Saturday, June 28, 2014

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING - The Zombies - "A Conspiracy Of Madness" (1965)

"Bunny Lake Is Missing" is a great little film made in 1965 from a big man in film making, Otto Preminger! Otto will of course be known throughout cinema history as the man responsible for such real classics as "Anatomy Of A Murder," "Exodus," "The Man With The Golden Arm" and more!

So what's going on here? A woman and her brother have just moved to jolly olde England from America and the film begins with her dropping her daughter Bunny off at the pre-school, BUT, you never actually see the kid! After her first day at work, she returns to pick up her child, and nobody seems to know anything about her or much of anything else either!

The panic begins! Carol Lynley is Bunny's Mother, Ann Lake! Carol always exudes that cuteness in a woman that you just want to cuddle with, the kind of a girl you want to take to the Fair, or on a picnic! In 1959 Carol starred in "Blue Denim," a movie that always bothered me, followed by "Hound-Dog Man" starring Fabian! She's been in quite a few strange films like "Shock Treatment," "The Shuttered Room," and "Beware! The Blob!" It's been a few years now since she's done any more acting, but Carol is still around and doing well, we hope!

Keir Dullea has the role of Steven Lake, Ann's brother, and the Bunny's uncle! What do I need to say about Keir Dullea except "2001: A Space Odyssey?" Keir has remained very active over the years and continues to work, and was in at least two movies this year! I also just wanted to show this street sign that says "Frogmore End!!" That's right up there with a place we have around here called "Brown Material Road!"

Considered by many to be the first Brit pop star, the multi-talented Noël Coward is magnificent in the role of Ann Lake's landlord, the über creepy Wilson!

Just in case by some remote possibility you don't know who Noël Coward is, here's a cut from a various artists tribute album by Marianne Faithfull doing one of his most popular songs, "Mad About The Boy!"

I love these scenes of mass confusion! This is when the Mothers come to pick all their kids up at the school, but there's no Bunny in sight!

The school officials are no help at all. The teacher for the class that Bunny was in left immediately at the end of the day because she had a toothache, and nobody else seems to have even seen the little girl, and they can't even find a record of her being checked in!

Ann Lake pays a visit to the retired founder of the school Ada Ford as played by Martita (Brides Of Dracula) Hunt, but that doesn't help things out any at all either!

Asking the children if any of them have seen Bunny doesn't yield any results!

At least Ann has her loving brother Steven to comfort her in her real time of need!

Now has come the time to report this whole mess to the proper authorities! Sir Laurence Olivier is Superintendent Newhouse, the man who will be in charge of the whole investigation!

The movie keeps getting darker and darker, as everyone questions Ann Lake's mental state, which doesn't exactly make her feel any better! It doesn't help matters to know that as a little girl, Ann Lake had an imaginary friend named Bunny too!

And that brings us to this point in the film where Superintendent Newhouse offers to meet Ann Lake at a local pub to further discuss the problem and any possible solutions!  Predominately featured on the poster, I was wondering how the very popular band of the time The Zombies was going to fit into this whole equation! It didn't seem like Ann Lake was going to be heading to a club any time soon to celebrate the loss of her daughter, but as it turns out, at the pub where she is meeting the Superintendent, the TV is on, and guess who is on the screen?

The Zombies had just had two of their biggest hit songs released a year earlier in 1964, "She's Not There" which went to number two in the U.S. and "Tell Her No" which topped out at number six on the charts! Here's just a small taste of their performance from the pub scene!  The Zombies popularity waned a bit  for a few years after this, but in 1968 they roared back with the number three smash hit "Time Of The Season" that has persevered for decades!

Even more mass confusion!

For just sheer creepiness, there's hardly anything that can outdo disembodied doll heads!

Personally, I had one Helluva time tracking down a copy of this movie, and once again as it has happened so many times before, just as I'm writing one of these things, I find the super rare movie I'm writing about streaming somewhere on the internet, and that is indeed the case with "Bunny Lake Is Mssing," so if you want to find out what happened to or whether even if there was a Bunny Lake, this awesome film can be found streaming on Amazon!


iain said...

Well well well! I had no idea you are a Marianne Faithfull aficionado! My affection for your blog is now confirmed in perpetuity!

Eegah!! said...

Thanx iain, it's true "Broken English" is one of my real favourite records!

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