Night of the Lepus (1972)

Hahahahahaha, oh man, this movie is pretty bad. Yet I still found it entertaining. I want to make jokes about it being a hopping good time, but I’ll spare you.

A horde of mutant giant killer rabbits is loose in Arizona, and it’s up to a small town sheriff’s department, a couple of ranchers, some professors, and a bunch of MPs who for some reason run the National Guard to stop them.

To add to this madness, somewhere out there is the professor’s wife and idiot daughter who started this whole mess by releasing an experimental rabbit into the wild because she thought it was cute. You know, like in 28 Days Later with those stupid hippies who get all of Britain killed? It figures a kid would kill us all. So in Night of the Lepus, the professor has to rescue his wife with DRAMATIC MUSIC from…bunnies. A whole horde of cute, adorable, blood-soaked bunnies.

Hey, if nothing else, Night of the Lepus fits into both the giant animal movie and hordes of animals movie sub-genres, while also fitting into the eco-horror subset of horror along with films like Prophecy, Ticks, The Bay, etc. And it’s always nice to see DeForest Kelley and Janet Leigh working I suppose, even when it’s in a movie about hordes of giant psycho bunnies.

Highlight of the film? Seeing a killer bunny leap through a window to tear out a screaming shopkeeper’s throat. It was ridiculously cute. I was horrified at how adorable an animal attack can be.

There is one weird side note here: Night of the Lepus is based on an Australian novel, The Year of the Angry Rabbit. The book is a combination of science fiction and comedy. Unfortunately, the movie tried to drop the comedy and yet found it unintentionally.


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