16 June 2006 | MetalGeek
"Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way!"
NIGHT OF THE LEPUS is one of those movies that you simply have to see to believe. I am very glad that LEPUS has finally been officially released on DVD because for years, I have described it to fellow B-movie fans who have then accused me of making it up. Besides, I am now finally able to replace my bootleg DVD (recorded from foreign TV with Swedish or Norwegian subtitles, I'm not sure which, running across the bottom of the screen) and enjoy this masterpiece the way it was meant to be seen.
In brief: Somewhere in the American Southwest, ranchers are losing their crops to hungry herds of Jackrabbits. A scientist, attempting to figure out a way to slow the reproduction rate of the rabbits, injects an experimental hormone into some test animals. One of the test rabbits escapes and begins mating with the local bunnies, resulting in a horde of giant killer mutant rabbits with a taste for human flesh. You CAN'T make this stuff up, kids! From there it's long-eared, low budget mayhem of the highest order, with scenes of regular-sized bunnies rampaging through miniature Western towns (complete with dubbed-in squeals and roars on the soundtrack) and hungry bunnies (played by stuntmen in full body rabbit suits) attacking unlucky townspeople, until the military is called in to neutralize the threat. Anyone who makes it more than fifteen minutes into this movie without cracking up is a better person than I am. You can almost imagine Janet Leigh during filming, smoking cigarettes in between takes and asking DeForest Kelley "What the hell are we doing in a movie about KILLER RABBITS? I worked with Alfred Hitchcock for cryin' out loud! I am going to KILL my agent!" I had pet rabbits growing up and never found them scary in the slightest. Maybe that's why I love this movie so much. To this day, I wonder if the studio person who green-lighted this project and allowed it to be made still had a job when his superiors saw the final product. Do yourself a favor and check out NIGHT OF THE LEPUS, an unjustly forgotten slice of early 70s drive-in cheese. You may love it, you may hate it, but I promise you, you will NEVER forget it!