Bunnies Gone Bad: A Visual History of Rogue Rabbits in Hollywood

Originally published on Yahoo Movies. Click here to view.

Actual bunnies are cute, furry animals that hop around and frequently copulate. Leave it to Hollywood to take these adorable mammals and twist them into nightmarish creatures, fond of bloodlust and mayhem, for entertainment purposes. Over the weekend, the box-office smash The Secret Life of Pets added a new rampaging rabbit to the pantheon of varmints — Kevin Hart’s tough bunny Snowball. With that in mind, we present an overview of Hollywood’s baddest bunnies.

Harvey, ‘Harvey’ (1950)
Although the imaginary Harvey may be Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart)’s best friend, the rabbit causes plenty of grief for Dowd in the 1950 adaption of the play. At 6 feet, 3 ½ inches, Harvey set the standard for towering bunnies in the movies. (Photo: Everett)

Giant Mutant Rabbits, ‘Night of the Lepus’ (1972)
A small town in Arizona must come together to fight outlaws, just like in a classic Western; but this time the villains are giant, mutated rabbits that eat people, including the always unfortunate Janet Leigh. (Photo: MGM)

The Rabbit of Caerbannog, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975)
Perhaps the most iconic film rabbit of all time, or “the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on.” Created by the Monty Python troupe, the tiny, white bunny is one of the most terrifying — and hilarious — villains in cinema. (Photo: Everett)

Every Rabbit, ‘Watership Down’ (1978)
Based on the classic novel, Watership Down carried a warning for children due to its dark content, which included its anthropomorphic rabbit characters engaging in bloody carnage. Kids, beware: there a CGI remakecoming. (Photo: Everett)

Hat Rabbit, ‘The Twilight Zone: The Movie’ (1983)
In a magic show gone wrong, the rabbit from the classic hat trick transforms into a monstrous, mutated animal thanks to director Joe Dante. (Photo: Everett)

The White Rabbit, ‘Alice’ (1988)
A very different White Rabbit appears in the Czech film Alice, a dark reimagining of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale. A macabre and vicious creature, the White Rabbit now carries out executions with a pair of scissors. (Photo: First Run Features)

The Easter Bunny, ‘Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’ (1991)
The second film in the Bill & Ted franchise sees Ted (Keanu Reeves) finally facing his worst fear — the Easter Bunny. Once cast into Hell by Death (yes, this is the actually plot), the Easter Bunny materializes to taunt and threaten Ted. (Photo: Orion)

Dream Rabbit, ‘Sexy Beast’ (2000)
A short dream sequence turns into a horrifying nightmare as a gigantic demon bunny stalks the main character with a machine gun — no doubt a dream  scenario for all rabbits targeted by hunters. (Photo: Twentieth Century Fox)

Frank, ‘Donnie Darko’ (2001)
The image of a distorted bunny costume is now synonymous with Donnie Darko. Much like the movie itself, Frank’s morality is up for debate, despite his demented appearance. (Photo: Twentieth Century Fox)

Humanoid Rabbits, ‘Rabbits’ (2002)
David Lynch applies his trademark style to ’50s American domesticity — with rabbits. The humanoid rabbits stand upright and sport clothing, which makes for a thoroughly creepy and off-putting experience. But then again, what are Lynch’s movies for? (Photo: Davidlynch.com)

Hospital Bunny, ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002)
Horror auteur Eli Roth gave a nod to The Shining by including an evil Bunny Man into a hallucination. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene features a strange rabbit-man holding a plate of pancakes over a sedated hospital patient. (Photo: Lionsgate)

Were-Rabbit, ‘Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ (2005)
The Academy Award-winning animated feature is a mystery caper that will leave viewers wondering who is the real monstrous Were-Rabbit that keeps eating the vegetables at night. (Photo: DreamWorks)

Bunny Mask, ‘Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!’ (2006)
A man in a bunny mask is the creepy villain in this direct-to-video Easter-themed slasher film. Who needs dye when you can use blood to stain your eggs? (Photo: Gravitas Ventures)

Hans Kottentail, ‘Kottentail’ (2007)
A Japanese comedy-horror film, Kottentailfeatures a luckless farmer who begins to mutate after being bitten by an experimental bunny. Unfortunately, the farmer has a taste for human flesh, so he begins to hop around and kill all the villagers. (Photo: Brain Damage Films)

Bunnyman, ‘Bunnyman’ (2011)
Another direct-to-video slasher flick, the titular serial killer stalks the woods accessorized with a chainsaw and a horrifying (if not ironic) pink costume.(Photo: Osiris Entertainment)

Snowball, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ (2016)
Meet the latest addition to the mad-rabbit trope. “Snowball” is a misnomer for this fluffy rabbit, who leads an anti-domestication gang and has no interest in being a cute ‘n’ cuddly pet. (Photo: Universal)


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