Monday, October 30, 2023

13 Bunnies of Halloween #12

At the end of Eli Roth's Cabin Fever (2002) our sort-of hero Paul (Rider Strong) has made it to the hospital after a string of, you know, negative set-backs. Up to and including the fact that he's infected with the deadly plague that's killed all of his friends in horrifically gruesome ways right in front of him over the course of the past couple of days. And as he's wheeled down the hallway he looks into one of the rooms and he sees a giant bunny man holding a stack of pancakes and a syringe.

As one does. As batshit at the moment is, it is a silly reference to something that had come earlier in the film -- that little blond boy on the gurney is the same little boy who bit Paul on the hand at the start of the film, and who later had a freak-out where he started screaming" Pancakes!!!" while showing off some wild tae kwan do moves...

No, none of this ever made "sense" but there is a throughline to the nonsense, at least! (Also -- the bunny's syringe is one hundred percent loaded with maple syrup right? I think that's a given.) As far as I know Eli Roth has never said what the hell was going on here -- this piece here says that Roth saw the kid actor practising his moves on the day of filming and decided to give him a showcase, but that doesn't explain bunnies or pancakes. The best explanation seems to be it's a reference to the equally surreal bear-suit moment in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining...

... where logic's meant to have fully leapt out the window and we've entered the land of madness. And that works fine for me. Also Roth is friends with Richard Kelly (recall his cameo in Southland Tales) so manybe there's some Frank from Donnie Darko in there  as well. Whatever the case nobody's talking, as the film's end credits make perfectly clear:

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