The Greatest Horror Movie Moments!
by: Dr. Boogie

Night of the Lepus

When it comes to giant killer rabbit movies, you just can't go wrong with 1972's Night of the Lepus. Other movies in the GKR genre have tried to justify the spontaneous rabbit expansion by blaming magic or radiation, but Night of the Lepus used the most logical explanation: hormone therapy gone wrong. You see, the Southwest was having a bit of a rabbit epidemic, but do-gooder scientist Roy Bennett says that he knows of a way to reduce the rabbit population without harming the environment with pesticides. He gathers up a bunch of rabbits and injects one with an experimental hormone treatment, and everything is going just fine, until his genius kid grabs said rabbit and accidentally reintroduces him into the wild. If you want to blame someone, blame the people that came up with Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

And so, the injected rabbit starts breeding like a normal rabbit would, and within hours, the Southwest is full to bursting with giant killer rabbits. How did they manage to make giant rabbits back in the early 70's? Lots of animatronics? No, it was all done using the magic of forced perspective:

Hormone-treated veggies?

Yes, the special effects were amazing, apart from when they put the "giant" rabbits next to something normal-sized, like a lettuce leaf, which would then also appear giant thanks to forced perspective. Don't believe me? Just take a look at this scene:

Last call!

Shopkeeper Mildred is worried because her phone call ended rather abruptly (thanks to rabbit-induced ranger stupidity), but neither of her customers want to go check it out. Oh well, it was probably nothing. She closes up the shop, but stops to check outside for just a moment.

Road looks awful scale model-y tonight.

Nothing. It must have been her imagination. She only thought she heard the strange tribal drumbeats that accompany the rampaging horde of giant rabbits. Nothing to worry about. It's perfectly alright for her to sit down in a chair with her back to the window.

Hide the food pellets!

The rabbits spill onto the road and charge toward the store. Again, Mildred thinks she heard something, and this time, she's right.

The rabbit turned into a bear and swiped at me!

It's abundantly clear: SHE DOESN'T LIKE RED PAINT!!!

I know we've said that when you freeze frame on any special effect, it tends to make it look cheaper. However, they showed her with what can only be described as bright red paint on her neck for far longer than they should have if they really wanted it to look like blood. Way to negate the premise, guys. Ah yes, it's the little things like this which make Night of the Lepus such a great movie.

Imagine the size of their Cadbury eggs!!! Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk...

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