Monday, October 15, 2012
NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (1972) -
William F. Claxton
It takes a lot to make fuzzy bunny rabbits menacing. Perspective is key. Low, low angles help. So do miniatures, close-ups of gnashing buck teeth, persistent squeaking on the soundtrack and tons and TONS of rabbits. Shots like this one also help...
Despite its liberal use of red tempera paint, Night of the Lepus works more as comedy than horror movie. It's more of a children's fairy tale gone wrong than the cautionary tale of hormone tinkering and reckless population control methods it originally set out to be. The way in which the little rabbits become giant rabbits is laughable. As soon as you see the scientist's young daughter cooing over one of the lab bunnies, you'll see it coming a mile away. The manner in which the giant bunnies are ultimately exterminated is also a hoot (hint: it involves railroad tracks and free-flowing electricity). Despite all of this, Night of the Lepus is still a fun, effective monster movie, even if that monster happens to be adorable. Note that Bones from Star Trek is in this...with a moustache.