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Night of the Lepus (1972)

1:43 | Trailer
Giant mutant rabbits terrorize the south-west.


William F. Claxton


Don Holliday (screenplay), Gene R. Kearney (screenplay) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Roy Bennett
Janet Leigh ... Gerry Bennett
Rory Calhoun ... Cole Hillman
DeForest Kelley ... Elgin Clark
Paul Fix ... Sheriff Cody
Melanie Fullerton ... Amanda Bennett
Chris Morrell Chris Morrell ... Jackie Hillman
Chuck Hayward ... Jud
Henry Wills ... Frank
Francesca Jarvis ... Mildred
William Elliott ... Dr. Leopold
Bob Hardy Bob Hardy ... Professor Dirkson (as Robert Hardy)
Richard Jacome Richard Jacome ... Deputy Jason
Inez Perez Inez Perez ... Housekeeper
Roy Gaintner Roy Gaintner ... Walker (as G. Leroy Gaintner)


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. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How many eyes does horror have? How many times will terror strike? See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The New York Times review of this film exemplified the general critical consensus: "No matter how hard they try to make the rabbits seem terrifying, they still look like Easter bunnies!" See more »


During the is 'dynamite the mine' scene, the lens-shaped hole that Elgin Clark (DeForest Kelley) is looking into (when he is seen from below) is completely top/bottom symmetrical, suggesting that it was created optically. See more »


Priest: [after being flagged down by Rory Calhoun on the highway outside of town] What's the matter?
Cole Hillman: If I told you, father, you'd think I've been drinking!
See more »

User Reviews

What's Up Docs?
24 November 2005 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

A mutant bunny is "saved" by a scientist's daughter and released into a hotbed of hare activity where it breeds and helps genetically alter the growth rate of rabbits in this western desert town. Soon, living in huge mining shafts are these monstrous rabbits with fangs out to rip, shred, cut, slice, maim, hew, and devour any living thing in their wake. This is the stark, gritty horror that is Night of the Lepus. Yeah right! Night of the Lepus has to be one of the most ridiculously inspired films I've seen in some time. Did a bunch of people actually sit down and think that bunnies would be frightening? To give credit where it is due, some of the rabbits(seen through some process that magnifies actual rabbits with blood-like red smeared on their noses and whiskers) actually look ... quite ridiculous. With those kind of special effects, you know what you are getting. Some scenes are just so humorous because of their poor production values. Seeing a handful of rabbits stuffed into a miniature hotel or watching the National Guard battle those rascally rabbits being just such two scenes. The cast has some big names with Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh playing the scientist couple and Rory Calhoun as the farmer in need of ridding his pastures from rabbits, and then there is Deforrest Kelly, looking quite out of place, as a friend to all. Watchin Deforrest lay down TNT to blow up rabbit holes is a real hoot. The acting though can't save this film from anything more than what it is: a funny bad picture that is fun to watch because of its ridiculous premise, lamentable special effects, and some corny acting and dialog. C'mmon! Rabbits! What's next? Revenge of the Hamsters. Gerbil Apocalypse. The Guniea Pig Massacre. Ludicrous stuff here but fun nonetheless.

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Release Date:

4 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rabbits See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoita, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

A.C. Lyles Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (newsreel footage)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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