Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cute Little Buggers

I was passed a CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS screener today and I gave it a watch at once. I had seen a teaser and few articles on it and then it dropped off my radar. When I saw the screener link roll in, I was super excited. Now, before I really get rolling, I'm going to address the elephants in the room.

• This is a low budget film. Relatively, of course. I just saw a short with the budget of $25, so....

• This does have some rather dodgy 3D in it. Some bits more wonky than others. I mean...we're dealing with CGI rabbits on a low budget. But, even though it may not be "A List", it was solid.

• Lastly, we have almost a full ADR dubbing situation. Some of it comes off as odd, but seeing as I'm a huge giallo fan, I was over that within 10 minutes.

But, none of that matters in the long run.

Tony Jopia, Garry Charles, Andy Davie, Kristofer Dayne, and the cast and crew of CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS have managed to do something highly entertaining and fun here. That means a lot to someone who was a teen horror lover in the 80s. Their press kit was saying that this is "Hot Fuzz meets Gremlins", but - while those ARE fun films, I'm going to give this film an even bigger complement. This totally reminds me of the fun I had watching the awesome Peter Jackson work of the 80s and 90s with films like MEET THE FEEBLES, BRAIN DEAD and BAD TASTE.  It's wacky, silly, funny, and a bloody good time.

The plot is throwback as well. Aliens are using our women to breed. And, what better tool to use as a hunter / gatherer for said women than...rabbits. The rabbits are altered to become fierce creatures of death that the aliens use to drag women back to their breeding chamber and to defend. When the towns folk find out what's happening, they have to fight back to save their women...and their world!

I had a blast watching this. It's just a lot of fun all around. While the budget might have been low on this, it had a ton of things going for it that elevated it immensely. At the base, of things the writing was lively and highly entertaining. The overall look and feel of the film was very professional and far better than many indy films I've seen. It was clear that the filmmakers knew what they were doing. The lighting and camerawork were grand.

The 3D in the film was ambitious and totally got the job done. The 3D and effects production teams were doing a lot of work here and it shows. I was watching the film and trying to think of just how long the effects production work took seeing all the shots that had some sort of 3D or post effects work done on them. I believe the aliens had post work done on their eyes and tongues, ALL the many rabbits...moving around and attacking. But, the thing that I found to be the most fun about this was the CG gore.

I'm not usually a computer gore fan. Blood sprays that used to be done with squibs back in the day were far more visceral and real than 75% of the CGI stuff we are seeing today. When used sparingly, computer generated gore and blood can be a big help. (see Greg Nicotero and Team's WALKING DEAD work)  What I loved about the use of computer aided nastiness here is the fact that they didn't dabble.

It's like they just said, "Ok...we have rabbits whose heads split open with tentacles attacking humans. Let's go big!" And big they go. Blood sprays, limbs are ripped from bodies, and deadly rabbits fly!

The characters were a hoot as well. Over the top caricatures of small town residents were in abundance from the slightly bumbling police officer, to the crazy old folks, to the wondrous Caroline Munro appearance as Mystic Mary. This really had a BRAIN DEAD feel for me because I love over the top characters being alive, energetic, and invested in films. You could tell that these folks were not just phoning it in. They were going above and beyond and they were having fun doing it.

 And, while I'm chatting this film up, I have to mention the women. :::swoon::: While they are not going to be seeing a passing grade on the Bechdel test, they are taking things back to the 80s here again with the amount of beautiful women finding various ways to "get their kit off" as they say.  It's comical in it's own right and really did remind me of 80s movies. Shirts were flying.

This film managed to entertain me, but it also did more than that. It provided some genuine laugh out loud moments that had me giggling and chuckling at all over the place. By the end of the film, I found myself being very surprised and just how much I was laughing and how I wasn't doing my usual indy film groan & eye-roll ® combination. A refreshing treat!

You're going to want to down this as soon as it comes out. Get some food and beverages, gather your friends round the TV, and prepare to have a silly good time!


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