Bunny and The Bull DVD

Thursday, 25 March 2010 14:12

Directed by Paul King, and featuring cameos from regulars from The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, King swaps his direction of that cult comedy for a homage to buddy movies. It combines bizarre humour with a dark and twisted edge. This is a road movie that, at first glance, could well be set entirely inside a flat.

“Bunny and the Bull” sees obsessive-compulsive Stephen Turnbull (Ed Hogg), shaken out of his self-imposed isolation by a plague of rats that threaten to drive him outside – a place he now fears. He flashes back through the life-changing journey he took with best friend Bunny across Europe the previous Summer. Bunny sees himself as something of a Casanova, taking in any talent that comes across his radar, and forgetting the aim of their trek, financed by some lucky gambling, was to bring Stephen out of his shell.

Bunny and the Bull on DVDThey encounter alcoholic matadors, an unhinged literally ‘dog-loving’ tramp, and a superstitious heart-stealing waitress (played by Veronica Echegui).

Featuring some incredibly cost-effective hand-crafted visuals that have earned the film comparisons with the work of Gondry and Gilliam, it’s a downbeat movie by its close, ending just as light seems to reveal itself at the end of the tunnel of despair. It takes in vistas ranging from the industrial wastelands of Silesia to the bull fields of Andalucia, via animation of the style you would have seen in Mr Benn.

During the film, the duo at the heart of the film move in different directions, as far as your opinion of them goes. Stephen gets more and more of your sympathy, while Bunny becomes the ‘friend’ we’ve all had over the years, one who from the outside can be seen to be selfish and incapable of any sustained empathy for his chum. This is an immense frustration, made more poignant and guilt-ridden when Bunny gets a comeuppance that he deserves.

At times you begin to wonder how much Stephen’s memory is cheating him, as the events from the previous year take on a surreal edge. Did these things really happen to him? Parents should note that there is a scene featuring male nudity, but it felt like it was there for no other reason than to get talked about – so, by mentioning it here I’m probably ticking the Director’s checklist under the heading “Job Done”!

As the end credits rolled, I have to admit not being able to work out whether the film had tried to be too clever and stumbled over, or has the hallmarks of an ‘arthouse classic’.  It’s not an easy viewing experience, although there are several laugh-out-loud moments.  Perhaps this really is one of those movies that you have to watch and make up your own mind with.

 

Special DVD Features:

Audio Commentary with Director Paul King, Ed Hogg, Simon Farnaby and Producer Mark Burke (97.07)

Deleted Scenes (4.10)

Behind the Scenes (13.05)

Bloopers (4.27)

Interview with Paul King (7.35)

Interview with Simon and Ed (9.58)

Up, up and away – a fan inspired short (1.37)

Get the Picture (4.14)

Museum Stills Gallery

Empire Featurette (20.25)

 

“Bunny and the Bull” is out now from Optimum Home Entertainment as a single DVD, has a running time of 97 minutes approx, a ‘15’ certificate, and a RRP of £15.99 – or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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