The year was 1972, and the world was in turmoil. US politics was roiled by the Watergate scandal; Hurricane Agnes produced catastrophic flood damage in the Northeast US (unmatched until last week, when Hurricane Lee dumped an equal amount of water in my area); terrorist attacks spread horror at the Munich Olympics; the last US ground troops were withdrawn from Vietnam; Ireland and the UK suffered from bombing attacks; and the shocking movie "Night Of the Lepus" was released in theaters.
When I say shocking, I mean incredibly bad. The film centers on a small town in Arizona besieged by mutant killer rabbits. Yes, I said rabbits. MGM wanted to keep the identity of the creatures secret until the release of the movie, hence the Latin word "Lepus" in the title instead of "Rabbits". (Back in those days there was no "google", and most people couldn't be bothered to lug out the 20 pound Webster's dictionary and look things up.)
The mutant creatures were portrayed by a mishmash of live domestic rabbits, models, and actors dressed in rabbit suits. Since the story is so weak, I won't go into much detail; suffice it to say that there is the requisite cute pet bunny, science gone wrong, good ol' boys with explosives, and the National Guard.
Look for (feel sorry for?) actors Stuart Whitman (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Longest Day), Janet Leigh (Psycho, Bye Bye Birdie), DeForest Kelley (Star Trek: the Motion Picture and sequels) and Paul Fix (Red River, The Sons Of Katie Elder).
And so, in my humble opinion, "Night Of the Lepus" is one of the worst movies ever made. (It's also ridiculously fun to watch.) In fact, it has become so popular that copies command prices of $15 to $30USD and up. So you might want to rush out and order your copy today!
I will leave you with a little story, of course. (Some of you may be old enough to remember this.)
Once upon a time (in 1979) there was a President of the United States named Jimmy Carter. He was a gentle, peaceful man and loved the outdoors. One day, he went fishin' and was attacked by a rabbit! It lunged into the water and swam toward him hissing, with teeth bared and eyes blood-red in manic fury. Pres. Carter heroically defended himself, swinging at it with a paddle and shooing it away from the boat. The berserk rabbit swam away and disappeared into the brush; several B-52s were called in to carpet bomb the state of Georgia. And that's why Georgia is so flat.
OK, I fabricated the bit about the B-52s. But the rest? All true. The Washington Post ran, as its headline the next day, "President Attacked By Rabbit". Below is a photo of the rabbit (right) fleeing from Pres. Carter.
Perhaps Pres. Carter had seen "Night Of the Lepus". Or maybe...there really are bloodthirsty bunnies out there. Waiting.
|Photo courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library|
Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for coming up with this great idea for a blogfest. Please go visit him here for other great reviews of cinematic mayhem!
Want more blood? There's a 2 year old article I wrote on "Modern Day Vampire Societies" here.
Thank you to iZombieLover for bestowing this post with the Zombie Rabbit Award - one of my more unusual gifts :-)
What Little Things for the Versatile Blogger award.
Thank you so much!