago, and nothing has supposedly happened since, he seems to have a Dr. Loomis lens focused on the potential return of his boogie man bunny.

Sure enough, his vigilance is rewarded when some guys in a band get crazy after rehearsal one night. One of them has recently discovered he’s the long lost son of The Bunny Man so when one of the girlfriends suggests they use a spirit board, like you do when sitting around the campfire, he steps up to prove his newfound daddy issues haven’t damaged him to the point where he can’t get super drunk and do something stupid.

Speaking of campfires, here’s where the story strays even further from crystal clarity. As the group takes in more spirits while summoning the essence of dear old dad, a wacky neighbor postman played by Ari Lehman (the little mutant boy Jason who emerges from Crystal Lake at the end of the original “Friday the 13th”) is simultaneously attempting to bring the hare back from hell to take vengeance on those who sent him there. The Bunny Man’s son, Ryan, is the one who gets infused with his spirit, and viewers never know why the postman cared, whether his actions impacted what happened to the son, or if he was disappointed by the fact that he wasn’t the one to become the bunny. We don’t see him again until the film’s punch line, which felt like a forced cameo and a bit of a disconnect with the postman who really wanted to deliver evil to the world.

We won’t be rotten eggs and spoil the whole plot for you, but here are some highs and lows to put in your basket. Deadwest calls them sweets, but in honor of Easter, I’ll classify them with jelly bean flavors:

BLACK (meaning the worst; sorry, licorice lovers):

RED, PINK AND PURPLE (These flavors, for me, are to the others what doughnuts are to Melba toast):

As I researched this film in anticipation of writing a review, I discovered that Ari Lehman was in a 2006 movie called “ThanksXgiving.” You know I’m thinking about it, but that’s a rabbit hole I should perhaps avoid.

Hopping back to  “Easter Sunday,” I have to say it’s a must see for those with a penchant for holiday horror. If that sub genre isn’t your red, pink or purple, don’t focus on the missteps; it represents a lot of effort on the part of some indie artists whose delight over their ability to secure Z’Dar and pursue their passion is obvious. There’s licorice in every basket if you hunt long enough.

Mandy: This is kind of a cliché opening with the newspaper clippings, but as a journalist, I’ve always hoped my clips would make it to a murder board.

DW: Uh huh.

……………………………………………………

Mandy: Why is the redneck guy singing gospel opera and geeking out over Easter?

DW: Why are you—that last part I mean.

……………………………………………………

DW: Ha! It’s the original Jason from “Friday the 13th.”

Mandy: That is not Kane Hodder. This guy looks like a skinny Cyrano pirate postman.

DW: Come on, woman; I mean the kid from the canoe.

Mandy: How could you possibly know that?

DW: SIGH. Is there any more unleaded?

……………………………………………………

Mandy: Some of the comedy is off, but it keeps the energy level up; maybe I should make an Energizer Bunny reference in the review.

DW: I have a feeling you’re gonna be corny enough without that.

Mandy: Wow, have you seen your show?

DW: Darn, tootin’ … how’s that for a fart joke? Remember, you write part of it.

Mandy: Yeah, the part that doesn’t –

DW: Hey, beautiful. Happy Easter!

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