It is said that we fear things we don’t understand, but really that doesn’t apply in all cases. I do not understand who thought making a monster movie about big bunnies was a good idea, but it doesn’t keep me up at night. In 1974, a horror movie was released during Halloween season called Night of the Lepus. A production of delightfully entertaining sincerity, Night of the Lepus asks the eternal question, just how far are meddling scientists willing to go to control the problem of rabbit overpopulation? An experiment to control this terrible problem using hormonal injections goes awry and instead makes them grow gigantic and desire human flesh. So those are the worst scientists in human history, right? It’s like if they tried to make a new iPhone but when they unveiled it it was a vacuum cleaner.
The thing is, this isn’t some rinky-dink amateur horror movie made by a bunch of hicks who found a camera by the side of the road, like Crazy Fat Ethel 2 (I didn’t invent that title by the way). This movie was made by MGM! The same people that thought James Bond was a good idea were frightened by rabbits. They were able to cast well-known western actor Rory Calhoun, Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley and the original scream queen, Janet Leigh from Psycho. She agreed to be in it because it was filmed close to her house. They didn’t realise how silly this was while they were making it, but they did in time to change the title from what was originally planned (Rabbits, which would have been a bit of a giveaway) and make sure all the posters and trailers didn’t show the fearsome monsters at all. They would have to have replaced everyone working for MGM, and that’s totally…plausible for how movie companies run.
You have to check this stuff out. To create that sweet giant effect, they had bunnies run around doll houses and crush toy cars! They put ketchup on their noses so it looked like blood! This is the most adorable movie ever made! JUST LOOK IT!