Monster of the Day #11

Attention! Attention! Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!

Well, you can’t say the monsters weren’t earie.

  • Chris

    What was that Ken? I couldn’t quite hare you.

  • P Stroud

    This reminds me to put that Australian Mutant Killer Sheep Movie on my Netflix que. I hear that it’s the best Australian Mutant Killer Sheep movie ever made.

  • GalaxyJane

    Hey, I have to love this movie. It’s just about the only film I can think of where the National Guard actually saves the day!

  • Ericb

    So would these make The Amazing Colossal Man Elmer Fudd?

  • A couple things about this film always puzzled me. The text SAYS they’re jackrabbits (not that jackrabbits are any more scary), but they don’t USE jackrabbits for their monsters, presumably because they would be a lot harder to wrangle.

    But … everyone knows what jackrabbits look like, and we can see quite clearly that these are not jackrabbits.

    Also a buddy of mine from California, in his youth, was trapped on an army base in Germany and for a period of over a month the ONLY movie they had available was Night of the Lepus, which he saw almost every night as his only source of “entertainment”. When I knew him, fifteen years later, he still had every single line of dialogue memorized.

  • Black Sheep is a very funny movie. (Although there was one element that was perhaps a bridge too far for me. I kind of wish filmmakers could just grab a simple idea and run with it rather than larding on other plot devices.)

    I remain bewildered, however, by Tim Lucas’ review of it in his wonderful Video Watchdog. The film takes some mild pokes at some goofy environmentalist types, and Lucas just refused to believe that anyone would make fun of people like that, who are trying to do some good in the world. Apparently goofing on people like that is just beyond the pale to him. He literally wrote something like he refused to believe they were even trying to do so, because the very idea of it was so bizarre and unsettling.

  • It’s just about the only film I can think of where the National Guard actually saves the day!

    Well, that and Trial of Billy Jack.

    *I* thought they saved the day, anyway.

  • Yeah, but…look how terrifying they look!

  • Tork_110

    Can you really be a monster if you have the cutest little nose in the world?

  • BeckoningChasm

    I guess they’re supposed to be rampaging though that house, but honestly it looks like some kind of drunken party.

  • Reed

    I’m pretty sure that accurately describes both the writing and filming process for this movie.

  • fish eye no miko

    BeckoningChasm said: “it looks like some kind of drunken party.”

    “Oh, man, Hopsy just hurled in the sink!”

    “Hey, baby, you know what they say about a rabbit with big ears!”
    “Get your paws off me, you stupid celery-muncher!”

    “Hey, let’s go TP Farmer John’s house!”

  • To this day I have never understood why MST3K passed om this one. Its a 1970s film, it has Dr McCoy in it, and it has GIANT MUTANT BUNNIES KILLING PEOPLE! The jokes practically write themselves.

  • Ericb

    I’m sure they would have loved to have done it (they even mentioned the film in one of their episoded) but they would have needed permission from whoever held the copyright which might not have been easy to get.

  • Rock Baker

    Night of the Lepus. I almost HAVE to stand up for it. I tend to side with the little guy, and this flick has been bullied more than any goofy 70s killer animal movie I can think of. (And it’s hardly the goofiest film in a decade that gave us Frogs and Prophecy and The Giant Spider Invasion) At the risk of public humiliation, over more than just my lack of spelling skills, I’m going to stand up for the ‘killer bunny’ movie. I gotta love a movie that stars Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, and Paul Fix. For the most part, the effects are good. The minatures are usually pretty strong, the characters are neat (except for the little girl who causes the whole mess), and they create some good suspense and unsettling tension during the big night time invasion sequences. I used to have rabbits as a kid, so I know they’re meaner than usually given credit for. A well-mounted picture, with good pacing and a generally good script. Might make a good double feature with Kingdom of the Spiders (‘Spiders’ being creepier should be shown last, or first if you want to set a mood).
    Now I’m not insane. There are some shots that just don’t work, the stock shots from War of the Worlds are obvious, and the National Guard ever so calmly telling the drive-in patrons about the fast approaching giant killer rabbits strains even MY cooperation. Still, the film stands head and shoulders (and ears?) above most of its competition. (Granted, that means flicks like Food of the Gods and Empire of the Ants.)

  • roger h

    bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, . . .

    “Killer Shrews” is also up there with the better over-sized critter movies. Cross-dressing dogs and as a bonus you get Deputy Festus Hagen and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.

    (Ken, No comment on the “sexy librarian” story hopping around the web?)

  • Rock — I actually agree. I’ve noted in the past that, monster aside, NotL is a completely typical ’70s environmental horror movie. I’d compare it to The Giant Claw, which has other faults but the sheer awfulness of which largely derives from its incredibly goofy monster. Compare Kronos (same star, much better monster) with Giant Claw and take the monsters out of the equation, and you have roughly similar movies.

    On the other hand, you’d have to be an idiot to greenlight a movie about giant carnivorous rabbits, quality of said movie aside.

  • Sorry, I’m not the type to kiss and tell.

    (Or, sadly, just kiss.)

  • Rock Baker

    Since you bring up the Giant Claw, I might as well toss my two cents in on that epic as well. I’d sum it up as a fine flick with a silly monster. BUT, can we really judge how goofy something looks when it comes from another planet? Standards of goofosity surely change from planet to planet. I can only note (and slightly alter) the words of the Cyclops in Atomic Submarine: “To us, YOU’RE world is goofy!”
    I’m kidding (for the most part), The Giant Claw bird is astoundingly goofball as monsters go. That is one of the things that makes it so spooky. Personally, I find the creepiest monsters to be those that look like surealist art come to life. The Giant Claw looks like a Dr. Suess figure thats escaped from the pages -and THATs terrifying! I can also note that as wild as the bird looked, it still often moved in a life-like manner and frequently appeared convincingly huge. I think it’s a monster that’s spooky BECAUSE its so ugly and weird.
    And Mara Corday is a babe, she’s enough reason to own the film.

  • Luke Blanchard

    Night of the Lepus, which I haven’t seen, was based on an Australian novel which I haven’t read, The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Russell Braddon. This is apparently at least partly comic. The notion of a plague of giant rabbits has a particular context in Australia: they’re not a native species, and their numbers reached plague proportions before they were reduced mid-century by the introduction of myxomatosis.

  • Brimstone

    I thought the Killer Sheep movie with from New Zealand?

  • Frank Bauroth

    It is a Kiwi movie. Australia tends to claim/be credited with everything cool that comes from New Zealand.

  • sandra

    They should have added an epilogue in which the National Guard etc sit down to a dinner of barbecued bunny.