Interview with Joonas Makkonen, the director of Bunny the Killer Thing

Bunny

Bunny the Killer Thing started out as a short film. Where did you get the idea for the character?

Originally, when I started digging up my ancient movie ideas, in one script there was a hand doll size bunny, which killed people screaming ”Fresh Pussy!” From there the idea started forming into a man in a bunny suit, because at the time I started planning Bunny the Killer Thing –short, the full body suit was practically easier to execute technically than a hand doll. This was because the hand doll needed the operator ie. the hand, and at the edit the arm would’ve had to been erased from a huge number of frames.

Then we came up with the idea of a man in a suit. It was so corny and hilarious, that we had to do it! The penis sort of came in naturally, because the “Fresh Pussy!” -screamer just has to have a dong to slaughter people with. However, we are also paroding slasher-movie murderers, the knife or chain saw has just turned into lust and a huge dong.

The boundary between horror and comedy is often wavering. How did it feel to balance between them? Did you aim at one or the other with Bunny?

I like to think horror-comedy as it’s own genre, which parodies horror movies and plays with horror genre clichés and genre conventions. I definitely aimed for comedy with Bunny whenever it was possible. Sure in some parts I wanted to go into more nihilistic direction, because the story demanded it. So it’s been nice to see, how differently the few more serious and heavy scenes in the middle of a movie otherwise filled with really black humour, have worked with the audience.

The film is fully financed outside the common routes (for example SES, the Finnish Film Foundation). How has this affected the filmmaking?

The effect has been that we’ve had less money to use. But also that it’s been possible to make such a hilarious and unique film. Finland is a conservative film country, and we just couldn’t have gotten the finance through SES in any circumstance. So it’s been nice that we’ve come up with a real indie production and financing model. Hopefully other genre filmmakers will have the courage to follow along and not leave their film projects only because SES, for example, doesn’t want to finance their films.

Finland is just one country and there’s more market potential and open mindedness for genre film abroad. One of my goals is to create and help the indie culture in Finland, so that it’s also a film business, in addition to providing the possibility to produce genre film in Finland.

Essentially, feature film is always a commercial film. By this, I don’t mean you should calculate with your film, but make it as truthfully as possible to your own small target audience. For example, Bunny the Killer Thing would be a more commercial film without the Bunny’s dong, but leaving it out would’ve taken a lot of the effect of the film and the hilarious anarchism it now represents.

A lot of people – usually after watching the trailer – have a sort of WTF-feeling about the film, what would you tell them?

It’s probably part of the thing, when you drag the movie into such directions as explotation and deep dark humour as we’ve done. So I’d say it’s a totally natural reaction.

As far as I know, Bunny is the first feature splatter and explotation film from Finland. And there haven’t even been horror-comedies from Finland, after Kuutamosonaatti and its sequel. Sure the Bunny has turned out as a pretty unique project even worldwide. The WTF-feeling has been a common a reaction also abroad.

Is there something else you’d like to share about the process?

It’s been really nice to have the chance to make a different type of movie, and really dark humour. Practically, the film offers everyone the chance to get offended, so it doesn’t really bow to anyone. If you decide to check out the movie, I recommend stepping in the theatre with an open mind. Bunny the Killer Thing isn’t a movie to everyone’s taste, and it’s not meant to be. And a lot of people have totally dug the movie, which is always warming feedback.

Bunny the Killer Thing opens in theatre’s in Finland on the 6th of November.

bunnythekillerthing.com

 

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