4.1/10
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126 user 109 critic

Night of the Lepus (1972)

Giant mutant rabbits terrorize the south-west.

Director:

William F. Claxton

Writers:

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

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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rabbits See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoita, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

A.C. Lyles Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Riffed by the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) under the RiffTrax name, Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy. See more »

Goofs

When Cole calls the sheriff from the rural phone booth, the sheriff tells him to stay there and he'll have a car pick him up. But Cole never tells him where he is. See more »

Quotes

Husband in Car: Picking up no strangers, Susan. I said that when we left Denver, and I'm sticking with it. Especially a man carrying a gun!
See more »

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User Reviews

"Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way!"
16 June 2006 | by MetalGeekSee all my reviews

NIGHT OF THE LEPUS is one of those movies that you simply have to see to believe. I am very glad that LEPUS has finally been officially released on DVD because for years, I have described it to fellow B-movie fans who have then accused me of making it up. Besides, I am now finally able to replace my bootleg DVD (recorded from foreign TV with Swedish or Norwegian subtitles, I'm not sure which, running across the bottom of the screen) and enjoy this masterpiece the way it was meant to be seen.

In brief: Somewhere in the American Southwest, ranchers are losing their crops to hungry herds of Jackrabbits. A scientist, attempting to figure out a way to slow the reproduction rate of the rabbits, injects an experimental hormone into some test animals. One of the test rabbits escapes and begins mating with the local bunnies, resulting in a horde of giant killer mutant rabbits with a taste for human flesh. You CAN'T make this stuff up, kids! From there it's long-eared, low budget mayhem of the highest order, with scenes of regular-sized bunnies rampaging through miniature Western towns (complete with dubbed-in squeals and roars on the soundtrack) and hungry bunnies (played by stuntmen in full body rabbit suits) attacking unlucky townspeople, until the military is called in to neutralize the threat. Anyone who makes it more than fifteen minutes into this movie without cracking up is a better person than I am. You can almost imagine Janet Leigh during filming, smoking cigarettes in between takes and asking DeForest Kelley "What the hell are we doing in a movie about KILLER RABBITS? I worked with Alfred Hitchcock for cryin' out loud! I am going to KILL my agent!" I had pet rabbits growing up and never found them scary in the slightest. Maybe that's why I love this movie so much. To this day, I wonder if the studio person who green-lighted this project and allowed it to be made still had a job when his superiors saw the final product. Do yourself a favor and check out NIGHT OF THE LEPUS, an unjustly forgotten slice of early 70s drive-in cheese. You may love it, you may hate it, but I promise you, you will NEVER forget it!


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