Night of the Lepus (1972)

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Night of the Lepus (1972)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:14 pm

Yes... someone miscalculated big time on this one. I understand sci-fi/horror films about giant bugs or arachnids, for example, which have an automatic creep-out factor built in; and I even understand giant rats, which, though mammals like rabbits are, have a nasty reputation as vermin (I'm not anti-rat, though, like many people are; they're part of nature, as I see it). But, rabbits? Why, of all animals, rabbits?

There is, based on the preliminary footage here, at least a misguided reason: someone took the real-life idea of the rabbit population explosion in places such as Australia and went on from there. Even here, at the very start, almost anyone will realize this is all a poor choice: we see real-life footage of poor little rabbits being chased, rounded up and massacred by the cruel human beings. 5 minutes in, I was rooting for the rabbits. I don't care how big you make them, how much fake blood you place on their teeth or how loud you make their growling - I'm still on the side of the wabbits.

The actors look serious - Stuart Whitman usually is very serious. Also, I guess someone (the director?) thought the sight of Janet Leigh going femme-Rambo with a rifle would impress on us the dangers of the Lepus. Yee-haa, that really worked. This was DeForest Kelley's last non-Star Trek film; his next one after this was the first Trek movie. This film of the Lepus has a historic teaming, btw: Paul Fix, who plays the sheriff, also played the first ship's doctor on Star Trek, in the pilot episode. Kelley took over as doctor in the next episode. BoG's Score: 3 out of 10

Night of the Trivia: footage from this film plays on a TV in one scene in The Matrix (99)
Article on the film at MOVIE FANFARE: DR.STRANGEFILM Case #011
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