It’s strange to think that Easter is a relatively unexplored holiday in horror films; you’d think with all of the religious mythologies and potential killer rabbits it would be a gold mine for material, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s fairly untapped. However, Dustin Mills saw this gap in the market, and thanks to the power of his wizardry, we have an annual holiday viewing that’s absolutely essential for your holiday horror hurrahs. If you’re familiar with Dustin’s work, you know to expect something original with each of his offerings, which is why his fan base has been loyal and steadily growing since his first feature, The Puppet Monster Massacre (2012), which was, if anything, an unforgettable introduction that introduced us to a unique talent. Easter Casket, like all Dustin Mills movies, could only come from the mind of Dustin Mills; a micro-budget horror comedy about a puppet rabbit hellbent on destroying Catholicism and reigning in the Apocalypse isn’t your standard fare, but that’s what makes it so wonderful.
Easter Casket centers around Father Asher (Josh Eal), a warrior priest tasked with stopping The Easter Bunny, who is killing the clergy and Catholic school girls because the Church wants to do away with rituals not pertaining to Christ. Needless to say a full throttle rampage ensues and the less said about it the better. The element of surprise and unpredictability in store for you will only enhance your experience.
Dustin Mills really pulled the rabbit out of the hat with this movie, because despite being made for pennies, it’s impressive in so many ways. First of all, it’s visually stunning and wildly creative; the lack of budget is a blessing in disguise as it encourages creativity and making the best of what’s available. Puppets and toys are used to great effect, only adding to the films charms. Its low budget is certainly not to its detriment as the inventiveness is what makes it so alluring. However, the films greatest strength is its story; it just goes to show how far an imaginative, well crafted mythology can go and the tale of Peter Cottontail (aka The Easter Bunny) is engaging. I’ve always felt that horror movies should explore unique mythologies more often as their creative scope is limitless; let those imaginations pour out all over the screen, I say. Throw in a hilarious script, puppets at a coke orgy, female nudity and a Mega Pope and you have a certified cult classic on your hands.
From an objective point of view, the only criticisms I can give Easter Casket are the obvious low budget constraints, which might not sit well with some viewers. But, as I said earlier, I felt they worked in the movies favour. At times it feels like a larger than life movie, set in a massive universe adjacent to our own. Not since Astron-6’s masterpiece Manborg (2011) has a low budget movie had so much charm and high concept ideas that it sucks you into a world you’ll get lost in. This is the type of creative spirit that makes being a film fan the greatest joy on Earth, and discovering talents like Mills is just as good as rubbing one out when the house is empty and you can watch your porno with the volume up full. 9/10
Writer & Director:
Josh Eal, Erin R. Ryan, Jason Crowe, Dustin Mills, Dave Parker