Release Date (UK) – 27 November 2009
Certificate (UK) – 15
Country – UK
Director – Paul King
Runtime – 101 mins
Starring – Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby, Veronica Echeui
Paul King is most known for being the director of the hit cult TV series The Mighty Boosh and Bunny and the Bull is a sweet and hilarious low budget British comedy, with cameos for both Boosh stars Neil Fielding and Julian Barrett. Simon Farnaby is the Bunny of the title, a womanising gambler who doesn’t make life easy for his best friend Stephen (Edward Hogg). After a risky bet pays off well they go globe-trotting and although this may seem like a traditional road movie narrative its instead told in a series of flashback sequences by Stephen, who is currently unexplainably holed himself up in his flat refusing to venture outside and restricted by his own obsessive compulsive regime.
With zany characters and oddball side sketches its easy to see the Boosh influence here, but its in the films aesthetic side where this really comes out. Mixing live action and animation the actors are often imposed over very detailed drawn scenery and abstract imagery. This film comes from Warp Films, who recently brought us Shane Meadows Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee and at times the low budget does show (some of the blue screen European backgrounds are quite shoddy) but even this just adds to this super stylised and super fabulous film.
Hogg and Farnaby are both well cast in their roles, and their rapport together works a charm. The only real criticism is that some may find their characters a bit too over stereotyped – Stephen’s whininess does drag and Bunny is not only a gambling womanizer but is a raging alcoholic as well. After Stephen drags Bunny through various oddball museums dedicate to subjects like cutlery or shoes they meet Eloisa (Veronica Echeui) and predictably both chase after her affections as they travel to Andalucia with her to experience the fiesta (this is where the Bull of the tile comes in – Noel Fielding plays Eloisa’s brother , a manic ex bullfighter).
Julian Barrett, as a tramp they come across, drinks milk straight from the teat of the dog in by far one of the funniest things I have seen at the cinema in a while and although there is a dash of sentimentalism and a love story these elements don’t outstrip the incessant comedy element. This is my favourite British film of the year so far and is an absolute must see for any body who likes The Mighty Boosh but even for those who find Boosh a bit abstract you will find that Bunny and the Bull strikes a much gentler balance between the surreal and the comedy. Trailer below…