horripilatus (horripilatus) wrote,

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Night of the Lepus (spoilers) -i'm tired, so there may be mistakes

Night Of The Lepus
director: William F. Claxton
time: 88 mins
note: This was a NOVEL before a movie. It must be the 3rd worst book ever published. Also, I was half-asleep when I watched this.
Tag line: They were born that tragic moment when science made its great mistake... now from behind the shroud of night they come, a scuttling, shambling horde of creatures destroying all in their path.

summary: Cole Hillman's Arizona ranch is plagued with 'mongrel' rabbits, and he wants to employ an ecologically sound control method. As a favor to college benefactor Hillman, college president Elgin Clark calls in zoologist Roy Bennett to help. Bennett immediately begins injecting rabbits with hormones and genetically mutated blood in an effort to develop a method of disrupting rabbit reproduction. One of the test subjects escapes, resulting in a race of bloodthirsty, wolf-sized, man-, horse-, and cow-eating bunnies. Eventually the National Guard is called in for a final showdown with the terrorizing rabbits.

Okay, quick note to Ms. Leigh, who acted as Gerry Bennett in this horrible, terrible movie: Ms. Leigh, you are iconic. You are a legend! The shower scene in "Psycho", YOUR scene, is eternally burned into our minds. Before that, you worked with Orson Welles and Charlton Heston in "A Touch Of Evil". Maybe a bit cheesy, but you are an actress with class and experience...So, what happened with "Night Of The Lepus"? Lost a bet? Drunk when you signed the contract? Desperate? I'll let you off easy (you died a day after my birthday in 2004, so thanks for hanging for my birthday, it means a lot). Just learn from that life's mistakes and don't do it again in you next life, okay?

Best Quotes:
"You hear that? That's the sound of fear." - Roy Bennett after shaking a cage full of bats...some zoologist
"A rabbit explosion." - Elgin (?) to Roy Bennett describing Cole Hillman's rabbit problem
"As a matter of fact, rub all four of them." - Gerry Bennett to her daughter, Amanda, after asking her daughter to rub a rabbit's foot for luck
"So what do we have here? A vampire?" "Possibly." - The sheriff and a doctor after a rabbit attack
"Calm down, the rabbits are gone." - Gerry to an injured man (I forgot which character it was)
"Oh no, mommy." - a lackluster Amanda when rabbits surround her mother
"There's some more!" - a random soldier a few seconds into the epic battle, after we were told that there were thousands of rabbits

Best Death:
The poor truck driver for refrigerated lines (wtf?). He was just stopping his truck to figure out what refrigerated lines were and got attacked by a very up-close rabbit. I think they sprung for good gore on this death since it almost looked real, whereas none of the other deaths did. His legs were cuts and ketchup sprayed all over him. Although, the sheriff gave his body a once-over and only had a slightly puzzled, "huh..." look.

Biggest Cheese:
It's about killer, giant rabbits...Yeah.

Truly Grotesque:
The men dressed in rabbit suits to attack people. Uhg, who'd wanna be glomped by that? The horses seemed a bit weirded out by this, too. "Stupid human! Get off me!"

Monster meter:
Can we put this in the negatives? Cute, up-close bunnies aren't scary, no matter how much red paint you put on their faces. They're cute. Sorry, the Monty Python rabbit was scarier, way scarier. -10

Cliche factor:
Children being evil and messing up plans. Pretty standard "there's a monster loose" movie except no one seemed to be that concerned...but it was about giant rabbits, so I wouldn't be, either. Also, the universal joke that women can't drive is proudly displayed.

Actual good:
1 - a movie that God wishes He could forget.

Good is Bad:
2 1/2 - it's a bit boring and most of our brave viewers fell asleep half way through. Plus, it's pretty standard. Replace bunnies with wolves, slime monsters, or giant cooked turkey legs and you've got the same movie.

Logic, let me introduce you to this window:
Ho ho, do I have some beefs, movie.
1, hormones turn bunnies into man-eating, slobbering beasts? No, but it can make men have boobies.
2, When people die, there weren't any marks and the ONE body that had some, it looked cleanly but. Look at bunny teeth. Do they look like a well-crafted katana? Or even a knife? No.
3, rabbits don't eat meat. At all...
4, all victims were pretty much intact, so the bunny I guess just killed out of vengeance to what Man has done to his kin...
5, a cave-in?! By dynamite? So, the zoologist forgot that rabbits can DIG their way out...which is what they did. Where did you get your degree, Mr Bennett?
6, using radios around dynamite and triggers. I don't know if this is for everything, but I'm assuming so: as a security officer I've been trained to never use my radio if there's been a bomb/dynamite threat. It can set it off. This is true for cell phones, too.
7, how come no one sees these 150 lb rabbits, that are apparently bigger than cars, until they're two feet in front of them?!

The music contains a weird pre-techno whenever the rabbits are around. It's almost catchy since it's low and the type of music you put in the background for a party or just relaxing with a couple of friends. Mmm, play that bunny music. The rest was forgivable, but didn't stand out. Even the "epic battle" at the end, the music was lacking. But, hey, it was the 70's.

I have a strong belief that the director read this book and said to himself, "Well, by golly, I breed rabbits and I have a bunch of model-miniatures that I'm not sure what to do with...I'll turn this into a movie!!"

An eerie note: no one really panics. There's no one running around screaming and pleading for someone, ANYONE, to save them. No, these folks were pretty calm and collected. Huh, a dozen of people died from the rabbits...Crazy. ::shrugs:: Even the people at the drive-in. The cops came in and said (basically), "Hey, we need your help, there's giant rabbits killing people. Follow us and just stay in your cars." Sure, no problem. O.o Um...Where are the bastard characters? Where's the Scrooge? Where are the screamers and disbelievers?

There's a ton of bunny crotch-shots when they jump overhead.

dracadancer, who introduced me to the horrors of NotL, believes that there's a hidden metaphor of the rabbits equating to the punk/techno birth and/or revolution. I'm not sure, though, since I was half-asleep and getting annoyed. I hope so, though. Those cute punk/bunnies are really cute, even with pudding on their faces (to look scary...or something).

Product Placement: Ford

What I've learned from this movie:
-children, again, are evil
-in the 70's it was all right for a grown man to playfully spank the ass of a 10-ish year old girl
-giant rabbits move in slow motion
-don't try to hitch a ride by waving your shot gun in the air, it wont work
-rabbits can sound like guinea pigs
-children get really sweaty when scared
-there are such things called "refrigerated lines".

Bottom line: I'd choose this if it was between the movie and death, otherwise, I don't think I'll be watching it again. EVER again.
Tags: animals, b-horror, based on a novel, evil kids, genetic monster, giant animals, humans messing up, monster, rabbits, ranch
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