11/6/08

Turkey Thursday: The Nasty Rabbit (1964)



In the month of November we turn toward the downward spiral of the holiday season, and more specifically, to the first of major holidays with Thanksgiving. Even here on the Moon we celebrate the season, but our celebration is not about pilgrims, and cornucopias, and togetherness. Here it is about giving thanks for all the good movies in the world by forcing ourselves to watch four weeks of cinematic atrocities. Also we still wear hats with buckles on them. What can i say, they're snappy. So to kick off my month I'm going to kick back on the couch, put on my protective goggles so I don't stab out my eyes, and push play. There I will suffer as Arch Hall Jr. rocks, caricatures fall from trees, and I'm begging on my knees for the end of...

The Nasty Rabbit (1964) starring Arch Hall Jr., Michael Terr, Hal Bokar, and Sharon Ryker. Directed by James Landis.


The Russians are coming, and they're bringing a rabbit with them. A deadly rabbit. A rabbit with a necklace full of deadly bacteria around it's neck. The plan is simple, expose the rabbit with the bacteria to some kind of naturally magnetic place and kill all of America. Should be
a cinch right? Well, perhaps if the mission wasn't in the hands of Mischa (Terr) the Soviet "super spy". Mischa bumbles around until he winds up at a dude ranch which is oddly enough run by Gavin (Bokar) a.k.a. Special Agent Y for the good old U.S. of A. He calls in to headquarters to request backup and is told that Special Agent X is already en route. Meanwhile the ranch begins to fill up with all sorts of other spies. A Hogan's Hero's type German, a British femme fatale, a Mexican bandito, a Japanese General, and a Mossad Midget all crowd into Gavin's dude ranch to try and get at the deadly bunny. Soon Special Agent X shows up in the form of Britt Hunter (Hall, Jr.), a rock and roller with a cool blonde pompadour and eyes for Gavin's daughter Jackie (Ryker). Soon a free for all for the rabbit has everyone pulling out hair in this "madcap" romp.

Film Facts
--The combination of Arch Hall, Sr. (writer) Arch Hall, Jr. (actor) and James Landis would be repeated in Deadwood '76 (1965).

--Arch Hall Jr. perhaps best known for his movie Eegah (1962) which was featured on MST3K also had a recording career with his band Arch and the Archers.

--Pat and Lolly Vegas appear as Arch Hall's band in this film. They had also been the house band on the Shindig television program. Check out more about them and hear the song Robot Walk from the film click here,

The Bug Speaks
Oh how thankful I am today that I don't have to watch another film like this tomorrow. Sure I picked this movie thinking that it was going to be bad, but I had no idea. Let's start with the fact that it looked and often felt like it was made by the same folks who used to make those
great school filmstrips. Then move right on to the incredible lack of direction. That's really all I have to say about it because to expand on the subject would be to give it credence at all. Arch Hall, Jr. was quite enjoyable to see, but the cast of characters that surrounded him were terrible. The foreign spies were played for stereotypical comic effect which would be fine and a time honored comic tradition, but they seemed like they had stepped out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 1940's. Speaking of comic effect. Basically every character was given one or two gags to repeat over and over as nauseam. Each time you think they might fool you and do something funny, nope, just the same tired joke you've already heard ten or twelve times in the last thirty minutes. I really don't have that much more to say about the film, but I will end with this thought. The rabbit talked and not to the characters, but right out at the audience. This was a "madcap" comedy that went all wrong. I really can't see who this would appeal to. Perhaps because of it's cartoonish nature it might appeal to a five to ten year old in 1964. Nowadays a kid would just kick you in the nuts and turn on Power Rangers rather than watch this drivel. My friends, I wanted to do that myself.

So thanks, and only 3 more weeks of this to go. Maybe next week I won't want to drown myself in a gravy bowl, but I wouldn't count on it. Ahh well, I'll feel better tomorrow when I return with our Feature Presentation for this month Mario Bava.
Bug Rating

2 comments:

  1. Wow. This sounds just like heaven. Sounds like a worthy addition for my WTF? Vault. You're a brave one, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha. It is being played on PBS out of Syracuse. It is more horrifying than you say. Although its always a pleasure to see Richard Kiel.

    ReplyDelete

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