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“Night of the Lepus”; or, “Rabbits”: Please keep calm and roll up your windows.

October 31, 2010 \pm\31 9:24 pm

Attention! Attention! Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help! Please keep calm and roll up your windows!

Everyone knows that today is Halloween, and on Halloween there’s nothing more acceptable than to sit on the couch, eat candy corn and watch a good horror movie. But with The Human Centipede setting blood-and-gore to gut-wrenching levels, it gets to the point where hockey masks and bloody chainsaws can’t pass scare muster. Where can horror film traditionalists turn?

The answer, dear reader, lies in William F. Claxton’s 1972 carnival of horror Night of the Lepus.

At 88 minutes and starring Janet Leigh, Stuart Whitman and Rory Calhoun, Lepus (LEE-pus, or rabbit in Latin) chronicles the tale of a desert town overrun with genetically mutated rabbits that are “as big as wolves and just as vicious.”

For reference, while it’s not quite cut from the same cloth per se as 1990’s mutant worm tale Tremors, it is perhaps from a similar fabric store.

Scary bunny close-up.

Night of the Lepus has everything you want out of a good, cheesy, low-budget, 1970’s era horror film. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

There’s the classic, sexist acting– Janet Leigh clamoring on Stuart Whitman’s arm, squealing at him not to go into the mine shaft after a horde of genetically mutated super-killing bunnies, and Whitman’s obligatory response, with his jaw set and his pistol  in hand, “There’s no other way.”

Leigh’s character  also leaves her child unattended in a camper when the lepi descend on the town for their ketchup-blood killing spree. Mommy reminds her daughter to lock the door.

IMDb users give Lepus 3.8 out of 10 stars, which is unnecessarily harsh. The site  lists the top five plot keywords in order:

Order up on Netflix. Just remember to roll up your windows first.

  1. November 1, 2010 \pm\30 1:14 pm 1:14 pm

    Classic. Total classic.

  2. Robin Elizabeth Sampson permalink
    November 1, 2010 \pm\30 2:31 pm 2:31 pm

    Run away, run away!

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