Rabbit Fever

Rabbit Fever


Reviewed by: Chris

Rabbit Fever is a mockumentary collection of sketches, each one focussing on a female personal device that was made popular by a single 1998 episode of Sex And The City (the latter half of 1998, rather than the early episodes, which were all directed by women). From the opening statistics that make Rabbit Fever sound like a soft porn movie, we are treated to a sea of predictable sketches, with real and imaginary characters in a world run amok with women's addiction to solitary pleasure.

Men, as Germaine Greer rather arrogantly explains, have invented a gadget for women that makes men superfluous in the bedroom. The Rabbit Vibrator, which accounts for about a quarter of all vibrator sales, apparently, is so called because of little rabbit-like long ears which vibrate to stimulate the clitoris, while rotating pearls inside the shaft stimulate the inside of the vagina. The film interviews characters that attend Rabbits Anonymous to help overcome their "addiction", as well as celebrities, such as Tom Conti, posing as a professor, and Richard Branson, amid scenes of rabbits being banned on an aircraft, saying he would like to provide free rabbits to his first class air travel passengers and ultimately to all of them.

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The main weakness of the film is that the idea is not enough to sustain 85 minutes, the sketches don't have the writing skills of say Charlotte Church, or Ricky Gervais, to make them funny enough and, while it might make desultory late night TV, doesn't have a hook to get people to queue up in public at multiplexes to watch masturbation jokes.

Lines like, "It's been nearly a week since you used your rabbit - how are you coping?" wear rather thin after five minutes. The film is based on the idea that the mere mention of the word "rabbit" will get a laugh . . . and another one, and another one. Frantic midnight drives to buy batteries might be amusing in real life, but here they look rather laborious, and the special emergency delivery service outstays its welcome.

Strangely the BBFC gave it an 18 certificate in spite of zero violence, hardly any explicit sex and references that are less "perverted" than any late night comedy show. The producers protested the decision, but the BBFC didn't budge. At first sight this seems overkill on their part and their consumer advice now simply says, "Contains frequent strong sex references." One might think that youngsters would find masturbation jokes funnier than the most desperate of hen nights and the topic certainly worthy of debate, but Rabbit Fever doesn't even have the saving grace of a balanced approach to its subject matter.

The best part is probably The Rabbit Song by Ruocco, who play a band called Thumper in the film. For those who have dozed off and woken up at the final credits, there is a bonus scene at the end to reassure them that they haven't missed anything.

Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2006
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Rabbit Fever packshot
Mockumentary dedicated to the most popular vibrator in the boudoir.
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Director: Ian Denyer

Writer: Stephen Raphael

Starring: Stephanie Powers, Lisa Barbuscia, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Tara Summers, Flora Montgomery, Emma Buckley, Tom Conti, Richard Branson, Germaine Greer, Emily Mortimer, Ben Dover

Year: 2006

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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