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Review: Rottentail

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10,000 square feet of holiness

Rottentail chokes a man using Easter egg-shaped turds that he "laid" himself. An army general takes a male-enhancement potion before being called to duty and patrols bloody halls of corpses and limbs with a full erection. When Rottentail kills him, he wisecracks about the sadness of a "fallen soldier" as the tent in said general's pants drops to the thrum of a military funeral march. Rottentail's soundtrack contains multiple songs by Twiztid. The only thing lower than its budget is its brows, which are fit to sweep the floor--and that's absolutely fine. This movie knows exactly what it is and who it's for, and it's just here to have a good time. You don't have to stick around, but those who do are in for some crude and trashy fun.

Rottentail
Director: Brian Skiba
Rating: NR
Release Date: April 12, 2019 (Limited)

Peter Cotton (Corin Nemec) is a good-natured dope of a scientist having a pretty shitty day. His research rabbits get funneled to the wrong scientist, he's working out of a supply closet, his girlfriend dumped him, and he got bitten by some experimental irradiated rabbit-beast-thing that's definitely also turning him into a monster. Unfortunately for him, though, he's mutating less into Spider-Man and more Man-Spider as his body shifts and contorts into that of a giant, snarling rabbit-man. This transformation gives him the strength, speed, and virility of a rabbit (though as we see his penis remains the same size), and with these powers comes not great responsibility but rather a desire for vengeance on the bully who snapped his pet rabbit's neck when Peter was in tenth-grade.

So, off we go as Rottentail fights his way through the military that seeks to contain him on a rampage toward Easter Falls where Jake Mulligan (William McNamara), bully-turned-prosperity-preacher sets to demolish a historical landmark on Easter night and build a broadcasting center for his capitalistic gospel atop the rubble. As the plot hippity-hops along its bloody bunny trail to its final showdown we see a woman's head turned into an Easter basket, a face-off with a reanimated killing-machine dressed as Iron Man from the Dollar General's Halloween section, and a decapitated man's neck wound spray like Old Faithful. There are dick jokes and shit jokes and bad puns aplenty, and they actually hit more often than they miss.

The standout here is William McNamara's Mulligan, whose commercial advertising pay-your-way salvation sprinkle the film and spill into the credits. Any of these would be fit as Adult Swim sketches, and McNamara's performance has an energy, charisma, and comic timing that feel genuine and lived-in in a way that's missing from the other performances. Nemec is no slouch himself as Rottentail with a sort of grumbling drawl and stream-of-consciousness monologue, but as Peter Cotton he's often too stuttering and over-emotional, which hits the ear more as obnoxious than amusing.

Though Rottentail washes the screen in attractive greens and reds that evoke its comic book origins, it has that low-budget quality of looking simultaneously over-lit and under-lit. Light blooms at all corners, and yet the camera's focus often comes in as a bit dark and muddy. The makeup work, however, is great. Rottentail looks like a suitable rabbit-man with smooth movement and eyes and lips that are still expressive despite the prosthetics. Unfortunately, a lot of the action can miss some of its punch with wimpy sound-effects and shots that cut away too frequently.

Still, a grown man does poop a pile of rabbit pellets, so you have to take the good with the bad. It's an Easter basket with a giant hollow chocolate bunny that you'll lose your taste for before you finish it, but surrounding it are delicious pop corn-flavored jelly beans and chocolate-peanut butter eggs. There's plenty of empty-calorie joy to find, you just need to dig through some tinsel to get at it.

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Rottentail reviewed by Kyle Yadlosky

6.5

ALL RIGHT

Slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy it a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.
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