#2. The Lift
Why it Could Have Been Scary
Computers, robots, nanobots--technology has often played the boogeyman in horror films. Mankind has a love/fear relationship with technology. Sure you enjoy texting with your iPhone, but you keep a suspicious eye on it, wondering when the day will come that you walk in on it having sex with your wife.
The producers of The Lift must have assumed that fear of technology extended to elevators. What? It's not 1885? So elevators aren't considered high-tech anymore? "Okay," the producers said, "let's install super smart A.I. in the elevator." Now we're talking scary.
Why it Didn't Work
"Take the stairs... take the stairs... for God's sake, take the stairs... " That's the actual tagline from the awesome trailer for this movie. It's amazing when your tagline manages to kill the entire concept of the film in one shot. Why don't we just take the stairs? After, say, the second person dies at the hands of the elevator, just stick an "Out of Order" sign on the fucker and call it a day.
This doesn't occur to the people in the film, however, as right in the trailer we hear one protagonist ask, "Why not go to the police?" only to be answered, "There's no evidence."
Oh, so that's the reason they won't just arrest its ass. Well, try to beat a confession out of it then!
Worst Attempt at Horror
The following clip presumably takes place right after this exchange:
"Hey, the elevator's acting strange."
"Sure, let me just stick my goddamned head in there."
As with the Mangler, you have the evil elevator killing a man in the exact way that a regular elevator could. They even show it killing a blind man... and by "killing" we mean it sits there innocently while the blind man stumbles straight into the empty shaft.
Wouldn't a blind guy poke around with his cane a little and make sure there's a freaking floor there before he goes striding in? When the cops finally throw the lift in jail, we're thinking its lawyer can easily get it off the hook for that one. That was his own fault.
#1. Night of the Lepus
Why it Could Have Been Scary
The movie is based on a book called The Year of the Angry Rabbit (we shit you not) written by an Australian guy named Russell Reading Braddon. Amazingly, Braddon wrote 31 more books; including The Naked Island, a chronicle of his four years as a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII that sold more than a million copies.
All we can say is what those Nazis did in their prison camps can't compare to what the Japanese were doing if they managed to warp a celebrated writer into a man who wrote a book called The Year of the Angry Rabbit. Hell, they could have made a scary movie about that instead.
Why It's Not Scary
Let's just state the obvious: A giant rabbit doesn't sound like a monster, it sounds like next year's must have Christmas gift. Fuck that animatronic triceratops toy. We want an enormous Mr. Fluffers! We want to ride him around!
The studio must have had a hunch their monster was pretty lame, because they didn't even feature it in the trailer. "Wow that movie looks scary. I gotta find out what the monster is." That's what filmgoers back in the 70s said when they were exposed to this trailer. We're picturing a guy running out of the matinee, waving his arms at the people standing in line. "IT'S RABBITS! DON'T GO IN THERE! THE MONSTERS ARE BIG FLUFFY RABBITS! SAVE YOUR GODDAMNED MONEY!"
Most Pathetic Attempt at Horror
The first 40 seconds of this attempt at terror is cuter than that hamster on a piano video. Look at the herd of huge, adorable bunnies with their big twitching noses!
Then, it turns right into the rabbit attack scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with the ridiculous splatter of blood around the neck as the rabbit claws out her throat for no fucking reason.
Holy shit, you thought we wanted to own one of these before? Science, get to work on making these things. We've got a town we want to terrorize, from the back of our huge, killer bunny.
[Just to pre-empt those of you who are about to ask why we didn't call out The Day of the Triffids and its ridiculous huge, lumbering killer flowers, we already did that in this article. We didn't want to seem like we were piling on.]
For movies that are depressing for a whole other reason check out 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes. Or find out if there really is a killer elevator out there, in 6 Bizarre Real World Versions of Fictional Monsters.
And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to find your very own giant killer bunny.