Friday, April 06, 2007

Exit, pursued by a bunny

We celebrated Easter Week by watching "Night of the Lepus" recently. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Just a few reasons:

1. The cast. DeForest Kelley in a dashing mustache, Janet Leigh in what appears to be a fright wig, and Rory Calhoun - Mr. Burns' favorite actor. ("Look at him standing on his hind legs, like Rory Calhoun!")

2. The bunnies. They are utterly adorable. What happens in this movie is that Janet Leigh and her husband do some experiments on bunnies to try and interrupt their breeding cycle, as they are taking over Rory Calhoun's ranch and getting on his nerves. Unfortunately, the experiments go awry and result in what are intended to be giant, carnivorous rabbits. It is hard to tell how giant they are because the monsters are just regular bunnies filmed in close-up without any context. Finally, a character describes them as "the size of wolves." Whatever their size, they're awfully cute with their twinkling noses! Especially the darling black-and-white ones!

3. The horror effects. The carnivorous bunnies attack anything that moves, including an unlucky cabbage-truck driver (this is referenced in "Curse of the Were-Rabbit," we're pretty sure), a family having a picnic, and a herd of horses. Yes, horses. It's just like "The Ring"! We see the horses freaking out and running, being pursued by close-ups of bunnies running in slow motion. Finally, a man in a bunny suit jumps on one. Close-up of bloody rabbit teeth! It is awesome. The bunnies also terrorize communities by running in slow motion through specially built dioramas. Picturing the scene on set just makes you want to die of the cuteness. The whole movie is much like the scene with Kim Jong-Il's panthers in "Team America: World Police."

4. The storyline. I liked that this movie skips the "horrifying realization" scene - my God, these attacks can only have been a giant rabbit! - and goes straight on to have the characters calmly discuss what to do about their new giant-rabbit problem. Apparently they just figure it out offscreen. I also really liked that the climax allows a drive-in movie audience to "participate" in the action and help defeat the killer rabbits. This movie is warm and fuzzy on so many levels.

Final Girl has a spiffy review here.

Next: Watership Down!

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