RABBITS are supposed to be lovable cuddly little critters like the ones in that appeared in Alice in Wonderland, Bambi … and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
But, no, not these below. These are some of foulest, most frightening furry foes that have appeared in film.
The list is not confined to ‘real’ rabbits, but, still, doesn’t include the likes of Bridget Jones, who though creepy in her risque bunny costume in Bridget Jones’ Diary, doesn’t quite meet the criteria. A guy who dons a bunny mask and kills people with a big drill does.
Enjoy – or not …
9 WALLACE & GROMIT AND THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (2005)
the FILM After becoming famous on British TV, claymation stop-motion animation creation Wallace and Gromit get their first full-length film, and features the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.
the PLOT Wallace and his loyal – and smarter - dog Gromit try to hunt down the beast that is terrorizing a village and eating all of the residents’ vegies – right before a big vegetable-growing competition. The beast in question turns out to be a massive mutated Were-Rabbit … which (spoiler!) turns out to be Wallace himself.
bit of TRIVIA The Were-Rabbit had an internal mechanism that allowed the animators to move the model with minimal touching of the fur covering, thus avoiding the tell-tale impressions left by their fingers.
the REACTION Won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2006 to go with the almost $200-million it made at the US box-office alone. Doesn’t get much better.
end QUOTE “And for our sins, a hideous creature has been sent to punish us all! Repent! Repent! Lest you, too, taste the wrath of… the Were-Rabbit! – Rev. Hedges.
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8 KOTTENTAIL (2004)
the FILM There mightn’t be any mice involved here – just a stuffed rabbit on a string and a guy in a ridiculous costume – but this film is dealing with a hell of a lot of cheese. An ultra-low-budget horror-comedy from less than credible writer-director Tony Urban (Poor White Trash).
the PLOT Trouble arises when two animal liberators go meddling in the genetic goings-on at The Overlook Animal Research Laboratory. They let out a vicious varment that goes and attacks a local farmer, Hans Kottentail (Nathan Faudree). From there the victim becomes the aggressor as he transforms into an outlandish homicidal man-rabbit hybrid beast – with a really bad make-up job.
bit of TRIVIA Made like a crappy soft-porn flick, it actually features a real ‘bunny’, in the form of Playboy bunny Bridget Marquardt as Dr Scarlet Salenger, one of the many young women who must try to put an end to Kottentail’s rampage.
the REACTION As stated, made like a crappy soft-porn flick, featuring plenty of skin as well as fur, it has found a small, enthusiastic group of fans. After all, as the film’s tag says, everyone needs a little tail.
end QUOTE “Find that damn bunny! … You’re a scientist. Use deductive reasoning. If you were a rabbit, where would you be?” – Dr Pez
to the VIDEO WARNING! VIDEO MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILD NUDITY
7 EASTER BUNNY KILL KILL (2006)
the FILM Another unabashed low-budget B-grade offering from writer-director Chad Ferrin, who specialises in the disturbing. Ferrin was production assistant on Halloween 6 (1995) and Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) before making his own horror movies Unspeakable (2000) and The Ghouls (2003).
the PLOT After a violent criminal named Remington (Timothy Muskatell) fools a mother into trusting him, she leaves him alone with her young mentally-challenged son, Nicholas (Ricardo Gray), only for rgw creep and his perverted friends to take sick pleasure in abusing the boy. While Nicholas takes comfort in his pet rabbit, his ‘guardian bunny’ takes bloody revenge on his tormentors.
bit of TRIVIA Only got a limited release. In fact, up until recently (just last week, to be precise), was only available through an internet download. Check out the really cool movie poster in our ‘Posters’ section above.
the REACTION The movie has a bit of a cult following though, and through it, has scored a nice little 7.9 rating at IMDb (from 54 votes … better than none).
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6 NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (1972)
the FILM It was to be called simply ‘Rabbits’ before studio MGM stepped in and had it changed to something more sinister. It was supposed to be a horror movie after all. But what it should’ve done was altered the entire script.
the PLOT The story centres around an Arizona ranch owner, Cole Hillman (Rory Calhoun) and his bid to stop a rabbit plague on his property. A zoologist, Roy Bennett (Stuart Whitman), is assigned the task, and attempts to use a hormone injected into the furry little critters to disrupt their reproducing. Of course things don’t quite turn out the way they expect, with a test subject (a rabbit guinea pig you could say) escaping, resulting in the creation of a race giant mutated bunnies that feed on horses, cows – and humans.
bit of TRIVIA The killer rabbit effects were created mostly by normal-sized rabbits running around on miniature sets, though for some attack scenes a guy in a rabbit suit was used.
the REACTION Psycho star Janet Leigh, who plays the zoologist’s wife, was once quoted as saying about the movie, “I’ve forgotten as much as I could about that picture”.
end QUOTE “Attention! Attention! Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!” – Officer Lopez.
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5 TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1984)
the FILM A movie-sized remake of the old TV series of the ’60s, with Joe Dante (Gremlins, Inner-Space), John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Coming to America), George Miller (Babe, Mad Max) and Steven Spielberg (you know what’s done) directing each of the four fantasy/horror segments.
the PLOT While the movie is best remembered for John Lithgow’s terrorized airplane passenger in the final act, the third, titled ‘It’s a Good Life’ has its share of creepy moments. It’s about a disturbed young boy named Anthony (Jeremy Licht) who, possessing special powers, has his ‘family’ constantly shitting themselves, fearing they will upset the kid and be punished, probably in a Looney Tunes kinda way. ‘Uncle’ Walt (Kevin McCarthy) is forced to do a magic trick for the boy’s amusement and pulls a rabbit out of his top hat – a massive, ferocious, grotesque rabbit.
bit of TRIVIA The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror II spoofs the original 1961 TV Twilight Zone episode of It’s A Good Life with Bart (voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright, who appeared in the movie segment as ‘sister’ Ethel) taking the role of Anthony.
the REACTION The movie’s reception was hurt badly by an accident during filming involving an out-of-control helicopter and the decapitation of actor Vic Morrow, the star of the first segment about a racist sent back in time. Nothing to do with the rabbit, but still very interesting.
end QUOTE “Do it Uncle Walt!” – Anthony.
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4 NECO Z ALENKY (1987)
the FILM A bizarre retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from the Czech Republic, with the use of stop motion animation for much of the film giving it a real eerie feel.
the PLOT This version of ‘Alice’, directed by Jan Svankmajer, differs greatly from any others – like one big ‘trip’, it’s probably not suited for kids. The ‘white rabbit’, remains prominent, but typifies the whole tad disturbing nature of the picture. It’s actually a stuffed white rabbit that has come to life, but with a constantly leaking chest has to keep filling up on sawdust – out of a bowl with a spoon.
bit of TRIVIA The creepiness doesn’t end there, with the Caterpillar in the story consists of a sock, a couple of glass eyes and a pair of false teeth.
the REACTION Likened to something from David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mullholland Drive), it obviously got a mixed reception, but was nominated for Best Film at the 1989 International Fantasy Film Awards – alongside such ‘classics’ as Superman IV, Critters 2 and House 2. Hmmmm, a year of quality there.
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3 WATERSHIP DOWN (1978)
the FILM A classic animated picture – that wasn’t from Disney – adapted from the 1972 best-selling novel from Richard Adams. It’s probably best known for featuring the song Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel, which was a UK No.1 hit.
the PLOT Centres around a group of rabbits who must find a new home after the destruction of their warren. Along the way they confront General Woundwort, the massive and massively ugly, vicious, psychotic, tyranical chief of the Efrafa warren, who likes to throw his sizable weight around, whether it be towards his fellow – smaller – rabbits or even dogs. Runs off with his tail between his legs though after a brutal battle with Bigwig.
the REACTION Like the book, the film is much-loved, and was nominated for Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1979.
bit of TRIVIA John Hurt and Richard Briers, who played Hazel and Fiver, respectively, in the film, would later return to voice General Woundwort and the new character, Captain Broom, respectively in Watership Down (1999), the TV series.
end QUOTE“Come back! Come back and fight! Dogs aren’t dangerous!” – General Woundwort.
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2 DONNIE DARKO (2001)
the FILM The movie that continues to grow as a cult favorite is probably remembered more for the creepy rabbit suit ‘Frank’ dons than anything else. Creating an at times confusing web of intrigue, it deals with time travel, tangent universes and ridiculous self-help videos (courtesy of Patrick Swayze’s Jim Cunningham).
the PLOT Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the title character, a mixed up kid who cheats death – by a jet engine falling through his roof and landing on his bed – because he’s out chasing a giant demonic-looking bunny going by the name of Frank (James Duvall) who claims the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 6 seconds. Both characters are actually being manipulated by beings from the future for reasons far too complicated for me to go into here.
bit of TRIVIA One of the deleted scenes involves Donnie’s English class discussing Richard Adams‘s novel Watership Down (1978), the plot of which involves a rabbit who prophesies the impending destruction of the rabbit warren (see above). This scene was later included in the actual feature when the director’s cut of the movie was released on DVD.
the REACTION Has there been a bigger cult hit in the last 10-years. Probably not. And a lot has to do with that creepiest of rabbit suits. Never set the world on fire at the box office – in fact barely made a $1million – but won a host of film festival awards and has gone gangbusters on DVD. Shame writer-director Richard Kelly has struggled since. A sequel, S Darko, with no involvement from Kelly, is on its way – straight-to-DVD.
end QUOTE “I can do anything I want. And so can you” – Frank the rabbit.
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1 MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL (1974)
the FILM The funniest movie ever made, featuring the nastiest, most bloodthirsty little bunny of all-time. Forget chewing grass, this critter prefers human flesh, and it’s got the bare bones to prove it.
the PLOT On a blessed quest to recover the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are led to the Cave of Caerbannog, which is said to be guarded by a beast with a “vicious streak a mile wide” – and just happens to look like a seemingly innocent, cute and cuddly white rabbit. This creature though has the ability to decapitate a man with just a single bite. After Arthur and his knights cowardly ‘run away!’, they return armed with the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
bit of TRIVIA The woman who owned the real rabbit was apparently unhappy with the amount of Kensington Gore (stage blood) in which it had been doused by the Python crew. The idea for the rabbit in the movie was taken from the facade of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. This illustrates the weakness of cowardice by showing a knight fleeing from a rabbit
the REACTION The rabbit has become so popular over the years, it has been reproduced in various forms of merchandise, including plush toys, slippers and even staplers.
end QUOTE “Follow. But. Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.” – Tim the enchanter.
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And worth a mention …
FATAL ATTRACTION (1987)
Two words - bunny boiler.