|Index||3 reviews in total|
Polio victim. Gender-bending marvel. Glamor queen and fetishist's fantasy. The Goddess Bunny--the person and the documentary--has to be seen to be believed. This unblinking work is more or less just a chronicle of TGB's life, loves and quest for fame. It's entertainment value comes straight from the amazing, mesmerizing world of TGB, including some marvelously subversive videos. (The tap-dance sequence, the Ma Barker on the Manson's Family Ranch scene and the lip-synching to Sheena Easton are just a few of the film's many tantalizing highlights.) Odd as the work is, it's an impressive tour of the underbelly of the Los Angeles underground scene, with the deformed transgendered TGB as your demented tour guide. Nothing David Lynch or John Waters could ever film would match the bizarre greatness of that one-of-a-kind entity known as "The Goddess Bunny."
Goddess Bunny is a 90 minute documentary about The Goddess Bunny, a gay
transvestite (hoping to be trans-gendered at the time of the filming)
underground entertainer and model who is also a polio victim.We see
Bunny off and on stage, where she lip syncs, as well in her movie
appearances.Mostly the film consists of several interviews with Bunny
in and out of drag, as well as interviews with friends and
acquaintances (some of whom we also see perform).
It's an odd duck film about an odd duck entertainer who is simply trying to just get by. More interesting than it has a right to be this film suffers from two related flaws. The first is that the world she inhabits can be rather over whelming. Its one thing to be introduced to some one like Bunny, it's another to take in the Underground world as well. By the time we get to the art show opening where Bunny is set to appear(photos of her as an AIDS terrorist were being exhibited) but doesn't (she has a habit of getting friends with zero navigational skills to act as driver) we begin to feel overwhelmed. It doesn't help that the art, thematically grouped to reveal a kind of nihilism, is just a tad disturbing. The second flaw is that the structure of the film is such that it's a bit too jumbled in the telling. For example by the time that Bunny tells us about her life with polio victim, as a foster child and rape victim the movie is almost over. There is a great deal of repetition and you could probably trim this down by 35 or 40 minutes and a get a great one hour documentary out of it. As it stands now its not a bad film its just one that gives us too much to take in.
Worth a look for those who want to see an interesting look at a someone beyond the fringes of normal society. All others are advised to proceed with caution.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like the many others who stumbled up Goddess Bunny's tap dance-arama, I
was taken back. Even Bunny must realize it's a bizarre sight. Unlike
most, probably, I wanted to know more about Bunny and see what else I
could find of hers. Well, low and behold, I found out she has a
documentary called, The Goddess Bunny. And as luck has it, I stumbled
upon the movie.
The Goddess Bunny documents Bunny's life from her move from Riverside back to Hollywood. It's an inevitable move due to Hollywood being the perfect place (besides Las Vegas probably) for her to be, and Riverside being a place where she's almost unable to showcase her talents. You get to meet close friends of hers, ex-roommates, directors she's worked with, and even enemies. Enemies, you believe that? There's this mental case, I think named Danielle that actually tries to compete with her. What a lost cause that is. Anyways, besides meeting Bunny's acquaintances, you're given a glimpse into her past. She speaks of her experience of being raped, with being molested and abused as a child. She even speaks of the worst sex and best sex she's had. And don't think you're only seeing Bunny in her gowns and tutu's, you also see her as Johnnie Baima, the name she/he was born with. They don't say what name she goes by most often, either Goddess Bunny (nickname), Sandie (stage name) or Johnnie (real name). It's a pretty in-depth and fascinating look into one of America's most bizarre, underrated, and unknown stars out there.
But at the same time, not all is covered concerning Bunny. There are many, many questions that could be asked. There can be loads of sex-related questions, especially if she's the "catcher". With such a frail body, the "pitcher" must be somewhat careful. They don't speak much of her influence in Hollywood, if she has any. Yet, she speaks as if she deserves a star on the walk of fame. Well, first you gotta know some celebrities. I'm sure some homosexual celebrities are fond of her or at least have met her. And only at the end of the film do you get answers about her state, and that she's a victim of polio. I'm sure she has many more stories she could have told, but instead we got a way, way too long video of the tap-dancing and some acting gigs. Also there was a little too much focus on her friends and acquaintances. Not saying they weren't characters themselves. But I feel some more stories about Bunny or young Johnnie would have greatly improved the documentary. And more interviews while Bunny was looking like Johnnie, because for some reason I felt that whenever he/she was speaking without being all dolled up, you would get the real Goddess Bunny, the real Johnnie Baima.
I read the other comments here and there's one where he says the movie has two faults. I can agree with one, but the other concerning that the material was a little too disturbing.....are you serious? What on Earth were you expecting? She's a transsexual, polio stricken, homosexual who is a celebrity in the transsexual/gay underground scene. And truthfully, I didn't even find the material disturbing. Like what Bunny said, most transexuals have many issues they have to deal with, and obviously the biggest issues are sex-related issues. It blows my mind if any viewer is shocked by what you see or hear. "I just took a dump on the floor, and then prayed to Satan while listening to Elton John." That sentence right there is more disturbing than anything you witness or hear in this documentary.
Overall, The Goddess Bunny was a really interesting and entertaining 90 minutes. I had no clue what type of person she was. I came to find out that Bunny/Sandie/Johnnie is a very intelligent, charismatic, funny, unique and brave individual. The documentary sheds a lot of light on a lot of issues, but unfortunately it doesn't get too deep. But overall, if you're in the dark about Bunny and want to learn more about this one of a kind person, The Goddess Bunny is definitely must see viewing.
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