Night of the Lepus Movie Review

There are a number of ways to sink your horror movie, right from the start. You could cast DeForest Kelley in it. Or you could star Janet Leigh (post-Psycho) as a genetic scientist.

But perhaps the best way -- if the least well-known -- is to include the word "lepus" in it.

Night of the Lepus follows the age-old horror tradition of taking harmless animals (see Them!) and blowing them up to ridiculous size, which, of course, makes them evil. In Lepus, lettuce-munching bunnies suddenly develop a taste for human flesh once they explode to 100 times their normal size. Thus, they must be killed.

Most of the film comprises the scientists and cops who try to deal with the sudden lepine invasion, which takes place in the U.S. southwest, with its deserts aplenty. They send men into giant rabbit holes and shoot plenty of guns at lone species, but this is all a buildup to the finale, when a mass attack of giant rabbits is launched.

To call Lepus a bad horror film is an insult to the legacy of Ed Wood. At least Wood was trying. Director William F. Claxton (a TV director, this was one of his few films) just seems wholly incapable of making the movie remotely frightening, or even of making much sense. The biggest mistake: Using regular-sized bunnies and miniature sets to show our rampaging rabbits running amok. The effect is so awful as to make the entire film a huge joke -- in fact, that's exactly how it's become known today, as one of the worst films ever made.

Hard to argue with that.

Cast & Crew

Director : William F. Claxton

Producer :


Comments

Night of the Lepus Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG, 1972

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