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Rabbit Fever (18)

Rabbit Fever    


Dir. Ian Denyer UK, 2006, 82 mins

Cast: Tara Summers, Tom Conti, Julian Rhynd-Tutt

Review by Carol Allen

The title refers, I discover, not to a new strain of myxomatosis but to a sex toy made famous on television's "Sex and the City". I must have missed that episode. And the fever in the title of this spoof documentary refers to its premise that women all over the world are becoming dangerously addicted to its use to the detriment of their lives. Although ostensibly quite daring in theme, I am quite surprised by the 18 certificate. I see much sexier films and certainly much more violent ones with 15 or even 12 certification.

This is certainly not offensive - all the action as it were takes place off screen with cries of ecstasy sound effects, and it is in places pretty funny. It has some good ideas and gags, such as the confessions in the Rabbits Anonymous self help groups, the 24 hour battery delivery service (at a price) and the feminist from ROGER, acronym for a group whose raison d'être is the Right Of Girls to Enjoy Rabbits. And inevitably it has a bunny boiler joke. The main addict roles and their partners are played by young actors, including Rhind-Tutt as a husband who feels his masculinity is under threat from the bunny, and Summers as his wife Ally, with some well known faces in supporting roles - John Standing and Sorcha Cusack as Ally's parents, Stefanie Powers as the mum of a recovering addict, who has discovered the joys of the rabbit for herself and Conti as a pompous psychiatrist, who also provides voiceover narration of the "concerned expert". And there are some fun contributions from real life "celebs" spoofing themselves. I particularly enjoyed Germaine Greer's contribution.

This is no comic masterpiece by any means, being more television than big screen in scale, and there are times when the joke wears distinctly thin. But former city whizz kid turned writer/producer Stephen Raphael accredits himself well for a first timer. Mind you, he is the son of Oscar winning writer Frederic Raphael, so maybe it is something in the genes.


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