Hello, Kitschy Campers, Camp Kitsch is back in session! Woo-Hoo! After our last camp session The Werewolf in the Girls’ Dormitory, I screamed, “No more bad movies!”
What an omen! So we’re back in the saddle again, more than I can say for our Master Spy in this week’s film. But I mustn’t get ahead of myself.
For the Summer Camp posts, I choose the film by the poster, and this poster has a rabbit! Movies with rabbits are always a good time. Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Night of the Lepus, and Harvey are great films… A rabbit, come on guys, how can I possibly say no?
I unearthed a doozy for you!
From the creative minds that brought you the cutting edge drama The Sadist, and cinematic marvels of Eegah, we present The Nasty Rabbit!
I will warn you now, this movie is not for the faint of heart. If you are not into bad movies, you will not make it to the end. The Nasty Rabbit stars the infamous Arch Hall, Jr., the boyfriend from Eegah The film also features Arch Hall, Sr. (Dr. Miller from Eegah) playing not one, but two roles a Russian Leader and The Secretary of Defense! Oh, did I mention he is also is the screenwriter and the producer? I imagine Hall Sr., like Mamma Rose from Gypsy, “Sing out, Louise!”
Here’s the plot. Mischa, a Russian “Master Spy,” code name X-11, is sent to America. Mischa’s mission is delivering a rabbit with a necklace/vial full of “fernacious bacteria, a bacteria so virulent the entire US population may die in seven hours. Plan C-11 (hey, Russia, what’s up with the 11s?) a.k.a. Operation Nasty Rabbit! I do not understand why the poor rabbit must wear the vial.
Meanwhile, a cavalcade of counter-spies (from Japan, Israel, West Germany, Mexico, the U.S., and an undisclosed country where people wear cute dresses and do vocal warm-ups when they speak) must stop the operation.
Magnetic Area 1 is in the middle of a cattle ranch.
So Mischa, “the master spy,” pretends he is “Moose O’Brien a cow-ho-boy from Mon-taaah-na, Oklahoma.”
A cowboy with a Russian accent, who can’t ride a horse.
Are there no horses in Russia? Don’t ask questions Summer, we’ll get through this quicker.
Of course, the spy from America is our hero, Arch Hall, Jr., Rock Star by day, and Spy by night! Sing out, Louise!
Did I mention the rabbit speaks? Yep, he is a smart-mouth! He makes snide remarks through the movie.
Our story’s actual unsung hero is a dog named Chuck-o!
Oh goodness, where do I begin? Imagine a really long, never-ending episode of The Monkees, without The Monkees, or an early Jackie Chan film, without Jackie Chan.
The movie was soooooooooooooooooooo awful, but I laughed, so I cannot say it was un-enjoyable.
If you are feeling brave, watch for this:
- The credits are on hand-painted rabbit cut-outs!
- Richard Eegah Kiel plays a ranch hand
- The rabbit cage is open and empty on the beach, but the rabbit is with Mischa later in the film
- Mischa gets on a horse, the film devotes a minute and a half to this
- Appropriate ethnic music underscores each spy (Sheesh! Don’t get me started!)
- High-Speed Actions Scenes
According to Richard Kiel, Arch Hall, Sr. is the real life “Archie” from the 1961 film The Last Time I Saw Archie with Robert Mitchum. Hall later sued the production company for making a film about him, without his consent. The TCM Website confirms the story about The Last Time I Saw Archie. I could not locate a streaming version of The Last Time I Saw Archie— it sounds pretty fun, if you find it, let me know!
Richard Kiel told interviewer Tom Weaver, “I believe the Eegah is one of the better-known ‘Worst Films of All Time’…Might qualify as being the one of the worst films of all time… I’m sure if you were to look at The Nasty Rabbit, that you would agree that this film would deserve the honor more than Eegah” (Weaver, 214). I agree with Kiel, Eegah is better.
You can see the Nasty Rabbit on Youtube by clicking here.
The Nasty Rabbit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBUAnnMDV5Y
Weaver, Tom. Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic SF and Horror Filmmakers. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2003. Print.
Addendum: The Nasty Rabbit is so repetitive you can make a game of it, phrases/events to watch for:
- “Fernacious Bacteria”
- Someone falls down
- Kobayashi’s gun fires accidentally
- Racial stereotypes
- Unnecessary sound effects
- The Rabbit Speaks
- “Master Spy”
- “Secret Submarine”
- Latin men and their hometowns