Night of the Lepus (1972)
Directed by: William F. Claxton
Written by: Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney based on the novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Russell Braddon
Starring: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Melanie Fullerton, Paul Fix, Chris Morrell, Chuck Hayward
In order to commemorate this Easter (which, having been raised totally oblivious of the Church, I always thought of as bunny/baby chicken/The Ten Commandments on TV day. When I found out it had something to do with Jesus, I was quite alarmed), I did what I do on most holidays. I watched a very stupid horror movie. Unfortunately, there aren't really that many horror pics about Easter short of Passion of the Christ and I don't have that one.
So it came down to Night of the Lepus, often hailed as one of the stupider movies of all time. This is the one where a bunch of giant mutant rabbits go on a kill crazy rampage and eat a bunch of people. It's like Watership Down on steroids. They'd pretty much done every other giant animal movie possible (giant tarantulas, giant insects (pretty much every kind imaginable), giant gila monsters, giant crabs, giant chickens, giant gorillas, giant people, giant shrews). This was inevitable.
Granted, this movie is totally moronic and preposterous. Rabbits don't eat people, no matter what size they are (well, actually, when my rabbit gets hungry, he does occasionally nip at me and he's pretty docile compared to other breeds). But to be fair, birds don't typically kill people in large numbers. And I think gorillas eat vegetables too (though I'm not 100% sure they don't eat meat from time to time - it does, however, seem kind of unlikely that Kong would actually want to fuck Fay Wray. Just sayin').
Really, a herd of giant rabbits would be pretty scary. Rabbits are a little bit intimidating. And they scream something terrible.
No, the big problem with this movie is not that it's about giant killer rabbits. Godzilla is about an atomic iguana, for fuck's sake, and it's campy. This movie just happens to also be poorly written and kind of... cheap. The scenes of humans and giant bunnies interacting, though few and far between, are particularly amusing.
Also, the 'scientific explanation' is a little bit bogus. And it had a 'message' (although, I guess if you're going to have a message (frankly I'd rather have a massage but that's not going to happen), it might as well be 'don't fuck with the food chain - look what happened in Australia').
Another problem was that the humans were really irritating. I couldn't wait for them to die. Especially that fucking kid. Mr. Red suggested that the movie should have been British, which would make up for a lot. It could've had Christopher Lee in it.
How the hell did Janet Leigh end up in this movie though? (It kind of bothered me that she and Stuart Whitman were referred to as 'the young couple'.) I understand McCoy being in it (nice moustache doc), but Janet Leigh did stuff, right? I guess. I dunno.
Maybe they paid her a lot. That would explain why they only had, like, four minutes of bunny footage looped over and over and over again.
Oh well. I could talk about this movie for a long time. It was pretty retarded I guess, although sort of fun to laugh at whilst gorging oneself on chocolate (chocolate makes everything more fun. At least until you barf). And it was better than Friday the 13th... more entertaining, leastways.