Hate Little Rabbit is the new film from director Bazz Hancher (White Goods, Films From a Broken Mind) and co-writer Michael Walcott who has served as a producer on several of Hancher’s previous productions. The idea of an ultra gory English giallo certainly appealed to me, especially from someone who I know isn’t afraid to deal out the kind of nastiness the genre is known for, so I had some high expectations when I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it.
And Hancher certainly deals out the nastiness right from the start as a man, nude except for a gimp mask uses a teddy bear to rather explicitly pleasure himself before going into a young girl’s room. Thankfully we don’t see what happens next, but what we hear makes the scene hard to sit through. Next, we see a young woman pursued by a masked man and beaten to death with a hammer.
This serves as a prologue of sorts because it’s not until after these unexplained events that we meet Lacy (Chloe Yarranton). Her adoptive parents are dead and she’s trying to establish a relationship with her birth mother Samantha (Chloe Yarranton, Dr. Balden Cross: Beyond the Void). That’s easier said than done as Samantha is a bitter woman with a troubled past and mental issues.
Ten minutes in and Hate Little Rabbit is already dragging the viewer down a rabbit hole of gore, family secrets and madness, prime ingredients for any giallo. And that hole only gets deeper when her mother is kidnapped by someone in a very familiar mask.
Is the killer Lacy’s Uncle Joe thought to have burnt to death in South Africa after being released from a mental hospital? Is it Detective Martelli (David Pearl, Lonnie Knutsengripper: Man, Myth and Movies) who claims Joe faked his death and is responsible for more deaths, including that of Martelli’s best friend? Or are they too obvious and the killer is somebody we wouldn’t suspect?
Obviously, I won’t spoil it, but by the end, I had picked and then rejected, the person it turned out to be. Hancher and Walcott made the story twisty enough that you’ll suspect and doubt most of the cast at some point. But when everything is finally revealed you’ll smack yourself upside the head for not having figured it all out. Like the best mysteries, Hate Little Rabbit’s clues are all there, hidden in plain sight.
The film’s violence is very graphic at times, including a character played by Thomas Lee Rutter (Monstrous Disunion, The Devil’s Familiar) getting their face torn off by a concrete block. That might be in retaliation for Hancher’s character getting beaten to death with a rock in Rutter’s film Day of the Stranger. Regardless, the violence and death in Hate Little Rabbit isn’t campy or sanitized. It’s brutal and, at times uncomfortable to watch, even going as far as showing a hanging man pissing himself as he dies.
The violence isn’t the only thing that’s grim about Hate Little Rabbit. As you may have guessed from the opening scene, pedophilia and child abuse are a part of the film’s backstory. So if that’s a trigger issue you may want to avoid this film. I certainly felt like I needed a shower when it was over.
For a film shot for about 3,000GBP, or about 4,000USD, Hate Little Rabbit looks excellent and delivers the kind of gore effects so few films in that budget range do. It also succeeds at giving the giallo a British spin, feeling like it was inspired as much by Pete Walker’s films such as Schizo and Frightmare as by Dario Argento. It’s not a film for everyone, but if you can handle it, it’s worth seeing.
On the downside, some of the performances leave a bit to be desired. And at one point one of the victims seems to just wait for the killer to catch up to them. And some of you will be put off by the distinctly un-giallo like absence of naked women. There is nudity, but it’s from Martin Payne (Lonely Hearts) who seems to be on his way to becoming England’s answer to Bob Glazier (Kill-Cam).