Night of the Lepus

Nature revenge flicks were a staple of ‘70s bad horror-that often felt compelled to contain a foreboding message for the human race. With films like Food of the Gods, Frogs, and an abundance of others there was no shortage of films meant to scare (but mostly caused mass laughter) humans into treating Mother Earth with a little more respect. Ya know, lest she rise up and cast down fury and death in the way of adorable Easter bunnies covered in ketchup.

Night of the Lepus is exactly what you would think a giant mutated killer rabbit movie, made in the ‘70s, with very little budget would be like. It’s ridiculously bad and entertaining at the same time. By starting with a fake news report featuring an insane amount of stock footage of rabbits being herded into fences and maimed, followed closely by a random horse murder, the film showcases it gross lack of respect for all things animal related.

Giant bunnies are attacking the “Armpit of the Southwest”, otherwise known as Tucson, otherwise known as the “Gateway to Dick” or simply the place where hopes and dreams go to die. It seems fitting for bunnies to revolt here, if only because it would be the most interesting thing to ever happen in town. Oh, and I know all this about Tucson because I lived for there for five WHOLE years before escaping the clutches of its life-draining death grip. Seriously, f*ck that town (I do, however, love and feel sorry for my friends still stuck there).

A rancher, a sheriff, a scientist, Janet Leigh, and some kids end up doing battle with the bunnies. First, a quick list of bunnies more frightening than the ones that appear in this film: 1. The bunny in Monty Python’s Holy Grail 2. Anybody ever dressed in a bunny suit, say like the guy who dies in Critters 3. The Cadbury Bunny. Ordinary house rabbits don’t strike a lot of fear into the hearts of anyone, even if for some odd reason they develop the ability to growl and enjoy being covered in condiments (both of which they pull off in the film).

What makes the film memorable is just how bad the execution of nearly everything turns out – acting, directing, script, and special effects. If you haven’t seen the film, just watch some of the clips below to get an idea of what you are dealing with. It’s laugh out loud funny, the kind of thing that would play extremely well at midnight screenings across the country. Typical bunny death occurs in the following fashion: Giant bunnies shows up, actor looks scared, cut to next day, victim is laying on ground covered in bright red sauce, Sherriff feigns concern. On the flip side, when the bunnies are killed it goes something like this: Person in super obvious bunny suit gets shot, red sauce sprays, and the posse continues to shoot mercilessly.

(Spoilers Ahead) But the finale of the film delivers an important message that should be heeded. That message being if nature decides to rise up and attack us, humans will meet the challenge, grab some flamethrowers, shotguns, and electrocute the sh*t out of a few thousand bunnies until order is restored. Because, ya know, nature is our b*tch. And sometimes we have to remind her with a tough love exactly who is charge.

Final Verdict: Humans are awesome and bunnies taste good in stew.

Rating: 4/10

Snore Factor: ZZZ

IMDB 1972


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