Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloodthirsty Bunnies! - Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

Bloodthirsty Bunnies!

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amount of water in my area); terrorist attacks spread horror at the Munich Olympics; the last US ground troops were withdrawn from Vietnam; Ireland and the UK suffered from bombing attacks; and the shocking movie "Night Of the Lepus" was released in theaters.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 :-)
and the lovely Samantha at What Little Things for the Versatile Blogger award.

Thank you so much!


  1. Lisa, that's great! Like the story about Carter. I think the B52's part is accurate though.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

  2. My pleasure, Alex! It was a lot of fun. Enjoying the other entries too :-)

  3. Li, I thought that I was the only person to know about Jimmy Carter's attack of the killer rabbit. Thank you for confirming this "old wives tale" as true. The version that I heard was that Jimmy had a Secret Service agent on the bank and one in the boat communicating via radio about the invasive rodent, and Jimmy freaked out with his paddle on the poor creature. Leader of the Free World! Ha! Just a peanut farmer with pent- up anxieties, with his proverbial finger-on-the-button. Scary thought!

  4. Anytime people have to dress up in animal costumes, you know its going to be a bad movie. Hey, I like the part about the B52s thought. That would have made the story interesting.

  5. @Jackie - one of those strange but true stories. And who would have thought that rabbits could swim? I really wasn't sure if anyone actually heard of or remembered this story, so I'm glad I squeezed in the history lesson :-)

    @Stephen - I forgot to add that they used ketchup for blood. Talk about low budget!

  6. ha this is awesome...i think i have seen this movie but i am def looking it may be worth the painful i was living in NC a man was attacked in his boat by a rabid

  7. LOL... oh my....

    Too bad the movie preceded President Carter's rabid rabbit run-in... he could have made a cameo appearance!

  8. oh my now that sounds like a bad movie. the story about pres carter is too funny lol

  9. I just happened to catch the rabbit movie on TV not long ago. I actually didn't watch the entire thing. It looked very stupid and weird. I'd say that one is an excellent bad movie pick.

    Tossing It Out

  10. First time I've heard of the movie. It sounds really bad.

  11. Killer bunnies? lol enjoyed the story, Li! Happy to see you're a fellow-blogfester for this one :D

  12. Loved your choice and your account of it,

    Have a good day.

  13. Bunnies are scary. Ask Anya from Buffy TVS.

  14. me loves bunnies... even mutated ones.

  15. You should see Black Sheep. Similar in content and crappiness.

  16. Here is an award you thought you might have never seen or received, but here it is! Enjoy...


  17. I used to write stories about monstrous rabbit creatures. After reading about Night of the Lepus, I'm quite embarrassed about my earlier writings.

  18. No thanks. I'm not rushing to buy that!

  19. Holy cow, I need to rent this one!

  20. Ha! Bloodthirsty Bunnies. I'm curious now.

  21. Mutant killer rabbits, LOL!!! I giggled the whole way through this post. Thanks.

  22. Bloodthirsty bunnies . . . uh-huh. I'm desperate to see it now! :P

  23. @Golden Eagle - It might be difficult to find a copy, as a lot of people seem to be quite taken with the idea of killer rabbits!

    @Isis - Thx for stopping by, glad you got a laugh. :-)

    @Christine - it's a curiosity for sure!

    @Milo - yup, it makes a great party flick!

    @Lydia - well, it's not to everyone's taste...

    @Jeffrey - actually, you should feel encouraged. After all, the movie was based on the book "Angry Rabbits". Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to discard seemingly silly ideas...

    @Jeremy (iZombie) - thank you! definitely a rare and prestigious award!

    @Budd - killer sheep???!!! Awesome!

    @BornStoryteller - ummm, yeah, I'll def check with Buffy. Not. ;-)

    @Charmaine - Monty Python would have made a GREAT flick out of this!

    @Yvonne - thanks :-) Glad you liked it.

    @Damyanti - since it was 1 day, I managed to squeeze it in. And had great fun to boot!

    @natz - yeah, it wasn't exactly a blockbuster. I don't think a lot of people have heard of it, although it's gained a cult following.

    @Lee - it was silly indeed. Your taste is impeccable :-)

    @Dafeenah - glad to enlighten you with a bit of history!

    @E.A.S. - maybe the Pres had seen the movie, and that's why the rabbit spooked him. (Although a swimming rabbit might alarm me too!)

    @Brian - don't blame me if you have nightmares! (Ugh, a rabid beaver - that's pretty scary. I never realized just how big they are until I saw one up close.)

  24. LOL. Great post. Funny story about poor Jimmy Carter.

  25. Bloodthirsty Bunnies - that title alone is a classic. I have to find it. I have a friend who loves films like that. He made us watch one called Black Sheep. So, so bad.

  26. I want to see this now because it sounds so awful. Maybe use as a Halloween movie? HAHAHAHA!

  27. That's funny! I didn't even know this existed!

  28. Bloodthirsty bunnies? The should've just called it vampbunnies or Bunnicula! Lol... ;)


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?

    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  29. No waayy!! I refuse to believe that there is an ounce of badness in rabbits. =P That's like saying that kittens or puppies can be evil. Absolutely impossible. =P Haha!

    Wow! Thank you soo much for recognizing me here, Li! =) Hugs!!

  30. I think I have seen only Psycho and The day earth stood still...thanks for warning me what to avoid. I loved your tirade against the rabbit movie...I have similar feelings for the Killer Tomatoes movie. Thanks for stopping by my blog ...nice to meet you too.

  31. Maybe I'm ill, but I've really wanted to see that movie. I love hokie beastie movies. lol

  32. Hi Li. It does indeed look like a bad movie. I couldn't think of 10 I hated. Love the izombie badge! Hope all's going well. Missing your #ff at #RFWer. Hope your Ro3 is going well.


  33. I have a lot of time for DeForest Kelley so I'm still curious...

    Dave Wrote This

  34. Good that at that time we dont have theaters at my place... Or else my mother could have brought us t watch itas she love rabbits. Hahaha!

    Nice one...


  35. That is amazing! I'm laughing so hard... I had no idea that movie even existed! Great post!

  36. That sounds like the kind of thing me and my friends would watch for our 'who can bring the worst (as in most ridiculous) horror video' nights. We watched all kinds of rubbish, but it was fun poking fun at them. That definitely would have gone down well.

  37. that is so crazy about carter getting attacked by a rabbit. i never heard that. i came to be in 1972. i remember watching movies of killer ants, spiders, birds. nowadays there are more the-world-is-ending. ho-hum:)

  38. @RaShelle - I know, right? As if he didn't have enough PR problems already...

    @Jennie - well you're the 2nd person to mention Black Sheep, so i guess I might have to check that out.

    @Alleged - the perfect Halloween movie. even sissies like me won't be scared!

    @Shelly - my pleasure to expand your horizons..

    @Elizabeth - Aha! the creator of Bunnicula stole the idea!

    @Samantha - well, I suppose SOME people don't like bunnies that eat veggie gardens. But since I don't like veggies, bunnies are good!!! ((Hugs))

    @MPax - if it's hokie you want, it's a must see.

    @L'Aussie - I just finished a flash for RFW, but it's waaay over the 400 word count. So, we shall see if I can trim it or not. Regardless, I'll stop by and read :-)

    @Rekha - confess to never having seen Psycho. Glad, too, as I enjoy a nice hot shower.

    @Dave - thank goodness this movie didn't torpedo his career :-)

    @JJ - she might not have loved rabbits quite so much!

    @Deniz - I find it inspiring. obviously my worst ideas for a story are not any worse than this.

    @Cheryl - yes, the more the merrier when watching a crappy movie.

    @Ed - yup, the 70s were the golden era of bizarre grade B movies. I remember one where giant things like manta rays climbed on people and sucked their bones out, leaving corpses like giant fleshy jelly bags. Stupid and gross. and kinda funny.

  39. The Carter/Rabbit story is classic. Respect and like the man, but that incident remains hilarious.

  40. Li - you have just trashed my favorite movie of all time; after Snakes on a Plane and the one about killer gerbils

  41. @John - I like Carter as well, but the tie-in was just too funny to pass up.And I'm the first person to poke fun at myself as well.

    David - sorry about that. Maybe you'll luck out and they'll make "Snakes On A Plane VS Angry Rabbits".