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Night of the Lepus

Night of the Lepus (1972) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  88m  •    •  Directed by: William F. Claxton.  •  Starring: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Paul Fix, Melanie Fullerton, Chris Morrell, Chuck Hayward, Henry Wills, Francesca Jarvis, William Elliott, Bob Hardy, Richard Jacome.  •  Music by: Jimmie Haskell.
        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.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:45
 
 

Review:

Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
Image from: Night of the Lepus (1972)
So, there are creatures that are pretty scary when normal size. Spiders, sharks, crocodiles, pythons, etc. Then there are creatures that are pretty scary or even scarier when enlarged. Spiders, sharks, crocodiles, ants, pythons, etc. Some creatures just don't make it on to either list and one such creature is the humble rabbit. So whoever thought making a monster movie about giant, killer rabbits would be a good way to win over movie fans must have had far too much leisure time on his hands for the rest of the nineteen seventies and eaten far too many "special" cookies.

There's a rabbit problem and so some scientists decided to mess about with hormones and come up with some solution that will eradicate the rabbit population without harming the other animals or wildlife around. But, wouldn't you just know it, they instead end up making giant rabbits that lead to more giant rabbits (because you know what rabbits get up to when they're not eating carrots or hunting down puny humans to eat) and pretty soon have to race to save all of mainland America from destruction at the paws of these fluffy killers.

Yes, I do realise how ridiculous all that sounds as I am typing it out but it's absolutely true. The cast here, including Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun and DeForest Kelley, all look suitably uncomfortable while uttering some ridiculous lines. The direction by William F. Claxton is pedestrian at best. This absurd movie needed either a LOT of humour or some serious sleight of hand to make it work and Claxton provides neither. The screenplay, by Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney (based on an actual novel called The Year Of The Angry Rabbit, for goodness sake), at least provides some laughs with the best moment being a policeman informing a crowd of drive-in moviegoers that "there is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!". Priceless stuff.

Worth seeing the once to laugh at how terrible it is but never worth watching again and it deserves it's place in the dustbin of cinema history.


Review by tyler-and-jack from the Internet Movie Database.