Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Top 10 Scary Rabbits

Okay, I planned to do a Top Ten a few weeks back themed around Easter, namely a list somehow based around bunnies. You know...those cuddly little creatures that young children love so much. But, due to some busy schedules I never got around to it and now I feel like I've missed out on what could have been a decent Top Ten. Yet, when I think about it a simple chart on the best bunny rabbits isn't quite bizarre enough for this site really...

Aah, well better late than never I say, and by allowing such a list to re-emerge during my horror season means that I get to be a little more left field on the subject by combining the fluffy with the frightening by bringing you the top scariest rabbits in movies. Not so cute and loveable now eh!?

The criteria: Some simple benchmarks this time around: these conies have to be nasty, violent, "hare"raising or, at the very least, just proper shit scary! And, if the entire picture isn't based around the mini beasts, there must be a scene based around a rabbit that gives enough of a terrifying fright. No adorable, ground thumping deer befrienders, or hyperactive, babe-bagging movie stars allowed here. More rabid than rabbit. More shock than buck. More foe than doe. Dare you venture down the rabbit hole?

WARNING! Mild spoilers and freaky bunnies await!

10. Harvey (1950)

James Stewart has starred in roles of the mental unchecked before, but there something incredibly creepy about a grown man with an imaginary friend. Not meant as a horror (and doesn't play like one either) Harvey isn't just invisible but in fact a cony derived from Celtic folklore known as a "pooka" (a shape shifter). And that painting always freaked me out as a kid...unnerving!

9. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog in Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)

Already perturbed by the Enchanter known as...Tim, King Arthur and his bumbling knights from Camelot have a fresh challenge. Arrogantly seeing passed their new companion's warnings of the guardian of Caerbannog ("He'll do you!") they take the fluffy hopper head on, only to befall to a slaughter at his nasty, big, pointy teeth.

8. The boiled bunny in Fatal Attraction (1987)

Not only does this famous scene in Adrian Lyne's chilling thriller hold one of the biggest shock pet deaths in cinematic history, but the slowly paced reveal of the Gallagher family's locally sourced casserole has coined a modern phrase used for every psycho ex-partner we've ever had...watch out for that one, she's a "Bunny Boiler"!

7. Night Of The Lepus (1972)

Actual rabid rabbits! And giant ones at that! These corny conies are the menacing stars of this comical gore-fest that shouldn't really be funny but is. However, there's no disputing the grimness of the close up shots of our killer bunnies; they slaver and drool blood from their flesh soaked mouths following their bouts of bloodshed. Freaky!

6. Hat Trick in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

The third segment in this four-part portmanteau of the famous TV show highlights the unknown of magic through the powers of a young boy. Uncle Walt is urged to do his trick of pulling the rabbit out of the top hat for some guest unwilling to witness it. We see why, when Walt pulls out this ghastly, murderous looking bunny.

5. "Rabbits" in Inland Empire (2006)

David Lynch's dissection of an actress as she ventures in understanding her role at the deepest level has polarised audiences. One scene that clearly disturbs is with the inclusion of these creepy rabbits, taken from the director's Internet shorts of the same name. Slow, eerie, bizarre...totally Lynchian!

4. General Woundwort from Watership Down (1978)

This picture has generated nightmares in hundreds of children over the years, and with the film being predominantly populated by rabbits there's many to choose from. Yet, none are as chilling as this huge, facially decrepit head of an opposing warren. Who'd have thought that such a cute looking creature could be so putrid and ugly, ruling his warren with  dictator-like savagery.

3. Giant rabbit in Akira (1988)

The king of anime enters my lists again. Our psychokinetic threesome of test subjects terrorise Tetsuo with creating cute miniatures of a teddy bear, car and out rabbit, only to then re-emerge a few seconds later as giant equivalents to smother and attack our troubled hero. And that freaky music doesn't help!  

2. Monster bunny guy in Sexy Beast (2000)

If you thought Tetsuo's nightmare scene was bad, then this one will terrify you. Ray Winstone's Gal is fretting in anticipation of Kingsley's Don Logan, and is plagued by a disturbing vision while sleeping of a humanoid creature resembling a rabbit presenting him  with an Uzi.

And the winner is...

1. Frank from Donnie Darko (2001)

Was it that obvious? Is there any freakier rabbit in movie history than the portentous, fuzzy-costumed, echo-voiced antagonist of Richard Kelly's phenomenal debut? Then who else was I going to pick?!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mW_6SW1Ga-s/T6GAZ6218JI/AAAAAAAAAUc/2t2tyPdtTvk/s1600/DonnieDarko2.jpgThe first moment you hear Frank's opening salvo, "Wake Up", your ears prick up faster than Bugs Bunny to the sound of Elma Fudd's footsteps. Donnie's sleepwalk to the centre of the golf course to meet his new time-travelling friend commences the warning and countdown to the end of his world, while he pieces together the science & fantasy in order to comprehend the potential... or the inevitable.

Amongst a film already laced with dark imagery, hallucinatory moments and crazy portal wizardry, Frank still stands out as the icon, the brain-stained image that you recall every time you utter the film's title. There's no denying the greatness of his reveal after the mystery of such an elusive character (look out for the references to that eye!), but his cult status in cinema comes down to his voice, his weirdly slow movement and, probably, still the coolest Halloween mask you can get.

In years to come, people will look back at the movies that defined the 00's and the the pictures that artistically represented the decade - and right up there you can guarantee you'll see Frank's frightening grin and crooked ears glaring back at you...


"Wake Up!"

Just Missed Out: Kottentail, Wallace & Gromit in Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, 
Easter Bunny from Hell (Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey),
Cabin Fever  (hospital scene), Easter Bunny Kill Kill.

If you disagree, and have other suggestions, please post comments at the bottom of the post. Or, email me directly on topten@filmbore.co.uk.

And don't forget, you can tweet me @filmbore or post on my Facebook page here.

1 comment:

  1. Donine Darko is probably my all-time favourite film! Excellent choice. The music that goes with those "Frank" scenes is very creepy too. Ah, just reading this makes me want to watch it again. Very "80s" vibe with nods to ET, Back to the Future etc.