Good news everybody! Easter is here again! That’s right, it’s time to celebrate the death of Jesus by gobbling up chocolate eggs pooped out by an imaginary giant rabbit. No, I’m not sure what the connection is between those two things. Nobody does. But that’s Easter for ya. A 96 hour religious holiday turned into an opportunity to gorge on novelty chocolate. I’m not complaining. I’m just deeply confused.
However with it being Easter, the concept of a magic rabbit breaking into people’s houses is in the air and it’s time that we all acknowledge the creepiness of it. How does that damn bunny benefit from the arrangement anyhow? Surely the bunny is evil. There must be some sort of nefarious angle to the Easter Bunny. It only makes sense. So, to celebrate the only holiday surrounding a magically evil rabbit, we here at CGM decided to provide you all with a list of the top ten most frightening bunnies in film history. This is officially the most important and meaningful article in the history of the Internet—you’re so lucky to have clicked.
To be clear, this 2006 bargain-basement wannabe grindhouse movie isn’t particularly good. However, this list needed to reach ten entries somehow and it is one of the
This absolutely brilliant 2000 crime movie with Ben Kingsley and Ray Winstone needs to be seen by everyone for a variety of reasons. It’s bleakly funny, stylishly shot, cleverly written, extraordinarily acted, and features some of the finest swearing ever committed to film. Sexy Beast is a great flick. However, for the purposes of this list let’s focus on the evil rabbit. It first appears in a dream taunting our hero and later seems to be a demon of sorts in a deliciously twisted ending. The ratty costume design and evocatively creepy way director Jonathan Glazer shoots this freaky big-ears is absolutely chilling. Sure, the bunny isn’t the major selling point in Sexy Beast, but it sure is a welcome addition to the party.
This evil rabbit makes only the briefest of appearances in the troubled n’ underrated 80s cinematic adaptation of The Twilight Zone, but boy-oh-boy does it ever make an impact. It appears in Joe Dante’s wonderful short about a young boy who can twist reality with his mind. In Dante’s vision, that leads to a hellish house designed to look like a demonic episode of Looney Tunes. At one point when the boy decides to show off his creepy creation powers, he makes legendary character actor Kevin McCarthy perform a magic trick that involves a giant demonic bunny popping out of a hat. Designed by genius make up artist Rob Bottin (The Thing), this bunny is a big rubber nightmare that looks like a cartoon brought to life by Satan. If that’s what the Easter Bunny looked like, houses would be bolted shut every Easter to ensure the thing didn’t get anywhere near the children no matter how many delicious chocolate eggs were involved.
Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer is one of the greatest stop motion animation artists of his or any era. The surrealist animator specialized in creating shorts and features involving found objects transformed into stop motion puppets that were always creepy as hell—whether intended or not. After years of effort, Svankmajer made his dream project: a stop motion adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. If you’ve never seen Alice, then you’ve never seen the most nightmarish rendition of the popular tale in film history. In particular, Svankmajer’s white rabbit was a crudely stuffed taxidermy bunny that springs to life and pulls Alice down into Wonderland with less than cheery intent. Anyone who stumbled on this flick by accident as a child (like myself) will never forget that horrifying moment. I’d imagine even plenty of folks who found the film as adults feel the same way.
From horrifying stop motion to adorable claymation. The decidedly British geniuses over at Aardman have been delivering some of the finest handmade animation for decades now, with few projects more charming than their flagship Wallace & Gromit series. It started with award-winning short films that featured a cheese-loving idiot and his silent dog embarking a series of gentle parody genre movie adventures. When the feature film rolled around, the Aardman folks went full Hammer Horror homage to deliver a monster movie about a giant Were-Rabbit eating up all the vegetables in a small town at night. It’s cute and comedic, but also features a giant monster bunny at the centre that is one of the finest in film history. There are reasons why this might be considered a controversial entry on the list, but that’s spoiler territory so we won’t engage in that debate. Just trust us, it counts.
Bill & Ted is one of the most underrated comedy film series of all time. At once incredibly stupid and surprisingly literate, Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan serve up dumb laughs for smart people in a way that’s hard not to love. In the second chapter of this franchise, lovable dumbbells Bill & Ted are sent to Hell where they must face their deepest fears. For Ted (Keanu “Whoa” Reeves), that means confronting his irrational childhood fear of the Easter Bunny. For audiences that means staring into the darkness and dealing with a cutie pie pink rabbit that actually works for Satan. I knew the Easter Bunny was evil. If only the world would listen to Bill and Ted; others might realize it too!
Richard Kelly’s deeply bizarre directorial debut is filled with WTF moments and twisted images that have been overanalyzed by stoned college students for fifteen years now. However, if there’s a single iconic image to be pulled from Donnie Darko then it is definitely Frank. An unsettling skull faced bunny that predicts the end of the world, Frank is symbolic of everything or nothing depending on your opinion of the film. Yet, there’s no denying the creepy power of Frank’s image that Kelly plastered on the poster and has been a lazy Halloween costume staple ever since for teenagers who feel so much more deeply than you.
This 70s allegory for fascism has terrified several generations of children whose parents assumed that Watership Down was appropriate bedtime viewing purely because it’s a cartoon. Big mistake moms and dads. This Nazi parable is one big collection of twisted images that will make kids terrified of rabbits for the rest of their lives. Given his mashed appearance covered in wounds from various past battles as well as the fact that he’s a symbol for Hitler, it’s safe to say that General Woundwort has appeared in more children’s nightmares than any rabbit in movie history. It might not be particularly frightening for anyone to watch as an adult, but given the generations scarred by a too-young viewing of Watership Down, it has to feature prominently on this list.
Finally, there’s only one rabbit that could possibly top this list. An absolutely nasty beast with big pointy teeth that completely ravaged King Arthur’s men in their quest for the Holy Grail. One of the most horrifying legends in English history vividly brought to life in this 70s masterpiece that is beloved by history buffs worldwide. Only watch the movie if you’ve got a strong stomach though, the filmmakers spared none of the gruesome details that have horrified Brits for centuries.