Original Title: Night of the Lepus
Country: United States
Director: William F. Claxton
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
20.03.2020: This review was first published on 29.09.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.
Hello There! I’m dos Santos. Welcome to Ulven Reviews!
William F. Claxton’s Night of the Lepus tells the story of a couple of scientists attempting to solve a rabbit plague outbreak in a farm area without using poison, but a mistake made by their daughter makes things way worse.
Night of the Lepus
An outbreak of a rabbit plague is threatening the livelihood of farmers in a rural area. They can’t use poison to get rid of them, because it would poison every other animal in the region, so they need to find another solution.
Gerry Bennett (played by Janet Leigh) and Roy Bennett (played by Stuart Whitman) are a couple of scientists called for help. Their idea is to inject hormones into some rabbits and release them back into nature, the hormones would decrease the offspring, and eventually, the rabbit population would go down as well.
During the test phase, the couple’s daughter, Amanda (played by Melanie Fullerton), in a sneaky way, adopts a rabbit injected with test hormones, instead of a clean one. Of course, her rabbit escapes and goes into nature, carrying hormones with unknown effects.
Eventually, gigantic rabbits start dropping bodies. So the scientists that had to solve a common rabbit plague, now have to solve the outbreak of giant, killer rabbits, before they destroy the whole region.
What a fantastic mess this movie is. You know it’s going to be bizarre by merely reading the synopsis, and if it’s that what you want, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking to watch an actually good movie, though…
I think this film was really intended as a Horror/Sci-fi/Thriller, but it became an Involuntary Comedy. The thing is, the movie took inspiration from Russell Braddon’s novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit, that was a satire. Night of the Lepus is too serious, and very straight forward, there’s no nuance or critique, as a satire would have.
The cast is full of stars, including two Oscar Nominees in Janet Leigh and Stuart Whitman, and also DeForest Kelley, the actor famous for his role as Leonard McCoy in the old Star Trek. The performances are not exceptional, though, there’s not much to work with since the movie is emotionally bland.
Also, to emulate blood, they just smeared ketchup on the rabbits’ faces. One thing is a small budget, another, a completely different one, is being lazy. Smear ketchup in the rabbits’ faces is more on the lazy side of the spectrum.
Everything else is either awful or neutral. But what I need to mention is the special effects. When the rabbits start to get out of their caves and invade the surface, you can see that they’re regular rabbits walking in miniature sets. When the gigantic creatures had to interact with real people, they just used someone in a costume.
It’s bizarre, the people behind the movie took it way too seriously, left the satire part behind, making it accidentally hilarious. It has its value if you want to laugh at something unintentionally funny or if you want to see what mistakes not to commit, but that’s it. So, I’ll give Night of the Lepus 3 Moons.
That’s it for now. Don’t forget to hold your mutant bunny tight. Also, hit the like button and subscribe to the channel for more awful and bizarre movies.
Thanks for watching, see you in the next video.