‘Movie Parody in Bun-O-Vision’
By Mike Derderian
As the guitarist brutally strummed the strings of his Gibson guitar an electrifying overflow of heavy music reverberated from a colossal Peavey amplifier. The strong lights coming out of the stage spotlights gave the guitar’s worn out enamel a glistening look. The electrifying solo went on until the lead vocalist broke out in a deafening shouting frenzy. “Put the bunny in the bag… put the bunny in the bag.”
Moments later a powerful electric surge echoed on the stage. All of a sudden the amplifier died out and the guitarist was strumming a mute instrument. A breakdown, ain’t that a stinker! The vocalist was gazing at a rabbit holding an electric plug. “What’s up doc and what’s with the ‘put the bunny in the bag’ song,” sardonically inquired the white-gloved rabbit.
“Nothing Mr Wabbit…uh I mean Bugs I was inspired to sing about bunnies after watching a re-enactment of the Highlander by Bunnies at http://www.angryalien.com,” the perplexed singer said.
Yes bunnies my dear reader. I’ve been watching 30-second bunny shorts on the Internet through out the weekend. Puffy tailed bunnies everywhere. After two and a half hours I started to feel like a bunny. But unlike other bunnies I refuse to be lured by a carrot the same way Arabs are lured and preoccupied with reality TV and star-hunt programs. All what people care about nowadays is the carrot. How to get the carrot! Is the carrot delicious? Well what about the land where carrots are grown.
No more land for after the big bad wolf known as Sam huffed and puffed the three little pig’s home away, he became a real-estate agent and started selling parts of the land cheap to bloodsucking boars.
As you can read watching movie parodies by bunnies is not like watching giant man-eating rabbits (believe it or not a movie with such a plot exists and is known as Night of the Lepus circa 1972). It is more like watching very short intervals of hilarious fun, squeaky dialogue, violence, gore and classic movie moment all in one.
Talkative, gifted, lecherous, murderous, envious and hilarious these little bunnies that were created by Jennifer Shiman basically sum up an entire classic movie in less than a minute.
Remember watching an alien coming out of John Hurt’s character in Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien; Leonardo De Caprio sinking to the bottom of the ocean in James Cameron’s 1998 Titanic; John Travolta and Uma Thurman twisting to Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell at the Jack Rabbit Slim contest in Quentin Tarantino’s 1995 Pulp Fiction and Jack Nicholson’s Here Comes Johnny line in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 The Shining, well it all has been re-enacted by Shiman’s talented bunnies.
Alien; The Big Chill; Brokeback Mountain; Casablanca; A Christmas Story; The Exorcist; Freddy vs. Jason; Highlander; It’s a Wonderful Life; Jaws; King Kong; Night of the Living Dead; Pulp Fiction; Reservoir Dogs, which comes in two versions, the bleeped and un-bleeped version; The Rocky Horror Show; Scream; The Shining; Star Wars; Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Titanic and War of the World are the bunny shorts that are currently available at the bunnies’ library at http://www.angryalien.com.
The animation is not exactly top notch Pixar—it is done using the usual flash media software—but the simplicity is what makes it so enjoyable. Each of the above bunny shorts has easy mellifluous contours, tons of characters, great sound effects and an abridged dialogue that still delivers the message of the parodied original.
Shiman according to her website “creates and draws her characters by hand using a lightbox, scans her drawings using Adobe Photoshop, converts the bitamap art to vector art using Adobe Streamline” and then uses Flash software to color and animate her characters.
The voices of Shiman’s furry troupe of carrot nibbling actors are provided by Shiman herself and Douglas McInnes. Voice altering softwares are probably used to augment their vocal talents and help create the squeaky bunny pitch.
Shiman and McInnes tried to capture the magic and lure of the actors they were parodying as much as they can. In most shorts they were successful. Of course it was bunny style so don’t get any thoughts of watching the real deal on that computer screen of yours. The Jimmy Stewart impersonation in Frank Capra’s 1946 It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t exactly a hammer on the nail, contrary to the Michael Madsen impression in the parody of Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 Reservoir Dogs. “You’re gonna keep barking all day little bunny. I like torturing cops,” a gruff Madsen-like bunny says through out the blood drenched violent short.
Shiman’s website promises the creation of six more classics re-enactments: Rocky; Caddyshack, Superman (the Christopher Reeve 1978 version); Office Space; Raiders of the Lost Ark (a bunny with a Harrison Ford attitude—this I got to see) and The Ring.
Shiman basically winzipped some of Hollywood’s cult classics into less than a minute shorts starring adrenalin pumped bunnies that speak who knows how many words per second. Parallel to every movie in La La Land there is a parody and a bunny parody has no parallel. Well, at least not yet but who knows what will happen in the future when everyone starts paying you carrots instead of money.
To sum up Shiman’s bunny troupe concept is brilliant and a treat to anyone who enjoys watching classic and cult movies around the hour. It was for me and I hope it will have the same magical effect on you especially after you watch and listen to a classic line that you’ve known all your life coming out of a bunny’s mouth.
Must-see-bunny-scenes: The Exorcist, King Kong, Pulp Fiction, The Shining, Reservoir Dogs, Brokeback Mountain and Casablanca, which is come to think of it my favorite and I know fans of the “play it again Sam” line will simply adore it. It is simply Bogart and Bergman at their cutest and furriest performance.