31 Days of Horror: Night of the Lepus
Night of the Lepus is easily the greatest giant killer rabbit movie of all time. Ok I realize that list isn’t too long but I defy you to name a better one!
One nice thing about 1970’s drive-in movies is you would sometimes get fading stars in the movie instead of a parade of no names. Night Of the Lepus stars Stuart Whitman, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, and Janet Leigh, none of which were at the high ebb of their career.
The plot about mutated rabbits growing quite large and wreaking havoc in a small southwestern town dates back to the 1950’s with giant bug movies like Them and Tarantula, but made extra scary by having cute little bunny rabbits turned ointo blood thirsty killers.
The whole thing become unintentionally funny by the serious acting mixed with the cute, I mean scary, bunnies. Things are taken up another notch of absurd as there is a disconnect between the script and the special effects as the characters keep referring to “rabbits as big as wolves” but on screen they are more like the size of Volkswagens
The trailer for the film also makes it seem like a real horror picture, but there just isn’t a way to make the bunnies frightening.
Looking for a fun and funny party movie, then Night of the Lepus would be a great fit. Surely the RIfftrax guys will record something for this film as it was sadly missed during the heyday of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Night of the Leups is availabe in a bare bones DVD from Warner Home VIdeo.