Monday, November 1, 2010

Night Of the Lepus(1972): Giant Killer Rabbits Attack

Let's face facts with this film: It's terrible. But I truly believe that some films are so bad that they become highly enjoyable (Hello, Showgirls and The Rocky Horror Picture Show). A movie about giant killer rabbits definitely fits into this genre. A must see for any true horror fan, this minor opus is filled with famous actors, terrific miniature sets and those classic horror moments where you say to the beyond oblivious characters, "Don't go there. You'll get eaten." And then they do. And then you laugh. This is not a scary movie by any means but it is a lot of fun if bad monster movies are your thing. If you expect Hamlet, watch something else. If you want a guy in a bunny suit attacking people, this is your film.
PLOT-Giant bunnies terrorize a small southern town. Janet Leigh (Psycho) stars as Gerry Bennet, a rancher's wife with a rabbit problem. Along with her daughter Amanda (Melanie,Fullerton) and her husband Roy (Stuart Whitman) they reach out to a local scientist conducting tests on rabbits. When Amanda switches rabbits that had been injected with a secret serum, all hell breaks loose when the bunny escapes into the wild. Within days, they and fellow rancher Cole Hillman (Rory Calhoun), Sheriff Cody (Paul Fix) and friend Elgin Clark (DeForest Kelly) team up to stop the rampaging monsters. What follows is a very funny, albeit unintentially, film filled with forced perspective on actual rabbits, miniatures and a guy dressed in an unconvincing giant rabbit outfit.
NUDITY-None and thank God for that as the only females here are Janet Leigh in her fifties and her ten year old daughter.
GORE-Not much. Most of it is the bright red 70's style blood. A rancher gets mauled by a guy in a bunny suit that's more funny than scary.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW- Dead for the most part.
Janet Leigh of Psycho fame continued her scream queen ways with roles in John Carpenters' The Fog and Halloween H2O, both of which starred her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis. She died in 2004 at age 77.
Rory Calhoun did bit parts on shows like Fantasy Island and Tales From the Crypt but was best known as the evil Vincent Smith in the horror classic Motel Hell. Calhoun died at age 76 in 1999.
Deforest Kelly had his last non Star Trek film role with this magnum opus. He died in 99 at age 79
Director William Claxton went on to a decent career in TV with shows like Fame, Highway to Heaven, and Little House on the Prairie. He died in 1996 at age 81.
Writer Don Holiday had his only screenplay be this one. I can kind of see why.
AVAILABILITY ON DVD-not at this time

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