Night of the Lepus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Night of the Lepus Reviews

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July 27, 2016
Rancher Rory Calhoun (standing and walking as he's known to do) has an infestation of rabbits. He turns to DeForest Kelley who recruits scientist team Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh to help control the rabbits without killing everything else on his land. Through a series of mishaps, they create a strain of giant, ferocious rabbits that rampage across the American Southwest killing people left and right. So, this is not a good movie. The dialogue is terrible. The plot is ridiculously convoluted. The old pros do a decent job, but most of the supporting cast are awful. All this might be forgivable if not for the simple fact that nobody is afraid of rabbits. The film uses real, normal rabbits and tries a bunch of effects and visual tricks to make you believe they are giant, killer beasts. They are bunnies.
March 7, 2016
In the vein of 50's low budget monster movies, but with a rodent twist. The effects aren't too good, but it adds to the fun, and some times it is pretty creepy. The plot isn't handled too well, and some of the violence is hard to watch. The characters don't stand out well, but they're not too bad. Tons of rabbits.
½ August 5, 2015
Sam Peckinpah's Watership Down. Giant mutant rabbits terrorize a desert town in slow motion to Brian Eno riffs as DeForrest Kelley, Janet Leigh and Rory Calhoun pay some bills. Special kudos to the guy that pitched this to the studio execs and kept a straight face. Lepus is Greek for Wabbits!
½ March 13, 2015
Beware! Giant mutant rabbits are on the loose! This ridiculous film features is surprisingly respectable cast slumming it past their prime (Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, Paul Fix), including DeForest Kelley in his final film that wasn't a Star Trek film. It's really an awful film but one that can be enjoyed ironically. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more, rabbits jumping in slow motion on miniature sets or the actor and a rabbit cost gym attacking innocent victims.
March 11, 2015
really wanted to like this but was way too over the top even for a b movie. once good actor and actress Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh are completely wasted here.. the giant bunnies are the main focus with everything being window dressing haha.
March 4, 2015
Before the Holy Grail there was killer bunnies close-ups with vast quantities of bright red fake blood poured all over dead bodies and even worse special effects. Not even Janet Leigh can salvage this craziness.
December 13, 2014
Longe de ser o filme péssimo apontado por algumas opiniões online, "Night of the Lepus" nunca se livra por completo da forma semi-idiota como conta a história da guerra entre vaqueiros e uma praga de coelhos mutantes. Naturalmente, estes desastres são provocados pelo erro humano (pais desatentos) e depois resolvidos à boa maneira americana, com uma intervenção militar massiva que deixa os pobres coelhos totalmente estorricados. Impossível de ignorar também é o valor hipnótico das imagens de coelhos gigantes à solta pelas estradas e pontes da América, mesmo que algumas montagens sejam um bocado mal feitas.
½ December 13, 2014
Rabbit as big and ferocious as wolves

Cole Hillman owns a small ranch in rural Arizona. He is plagued by an outbreak of rabbit that kill all the insects and plants that he uses to make a living. He has a meeting with a college professor about the issue who talks to a zoologist friend. The zoologist injects the rabbits with a hormone that makes them huge and man eating. Can the three men stop the man eating rabbits?

"Since the injections the rabbits have increased in size."

William Claxton, director of Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, Stage to Thunder Rock, A Letter to Nancy, Desire in the Dust, and Young Jesse James, delivers Night of the Lepus. The storyline for this picture is just okay and as you'd expect for the genre. The special effects were also mediocre and the cast delivers average performances. The cast includes Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Paul Fix, and William Elliot.

"What do we have here, a vampire?"
"Probably."

I grabbed this movie off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this past Halloween season. The idea of large man-eating rabbits fascinated me; and as you'd expect, this was a bland horror picture that used close up shots of rabbits to create the illusion of "large man-eating rabbits." Unfortunately, this is a less than average addition to the genre.

"I've never seen anything like this before."

Grade: D+/C-
½ November 14, 2014
It's hard to tell if this is a satire of sorts or cheesy creature movie, what ever it is, it moves along too slow to offer any excitement, and it's not consistently goofy enough to be funny as so-bad-it's-good. 34/100
½ October 23, 2014
The so-called special effects were handled in two ways: 1) Real rabbits filmed in slow-mo, hippity-hopping over miniature homesteads, or 2) Stuntmen in bargain-bin "Bugs Bunny" costumes. Believe it or not, a bona fide author actually sat down and wrote a whole book on this premise - Night of the Lepus is based upon the novel The Year of the Angry Rabbits by Russell Braddon. (I guess the film budget couldn't afford the whole year.)
July 7, 2014
I know you want us to take this seriously, but you are trying to make us afraid of bunny rabbits.
April 11, 2014
Completely lives up to its reputation as legendarily-bad schlock. It's undeniably entertaining, just as it's also baffling to fathom how supposedly smart people thought the concept of killer rabbits could be done with a straight face. It's that total lack of winking at the audience that makes the movie truly funny. By the time we get to the footage of normal-sized rabbits hopping around extremely unconvincing miniature houses and streets, you're either on board for the silliness, or you're not.
½ February 21, 2014
Night of the Lepus has only one major thing going for it, which is camp and/or irony. The very idea of killer rabbits is preposterous and silly, and a venture that, shockingly, everyone (including DeForest Kelley, Stuart Whitman, Rory Calhoun, and Janet Leigh) thought would make for a very fine movie. In truth, it makes for a very bad movie. It feels like an echo of The Birds to me, which would explain Janet Leigh's presence in the film, but everything about it is just wrong. Rifftrax recently did a nice riffing on it that I recommend you should check out, but other than that, it's impossible to sit through this movie and take it seriously at all.
July 27, 2013
Failing in every aspect of the filmmaking process, Night of the Lepus is hands down one of the worst experiences a moviegoer can have. This is really only about a 60 minute movie stretched to 90 minutes by reusing shots and none of those shots are any good to look at. The only person who would like this movie would be someone who wants to watch thousands of bunny rabbits get mowed down with a machine gun, and even that is boring and poorly done. The original reels of this movie should be found and burned for the sake of humanity.

- Details Breakdown -

The Good: There is a fairly original premise here. Granted, the whole "small creatures are turned giant and eat people" concept has been completed exhausted, but this is the first killer rabbit movie I have seen ever, unless that rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail counts. The rules of the world are fairly logical and normal means are still useful for dispatching the furry fiends unlike many giant animal monster movies where they are given a strange invulnerability to knives and firearms. This movie acts as a good deterrent against attempted ecosystem regulation and alteration seeing as the entire message of the movie is essentially "don't **** with nature". Another good use of this movie is a way to increase the suicide rate in moviegoers.

The Bad: Basically everything from the opening shot to the time the credits roll is a disaster. The movie is only 90 minutes, but it feels like 2-3 hours, which is an impressive feat. One of the biggest things that bugged me the most was the constant reusing of shots. Large portions of the shots in the movie were simply reused. Over and over and over again. If one were to take out all of the repeated shots, the movie would probably run at only 60-75 minutes, making it not even quality as a feature film potentially. The acting is absolutely abysmal, even for the 1970's and every time a character speak, an angel looses its wings and falls to earth and breaks its neck. The little girl in this movie is so obnoxious that I would have preferred 90 minutes of a giant rabbit slowly eating her. I was not aware that a voice that annoying existed or could come from a fellow human being. This movie is slow and tedious and extremely not scary. The giant killer rabbits are laughably funny for the first part of the movie until the shots of them are constantly reused and then it just gets sad. Rabbits are not naturally scary looking and so the PD department tried their best to make them look menacing, but there really was not much they could do. The movie is essentially about a bunch of giant cute animals that roam into town and then get ruthlessly mowed down in the thousands by the military. The themes of this movie are extremely problematic. This film somehow manages to be anti-science and even anti-bunny rabbit. I'm pretty sure the writers were somehow mauled by a rabbit in their childhood and decided to write a movie where they could slaughter them. They do not even kill them in imaginative ways like in a normal monster movie. Basically the only thing used to kill these things are firearms and then once at the end, an electrified train rail. No one wants to watch cute bunny rabbits get shot with machine guns and hunting rifles until the bodies start to form a small mountain. The absolutely ridiculous anti-science tone of this film was pretty embarrassing to behold because they appear to be actually serious. The movie basically blames science for messing around with nature and clearly the result of science is giant mutated killer bunny rabbits (that somehow eat people even though they are clearly herbivores and stay that way even in the movie). The premise of this movie is not a freak accident like one might assume, but actually a lesson that is being shoved down the audiences' throat: SCIENCE IS BAD FOR HUMANITY. Stupid hippies.
July 27, 2013
Failing in every aspect of the filmmaking process, Night of the Lepus is hands down one of the worst experiences a moviegoer can have. This is really only about a 60 minute movie stretched to 90 minutes by reusing shots and none of those shots are any good to look at. The only person who would like this movie would be someone who wants to watch thousands of bunny rabbits get mowed down with a machine gun, and even that is boring and poorly done. The original reels of this movie should be found and burned for the sake of humanity.

- Details Breakdown -

The Good: There is a fairly original premise here. Granted, the whole "small creatures are turned giant and eat people" concept has been completed exhausted, but this is the first killer rabbit movie I have seen ever, unless that rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail counts. The rules of the world are fairly logical and normal means are still useful for dispatching the furry fiends unlike many giant animal monster movies where they are given a strange invulnerability to knives and firearms. This movie acts as a good deterrent against attempted ecosystem regulation and alteration seeing as the entire message of the movie is essentially "don't **** with nature". Another good use of this movie is a way to increase the suicide rate in moviegoers.

The Bad: Basically everything from the opening shot to the time the credits roll is a disaster. The movie is only 90 minutes, but it feels like 2-3 hours, which is an impressive feat. One of the biggest things that bugged me the most was the constant reusing of shots. Large portions of the shots in the movie were simply reused. Over and over and over again. If one were to take out all of the repeated shots, the movie would probably run at only 60-75 minutes, making it not even quality as a feature film potentially. The acting is absolutely abysmal, even for the 1970's and every time a character speak, an angel looses its wings and falls to earth and breaks its neck. The little girl in this movie is so obnoxious that I would have preferred 90 minutes of a giant rabbit slowly eating her. I was not aware that a voice that annoying existed or could come from a fellow human being. This movie is slow and tedious and extremely not scary. The giant killer rabbits are laughably funny for the first part of the movie until the shots of them are constantly reused and then it just gets sad. Rabbits are not naturally scary looking and so the PD department tried their best to make them look menacing, but there really was not much they could do. The movie is essentially about a bunch of giant cute animals that roam into town and then get ruthlessly mowed down in the thousands by the military. The themes of this movie are extremely problematic. This film somehow manages to be anti-science and even anti-bunny rabbit. I'm pretty sure the writers were somehow mauled by a rabbit in their childhood and decided to write a movie where they could slaughter them. They do not even kill them in imaginative ways like in a normal monster movie. Basically the only thing used to kill these things are firearms and then once at the end, an electrified train rail. No one wants to watch cute bunny rabbits get shot with machine guns and hunting rifles until the bodies start to form a small mountain. The absolutely ridiculous anti-science tone of this film was pretty embarrassing to behold because they appear to be actually serious. The movie basically blames science for messing around with nature and clearly the result of science is giant mutated killer bunny rabbits (that somehow eat people even though they are clearly herbivores and stay that way even in the movie). The premise of this movie is not a freak accident like one might assume, but actually a lesson that is being shoved down the audiences' throat: SCIENCE IS BAD FOR HUMANITY. Stupid hippies.
½ April 9, 2013
Giant killer bunnies. Bad acting, Bad effects, but it's amusing as hell and kept me laughing. Not a serious scare-fest, but can killer giant bunnies be scary? Probably not. It's horror-lite, and enjoyable as hell
½ January 31, 2013
Three years before JAWS attacked audiences world-wide, another diabolical beast was unleashed from the bowels of hell... Man's selfish attempt to control the rabbit population in Arizona turns deadly when an experimental hormone causes the animals to grow into giant-sized killers in NIGHT OF THE LEPUS! A film so baffling and benign that the distributors were forced to remove any indication of the furry critters from the marketing materials in order to dupe audiences into seeing it. The first question, of course, is "How can you possibly make giant rabbits frightening?", the obvious answer being that you can't. NIGHT OF THE LEPUS is ridiculous in its attempts to scare, generating nothing but laughs from start to finish. The rabbits are filmed up close in slow-motion and dripping with blood as they maul the locals, but they are only as cute as they are harmless. What makes things even more absurd is just how serious the film takes itself. Horribly mutilated bodies are left in the wake of the rabbits destruction after they hippity-hop their way through town. Most unbelievable of all is how professional the special effects and miniatures are handled for a film about giant killer bunny rabbits. Janet Leigh, Stuart Whitman, and Rory Calhoun deserve Oscar nominations just for withholding their laughter during filming. When it comes to unintentional humor, B-Movie fans can do no better than NIGHT OF THE LEPUS.
January 21, 2013
Oh, those silly giant flesh-eating mutant rabbits...
January 11, 2013
A pretty ridiculous time that is so cheesed out and over the top that it is somewhat entertaining until it quickly runs in circles. The rabbit attacks and shots of them running are great but the rest of the movie is not.
January 7, 2013
The hell else would you expect?

Giant man eating bunnies?

Yep!
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