Night of the Lepus [1972]

Director: William F. Claxton
Stars: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Paul Fix
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 88 minutes

Whoever persuaded MGM to make a movie about giant, bloodthirsty bunnies must have been some kind of mad genius. Night of the Lepus features Stuart Whitman (star of such classics as Omega Cop and Demonoid, Messenger of Death) and Janet Leigh (whose career had taken a downturn from Psycho) as a pair of scientists who say things like "I wish I knew what the effects of this serum would be--let's hope it works" as they inject test rabbits with hormones that turn them into slavering, carnivorous giant bunnies. That's the plot; the rest of the movie is scenes of giant bunnies attacking horses, giant bunnies jumping through windows to attack people, giant bunnies running in herds down the freeway...lots and lots of giant bunnies, sometimes with blood smeared across their ferocious jaws as they rear up to attack. The special effects are breathtakingly cheap; the bloody corpses are actors with red syrup splashed over them. But what makes Night of the Lepus even more astonishing is that the dvd features dubbing in French, presumably for European viewers bored with their usual diet of Truffaut and Rohmer. In fact, the movie makes more sense in French (assuming you don't actually speak the language); you can pretend it was created by an inspired Surrealist, and that Janet Leigh says things like "My bicycle has wheels of cheese" or "Beauty kisses my savage earlobe," instead of "Rabbits aren't exactly Roy's bag." Also starring Rory Calhoun (Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force) and DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy on the original Star Trek), who wears several colorful turtlenecks. A camp classic. --Bret Fetzer

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