Bunny and the Bull
|Bunny and the Bull|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul King|
|Produced by||Mary Burke
|Written by||Paul King|
with Verónica Echegui
|Music by||Ralfe Band
|Edited by||Mark Everson|
|Distributed by||Optimum Releasing|
|Running time||101 minutes|
Bunny and the Bull is a 2009 British comedy film from writer-director Paul King. It stars Edward Hogg and Simon Farnaby in a surreal recreation of a road trip. King has previously worked on British television comedies The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace; the film is made in a similar style and has guest appearances from stars of those series.
Stephen is an agoraphobic recluse who has not left his flat in nearly a year. Each day for him is structured around carefully planned routines, but one day he discovers an infestation of mice in the kitchen cupboards. He contemplates leaving the flat, but can't bring himself to open the door, so he reminisces about the events leading up to his current situation, with objects around the flat triggering flash backs.
One year earlier, after being "friend zoned" by the woman he loves, Stephen went on a sightseeing holiday across Europe with his friend Bunny, who is addicted to gambling. They visit several bizarre museums, but Bunny finds them all boring and is more concerned with seducing women. At a seafood restaurant in Poland, Stephen and Bunny meet Eloisa, a Spanish waitress who has recently left her boyfriend and plans to return to Spain for an upcoming fiesta. Bunny wins the restaurant's delivery car in a bet, and Eloisa accompanies them on their journey towards Spain.
Although Stephen makes his attraction to Eliosa known, Bunny begins sleeping with her. When in Spain, Bunny decides he will fight a bull. He steals a matador suit for his bullfight from Eloisa's brother, but loses it in a bet. He tries to flee Spain before Eloisa and her brother find out, and drags Stephen along with him. On their train ride home, Stephen finally confronts Bunny about his inconsiderate ways. He accuses Bunny of never accomplishing anything, and reminds him that he never fought a bull even though they had come to Spain for that reason. Bunny takes offense and stops the train to find a wild bull to fight. He is killed by the bull as Stephen runs to try to save him. Stephen returns from the trip without his friend.
Back to the present Stephen finally has a conversation with Bunny about his death. Bunny assures him that it is not his fault, and encourages him to start living life again and to reconnect with Eloisa. Stephen has the closure he needs to calls Eloisa and the movie ends with him leaving his house for the first time in a year.
- Edward Hogg as Stephen Turnbull
- Simon Farnaby as Bunny
- Verónica Echegui as Eloisa
- Noel Fielding as Javier
- Richard Ayoade as Museum Curator
- Julian Barratt as Atilla
- Rich Fulcher as Captain Crab (voice)
The film was produced by Mary Burke at Warp X (Warp Films digital slate) with financing from Film4, UK Film Council, EM Media, and Screen Yorkshire and filmed at King's Meadow Campus of the University of Nottingham for 5 weeks. Paul King, having previously directed and associate directed cult favourites The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace respectively on television, uses a similar surreal, nonsensical, and occasional dark style in the film. Like many projects made by ex-contributors of Garth Marenghi and Boosh, the film features several other ex-contributors such as Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Richard Ayoade, and Simon Farnaby, along with animation sequences by Nigel Coan. King admits "I’ve basically cast it off my speed-dial."
Bunny and the Bull received mostly positive reviews. Empire rated the film at four stars (out of a maximum five), describing it as "charmingly crafted and willfully daft". The film was compared to Michel Gondry's 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in theme and appearance, with the exception that Bunny and the Bull "manages to tramp down its whimsy with a rich vein of very silly, very British comedy". Charles Watson of underground film magazine Slant said it was "a daft tale of wit and woe, with recognisable actors that go straight into their comfort zones making it as crafty and clever as possible."
- "Bunny and The Bull". Channel 4. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "Paul King talks 'The Bunny and the Bull' - The Mighty Boosh director goes widescreen". Clash Music. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- De Semlyen, Nick (November 26, 2009). "Bunny and the Bull". Empire (Bauer Media) (247): 54.