United States – 1972
Director – William F. Claxton
Monster movies come in all sorts of forms, subgenres and species. Monsters both in literature and in cinema are almost always a symbol for something more than just a monster. Night of the Lepus ranks alongside such trash classics as Them! , Slithis and Godmonster of Indian Flats as one of my favorite among the nature twisted by science flicks. Fear of atomic power, industrial pollution and even computers have all become cultural boogeymen reformulated as screen monsters. “Progress” is scary because it’s unpredictable, and because man’s intellectual reach outdistances his ethical grasp, and so on and so forth….
The solution in Night of the Lepus, as parroted time and again in real life immigration paranoia rhetoric and literally realized along the large portions of the U.S. Mexico border, is a giant fence. Not only does this one keep them out of “our” territory, but it's also electrified such that any invaders attempting to cross it are thoroughly electrocuted to crispy death.
Bracero Program (and new immigration legislation) is too much coincidence for me to bear! Night of the Lepus is nothing more than a hilarious and ludicrous reification of United Statesian white supremacist paranoia, but damned if it doesn’t make for some entertaining cinema.