I typed in ‘Easter films’ into Google and the titles that appeared didn’t interest me.
As I was pondering Night of the Lepus popped into my head.
I’d seen clips and trailers but I never had an urge to watch it.
However, since its nearly Easter which is the season of the Easter Bunny, I thought a review of this 1972 horror film with giant rabbits would be appropriate.
The premise concerns a group of researchers dealing with a rabbit overpopulation in Arizona. They inject some rabbits with chemicals hoping to solve the problem.
Unexpectedly the chemicals cause the rabbits to grow to enormous size. They immediately rampage through the town and start to devour people.
The most common criticism thrown at Night of the Lepus is the silliness of the concept, reviewers have said that rabbits simply cannot be made scary.
Hear me out, if the film did a more original take on the ‘nature vs civilisation’ theme, had better special effects, more developed characters and at least referenced the silliness of the concept, it could’ve been effective.
I thought the first ten minutes were actually promising.
It starts with a news report showing the rabbit infestation in Arizona.
We then see a rancher riding on his horse. The horse suddenly collapses, he sees that its ankle is broken. The rancher gets out his rifle and shoots the horse dead.
For me this had a lot of potential.
It established the rancher’s ruthless look on animals. Maybe this film could be about an arrogant rancher realising that he, a human, is just another animal in the food chain.
Unfortunately, this potential is never fulfilled.
The characters need more development and attachment to the situation. We know these researchers are concerned about the rabbits but nothing else. They’re too vague to empathize with.
This makes Night of the Lepus a pretty boring watch.
If you like B movies check it out but unless you want to see some slow motion rabbits destroy a miniature town, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Night of the Lepus earns a shallow 3 out of 10.