Digi-Schlock: THE BUNNY GAME (Autonomy Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack)

Ever since it hit the independent scene, the artistic merits of Adam Rehmeier’s controversial film The Bunny Game have been hotly debated by critics and genre fans alike.  Regardless of what you might think of the film, it’s unusually well made for a micro-budget indie:  the black and white cinematography is stunning and the montage sound/video editing is very impressive from a technical perspective.  It also has a fascinating story behind its making.  Thus, it’s the kind of film that deserves a thoughtful presentation on home video – and distributor Autonomy Pictures has fittingly put together an excellent blu-ray/DVD combo set for it.

The blu-ray transfer is what was watched for this review and it provides a gorgeous image for this challenging title, delivering its stark, monochromatic imagery in a crisp and detailed fashion.  Even when the editing gets fast, the image quality holds up well.  Surprisingly, the 2.0 Stereo mix on this blu-ray isn’t lossless.  Home theater purists might be disappointed by this choice but the presentation of this mix gets the job done.

Both discs feature a fine set of extras that go into the fascinating stories behind The Bunny Game‘s production.  The lynchpin of the bonus features is “Caretaking The Monster,” an excellent featurette drawn from interviews with filmmaker Adam Rehmeier and the cast.  It tells the story of the film in broad strokes, bringing out lots of fascinating little anecdotes: for instance, the kidnapping scenario was inspired by true incidents that happened to star Rodleen Getsic and co-star Jeff Renfro almost beat up Rehmeier when they first met.  Like The Bunny Game itself, this segment moves fast and is shot in stylish black and white.

There’s also a commentary track with Rehmeier and Getsic that expands on the various ideas and stories that the featurette touches upon.  There’s a scene-specific anecdote for most of the film’s sequences and both participants discuss their memories of the shoot freely.  The physical rigors of the shoot for Getsic get a lot of attention (example: she fasted for 40 days before production) and the listener gets some interesting insights into the psychological preparations that went into shooting such an extreme scenario.  The biggest shock with this commentary is how calm and cheerful the discussion in contrast to the intensity of the film.

The package is rounded out by a pair of trailers and an animated image gallery that includes a selection of black and white stills  as well as a few striking poster images.  All in all, this is a worthwhile set that boasts an excellent transfer and a quality set of extras that shed some light on the film’s bizarre genesis.  This edition of The Bunny Game proves that even micro-budget fare can have video releases as impressive and professional as their more handsomely budgeted competitors.

To read Schlockmania’s film review for The Bunny Game, click here.

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