Predictability sucks. Every week I go through the same routine: watch Netflix discs; send back Netflix discs; rearrange Netflix queue; wait for new discs. When I started using Netflix oh so many years ago, I was beyond excited by the plethora of possibilities. So many movies at my fingertips, so many movies I could watch with a click of a button…after waiting for them to get mailed to me. And so many of my list movies were available here. I was gonna charge right through these. But then an unfortunate thing happened—I became addicted to rearranging my list.
OK, Human Condition trilogy, I know I promised to watch you a few years ago—hell, you were one of the first things I put on my queue—but I just gotta watch Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake this week. I swear I’ll get around to you next week, I just gotta knock this one out...and then Rappin’...and then Dollman...and then, who am I kidding, Human Condition trilogy, I’ll never watch you. I’m the deadbeat dad you never had.
What began as a quest to plug my movie holes, quickly became a game of delay. Many of the movies I intended to get under my belt would soon lay dormant in the nether regions of my queue, never to be seen. But I’ve finally realized that I need to put an end to this. There must have been a reason I put each of these movies on my queue; I would assume I wanted to watch these at one point. So why not make it now. Yes, no more of my fussy queue finagling. From now on, I will no longer check my queue. I will simply accept the movies as they come. Let come what may.
(Note: Yes, I’ve still got seven more Blind Spot movies to get in before the end of the year, but I can add these without checking my queue. I'll just click 'move to #1 position' when adding one to my queue each month. We’ll see how well this works.)
I guess it’s kind of a shame that the first movie I received as part of this experiment is one I would have likely nudged to the top of my queue anyway. It is, in fact, a movie I had already seen—Night of the Lepus. But seeing as it’s been years since I’ve seen this movie—and then only on daytime cable showings—I might as well be watching it for the first time.
The Plot: killer rabbits kill.
Yes, this animal:
Really. That animal does this:
Well, OK, the animals do get embiggened before they go on a kill crazy rampage, but still, these are the animals we're talking about:
And when the giant rabbits kill people, the human viscera drenching their rabbit mouths, this is the aftermath:
The problem with this movie should be glaringly obvious: rabbits, no matter the size or carnage they cause, are not remotely scary. Eerie music, slow-motion, low-angle shots, and dubbed roaring noises do not terrifying rabbits make. The only thing less scary would be a group of puppies that snuggled their victims to death.
As unintentional comedy, however, this movie is cinematic gold. For instance, where outside of a Jack Webb-produced drug scare movie will you hear this line, “Calm down. He’s gone; the rabbit’s gone”?
The thing is, Night of the Lepus uses as a springboard a genuinely terrifying real life scenario: the effect that a foreign species has on a theretofore stable ecosystem. Opening with newsreel footage of Australia, Night of the Lepus reminds us that the overpopulation of rabbits in this country caused untold devastation: crops and most plant life got wiped the fuck out. Again, a very terrifying scenario, and one that continues to this day in various regions.
But Night of the Lepus took this actual problem and made it cuddly—took the scare out of it. Giant rabbits aren't scary, just cuddly. Enormously cuddly. The further from reality you move, the less scary. For this to work as a horror movie, it would have to be a real-life depiction of a region coming to grips with an eco-system-destroying foreign rabbit population. And the rabbits could never be shown.
But again, it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining as this movie.
[Instead of posting the trailer, I'll just link to my previous write-up of it.]