Night of the Lepus (1972) (part 3 of 10)

Down at Cole’s ranch, Roy examines a caged rabbit and notes this isn’t a breed that’s indigenous to the area. Cole explains that another rancher in the area used to raise domesticated rabbits, but there was a fire and about “a couple o’ hundred of them got away!”

That’s right: Domesticated rabbits. The rabbits that we’ll soon be seeing grow to giant size aren’t even wild rabbits, which might have at least stood a chance of looking scary. In fact, the giant rabbits will look no different from bunnies that you might buy at the pet store. Ultimately, this one tiny detail will account for almost all of the movie’s unintentional hilarity.

Night of the Lepus (1972) (part 3 of 10)

I’ll just assume that, somewhere between the director and the animal wranglers, there was a serious breakdown in communication, and by the time they realized they were about to make a movie about killer Easter bunnies, it was too late to turn back. And so, they tossed in a line after the fact about domesticated rabbits escaping, and in the process, helpfully contradicted Cole’s earlier statement about the rabbit plague being caused by a dearth of coyotes. That was a nice touch.

Gerry says that these rabbits must be “mongrels”. Ouch! I think you just hurt the rabbits’ feelings, Gerry. Don’t be surprised when this comes back to bite you in the ass later. Literally.

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Multi-Part Article: Night of the Lepus (1972)

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