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By James Teitelbaum | March 10, 2009

When a film lands on my desk as a home-burned DVD, with the title of the movie written in Sharpie on the disc, and no other information provided other than “budget: $300” (also written in Sharpie on the disc), there are two possible scenarios at work.
The first is that the people who made this film are so ashamed of the results that the one single piece of information (aside from the title) that they choose to include (“budget: $300”) will hopefully explain and justify why the film is so inept.
The second scenario is that the creative team are so proud of what they have achieved on so limited a budget, that they want to either brag about it, or to inspire other like-minded individuals to explore their full creative potential and prove that Hollywood budgets aren’t required to create something up to professional standards.

In the case of “Serial Rabbit 3: Splitting Hares”, I will hypothesize that the latter scenario is in effect. If in fact this movie was indeed made for a budget of $300, I can say with some level of amazement that every penny of that budget is on the screen. In fact, I think that this movie looks like it had a budget of at least ten times the amount it was made for. And really, how often can you say that without any hyperbole?

“Serial Rabbit” (if the title didn’t already summarize the entire film for you) is about a guy who hops around in a bunny suit killing people. Various other characters are concerned about this, and go to no small trouble to take down the mad hare. References are made to two prior installments of the series (I missed those). The story here is a fairly tongue-in-cheek bit of silliness, part parody and part contrived attempt to create a cult film. It rises slightly above the very large and very tedious pack of its peers by containing a few truly witty bits of writing, technical specs that do not reek of incompetence, and a few actors who seem to have studied their craft.

It might be interesting to see what the clearly resourceful Brett William Mouser might do with a real budget (does he need one?) and a willingness to make something other than a tired bit of forced goofiness. If nothing else, I hope it will inspire other budget-minded indie auteurs to up their game a bit.

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